Women have served in the military from the American Revolution to the present. Unfortunately, women have been historically underrepresented in utilizing the benefits provided for them, and have often been more reticent in claiming their veteran status. Women now make up 15% of active duty and 18% of Guard/Reserves service members. Based on the upward trend of women in all branches of service, the number of women Veterans and female VA users is expected to double again in the next decade. To that end, the Department of Veterans Affairs is committed to ensuring that benefits and services for women veterans are made as accessible as possible, and has created a number of outreach programs and revised guidelines toward this end.
WOMEN VETERANS HOTLINE
While the number of women VA users continues to grow, women comprise only six percent of VA’s total patient population. Women Veterans underutilize VA care and benefits, largely due to a lack of knowledge about VA benefits and available services. In response, the VA has established a Women Veterans hotline—1-855-VA-WOMEN (829-6636) to receive and respond to questions from women Veterans, their families, and caregivers across the nation about available VA services and resources.