New Online Portal for Travel Reimbursement Claims - VA Portland Health Care System
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New Online Portal for Travel Reimbursement Claims

VA rolls out simplified travel reimbursement system; image with different modes of transportation and the VA seal/logo

VA Portland Health Care System rolls out simplified travel reimbursement system for Veterans, beneficiaries to use starting Oct. 5, 2020. See all the details below about the new Beneficiary Travel Self-Service System (BTSSS) to reimburse eligible Veterans and beneficiaries for travel to and from VA medical appointments.

By VAPORHCS
Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Beginning October 5, 2020, VA Portland Health Care System Veterans, caregivers, and beneficiaries who are eligible for reimbursement of mileage and other travel expenses to and from approved health care appointments can now enter claims in the new Beneficiary Travel Self-Service System (BTSSS). BTSSS simplifies the current claim submission process for beneficiaries and ensures timely processing and payment of travel reimbursements.

  • Submit claims online 24/7, 365 days a year
  • Track the status of submitted claims
  • Reduce processing time for submitted claims
  • Use self-help tools to make claim submissions fast and easy
  • Visit AccessVA, select submit a travel claim, and logon using a DS Log on account.

A DS Logon is an ID issued by DoD that will allows Veterans and caregivers to access many VA and DoD sites with one user username and password.

Need a DS Log on?


VA travel pay eligibility for Veterans and caregivers

Am I eligible for this benefit as a Veteran? 

VA offers 2 types of travel pay reimbursement. As a Veteran, you may be eligible for one or both. 

Reimbursement type 1: General health care travel 

This benefit covers regular transportation, like car, plane, train, bus, taxi, or light rail. You may be eligible for this reimbursement if you meet the requirements listed below.

This must be true:

You’re traveling for care at a VA health facility or for VA-approved care at a facility in your community.

And at least one of these must also be true. You:

  • Have a VA disability rating of 30% or higher, or
  • Are traveling for treatment of a service-connected condition, even if your VA disability rating is less than 30%, or
  • Receive a VA pension, or
  • Have an income that’s below the maximum annual VA pension rate, or
  • Are traveling for a scheduled VA claim exam (also called a compensation and pension, or C&P, exam), or
  • Are traveling to get a service dog, or
  • Can’t afford to pay for your travel, as defined by our guidelines

Note: Veterans traveling for VA-approved transplant care are automatically eligible for reimbursement. If you’re a Veteran with a different special VA designation, you’ll need to meet the eligibility requirements listed above.

If you're traveling to get treatment at special disability rehabilitation centers, such as clinics providing care for spinal cord injuries, vision loss or blindness, or prosthetics rehabilitation, you may also be eligible. 

One of these must be true. You:

  • Need in-patient care, or
  • Are getting temporary lodging approved by VA

Reimbursement type 2: Special mode transportation

This benefit includes special types of transportation, like an ambulance, ambulette, or wheelchair van. You may be eligible for this benefit if you meet the requirements listed below.

This must be true:

You're traveling for care at a VA health facility or for VA-approved care at a facility in your community.

And all of these must also be true:

  • You’re eligible for general health care travel reimbursement, and
  • A VA health care provider determines that your medical condition requires an ambulance or a specially equipped van for travel, and
  • We’ve approved your travel in advance, unless the travel is for an emergency situation where a delay would threaten your life or health

More questions about Veteran eligibility

Can my caregiver also get VA travel pay reimbursement?

We may pay for transportation and related lodging and meals for non-Veterans if the person meets any of the requirements listed below.

At least one of these must be true. The person is your:

  • Family caregiver under the National Caregiver Program traveling to receive caregiver training or to support your care, or
  • Medically required attendant traveling with you to support your care, or
  • Transplant care donor or support person

We may also pay for care for an allied beneficiary when the appropriate foreign government agency has authorized their care, or for the beneficiary of another federal agency when that agency has approved their care.


Questions and Answers

Q1:      Who is eligible for Beneficiary Travel Reimbursement?

Veterans and caregivers may be eligible for travel pay. A list of eligibility requirements can be found on the VA Travel Pay Reimbursement webpage.

Q2:      How do I submit a travel reimbursement claim?

VA is phasing in a new web-based portal to submit and process beneficiary travel claims beginning July 2020 and continuing through November 2020 (VA Portland Health Care System starts October 5, 2020). The new portal, the Beneficiary Travel Self-Service System (BTSSS), is VA’s preferred method to receive travel reimbursement claims. Once implemented, BTSSS will phase out claims submitted through the facility kiosks. However, in-person claims and hard-copy submissions will still be available. BTSSS is available through the AccessVA website.

Q3:      Are there advantages to using the Beneficiary Travel Self-Service System (BTSSS)?

The BTSSS automates the claims process to ensure timely processing and payment of travel reimbursement claims. With BTSSS, turnaround time to evaluate and settle a claim is less than 5 days. BTSSS allows Veterans and caregivers to submit claims 24/7, 365 days a year from a computer or mobile device. It also allows users to electronically track the status of a claim request.

Q4:      Can I get help to file my first claim?    

There are several sources of help for filing a claim. BTSSS was built with several self-help tools to guide users through the process of logging on and submitting/tracking claims. Additionally, a user’s guide for BTSSS is available on the VA Travel Pay Reimbursement webpage. Lastly, Veterans who do not have access to a computer can get help from a travel clerk at the facility.Q4:      How do I access BTSSS?

BTSSS is available through the AccessVA webpage. To submit a claim, Visit AccessVA, select submit a travel claim, and logon using a DS Log on Level 2 account. A DS Logon is an ID issued by DoD that will allows Veterans and caregivers to access many VA and DoD sites with one user username and password. Need a DS Log on?

Q5:      Why is VA launching BTSSS?

The current claims submission processes are 100% manual. BTSSS will significantly reduce human intervention for each reimbursement claim request and improve tracking, reporting, and the auditing capability for all stages of the claims process.


Please check out the VAPORHCS Veterans Transportation Program (VTP) web page with related local information and resources.

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