By Martin Ventura
Gateway to Benefits   
Accessing benefits can appear overwhelming, with numerous websites to navigate, and many logins and passwords to remember. eBenefits eliminates the hassle by acting as a gateway to benefits. eBenefits is a single sign-on, central access point to online benefits and related services.
eBenefits is a joint service through the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense that consolidates processes such as the ability to:
• Apply for benefits.
• Download DD214.
• View status of benefits.
• Download VA letters
• Transfer Post-9/11 education benefits.
• Update direct deposit and contact information.
• Apply for VA home loan certificate.
• Link to sites that provide information on benefits.
A complete list of features can be found on the eBenefits Features List.
eBenefits Users  
eBenefits is designed to serve veterans, service members, and their families. The concept for a benefits portal was established by executive order in 2007 to assist wounded, injured, and ill service members, veterans, their families, and their caregivers in accessing military benefits and services.
The basic eligibility requirements for registration with eBenefits are:
• You must be registered in DEERS (Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System) to be eligible for a DS Logon.
• You must have a DS Logon (DoD Self-Service Logon) to log in to eBenefits.
• For a Basic DS Logon you can apply online through eBenefits.
• For a Premium DS Logon you must verify your identity in person.
eBenefits Accounts 
eBenefits is available to users through a Basic Account and a Premium Account. The Basic Account is easy to obtain but offers limited access to features. Basic Account holders will still be able to check for eligibility of benefits and apply for benefits through the Veterans Online Application (VONAPP). The Premium Account offers the highest level of access to features but requires in-person verification of identity at a VA Regional Office or TRICARE Service Center.
Some features exclusive to the Premium Account are the ability to:
• Check your compensation and pension claims status.
• Check your payment history.
• View your TRICARE health information.
• Obtain your Civil Service Preference Letter, Service Verification Letter, and more.
• Obtain your DD-214 and other military records.
Check the Account Comparison Chart for an overview of accounts.
eBenefits is the future of military benefits and services online and is:
• A single sign-on, central access point to online benefits and related services.
• Available to veterans, service members, and their families.
• Available in Basic Account and Premium Account formats.
Access to a world of health services and education benefits is only a step away, so
 Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense, “eBenefits.” 20 Dec. 2011
 Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense, “About eBenefits.” 20 Dec. 2011
 Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense, “Features List.” 20 Dec. 2011
 Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense, “Registration Requirements.” 20 Dec. 2011
 Department of Defense, “DoD Self-Service Access Center.” 20 Dec. 2011
 Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense, “Account Comparison.” 20 Dec. 2011
Department of Veterans Affairs, “VONAPP.” 30 Dec. 2011