It has been three years since President Obama announced the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) on April 9, 2009. VLER is a multi-faceted business and technology initiative that includes a portfolio of health, benefits, personnel, and administrative information sharing capabilities. It provides Veterans, Service members, their families, care-givers, and service providers with a single source of information for health and benefits in a way that is secure and is authorized by the Veteran or Service member. Access to electronic records and information is essential to modern health care delivery and the paperless administration of benefits. Standardized and secure exchange of information allows for unprecedented, seamless delivery of both health care and benefits for our nation’s Veterans and Service members.

As explained by President Obama, “When a member of the armed forces separates from the military, he or she will no longer have to walk paperwork from a [Defense Department] duty station to a local VA health center. Their electronic records will transition along with them and remain with them forever.”

Over the past three years, we’ve met some major milestones to include:

More than 1.3 million Veterans and Service members use the VLER eBenefits portal to manage their Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI), obtain GI Bill Certificates of Eligibility, and access more than 40 capabilities made available via, with new capabilities being added to the eBenefits portal on a quarterly basis.

Implemented “Blue Button,” providing online self-service downloads for on-demand access to personal health information to 800k active users.

More than 2.5 million Veteran and Service member medical records have been shared via the VLER Bidirectional Health Information Exchange (BHIE) and Clinical Data Repository/Health Data Repository (CHDR) projects.

Tens of thousands of Veterans and Service members are already taking advantage of DoD and VA participation in the nationwide health information network being piloted at 12 sites across the country.

VLER has also impacted thousands of disabled Service members, including our most severely wounded, ill, and injured by automating information management and sharing between DoD and VA in support of the Federal Recovery Coordinator and Integrated Disability Evaluation System.

When VLER is fully implemented, all information needed to quickly and accurately provide services and benefits to our Veterans and Service members will be exchanged electronically and proactively, putting the right information in front of the right people at the right time for them to take action.

Check out the VLER home page for more information.

Joe Paiva is the executive director of the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER). He’s also a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Share this story

Published on Apr. 6, 2012

Estimated reading time is 2.2 min.

Views to date: 102


  1. Drew April 19, 2012 at 11:44 am

    So with the implementation of digital records accessible on a veteran at every VA facility in the country, why must I waste time and resources (yours and mine) registering, setting up an initial screening, etc to use a different VA than my original one?

  2. Stephen D Cunningham April 6, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    I Joined the US NAVY 7-72 and iwas diong great on 12-25-1972 i was in a severe hellicopter crash in the san diego calif. area i was station at nas imperial beach calif. my squadron was HC-7 .we fell 50 feet crashed on a mountan pad all i can rember is everything went black i still cant rember the impact i had split my flight helmet in half traped in the troup seet i was unconcus count get out so i was left behind someone came back to get me out told me later i was going into shock it took 12 hours before we go rescued i dident even know i broke my right coller bone i was sent to the hospital acerap my coller bone sent back to base then i started having a lot of medical problem what they call it today TBI/PTSD/BODY TRAMA So i go punnished and abused. SO i served four and and a half years as disable humanserving my country with treatment.

  3. Jon April 6, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Joe- Can you tell me where to find this?:

    “It provides Veterans, Service members, their families, care-givers, and service providers with a single source of information for health and benefits in a way that is secure and is authorized by the Veteran or Service member”

    Health and benefits information in one place? Really? Because the last time I checked, there were two distinct websites, that aren’t connected, and require seperate logon information. Seems pretty unconnected to me.

    And please don’t quote the President. He only says what you tell him about this program, not the drawbacks which increase stress on veterans. Why don’t you quote a veteran saying something like “They said all my information was going to be online, but the website doesn’t work and I have to drive to a hospital before I can actually see anything useful.” Just a suggestion.

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • During Sickle Cell Awareness Month in September, the American Red Cross emphasizes the importance of a diverse blood supply to help meet the needs of those with sickle cell disease – the most common inherited blood disorder in the U.S.

  • CaringBridge, a free online tool to communicate health news to family and friends, is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

  • Shahpur Pazhman flew Black Hawk missions in 27 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, resupplying and relocating Afghan ground forces and evacuating casualties to safety. Thanks to Bridge My Return, he's back in the air.