Mobile Apps for Veterans and Military Service MembersUpdated April 21, 2021 Veterans Disability
Veterans have access to several benefits to assist them with finances, health, mental wellness, and other aspects of their life. One of the lesser-known ways veterans can seek help is with the VA app store, created by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. This app store is specifically designed to give veterans mobile app options targeting their needs. Veterans can use the VA app store to find apps that monitor their health information, send important reminders, and connect them to professionals.
Top 11 Mobile Apps in the VA App Store
- Annie App for Veterans
- VA Launchpad for Veterans
- VA Online Scheduling
- VA Video Connect
- Insomnia Coach
- COVID Coach
- AIMS for Anger Management
- PTSD Coach
- VA Health Chat
- Beyond MST
- VA Mental Health Checkup for Veterans
What is the VA app store? Many veterans don't know that an app store just for veterans exists. But this app store features apps for iPhone and Android devices that veterans can use for appointment scheduling, gathering information and resources, and even connect with medical professionals and pharmacists.
Having veteran-specific apps available can be beneficial to veterans looking for help with their health record, mental health and wellness, their relationships, and more. The app store for veterans is completely free to use.
Whether you've applied for VA disability benefits or just need some help to stay in contact with your VA care team, veteran users can find several helpful apps in the VA app store. Below are some of the top apps to try.
1. Annie App for Veterans
The Annie App for Veterans is one of the most used and highly rated apps in the app store. The main job for Annie is to send veterans helpful information through notifications to their computer, iPad, or smartphone. The notifications focus on reminding the veteran to practice self-care, whether it's with motivational messages or notifications about their recent health screenings.
Veterans can use Annie to check on any personal information or health information submitted to the app to help them with coordinating and monitoring their care. They can also sign up for alerts from health and medical facilities to receive new health information, patient data, health-related news, and inspirational messages.
2. VA Launchpad for Veterans
The VA Launchpad for Veterans is another one of the most popular VA mobile apps. This app helps veterans find the other VA apps that can help them most, almost like an app hub. VA Launchpad for Veterans includes categories you can browse through to find similar apps that target your health, care management, mental wellness, and interactions with your VA care team.
The VA regularly adds new apps to this one, ensuring that you don't miss out on any new app options that could benefit you. Some apps will require you to log in separately from the VA Launchpad for Veterans to protect your personally identifiable information and health records.
3. VA Online Scheduling
The VA Online Scheduling app assists veteran patients with electronically scheduling appointments with their VA care team or facilities. The app helps with in-person, phone, and video appointment scheduling and appointment reminders. VA Online Scheduling can download your appointments to the calendar app you use on your phone or device to keep everything synced.
Veterans may also use this app if they've applied for disability benefits with a service connection through the VA. The app can send useful reminders about upcoming appointments related to a disability claim, like the C&P exam, to ensure that you don't miss these necessary appointments.
4. VA Video Connect
VA medical facilities aren't always within a convenient driving distance, yet veterans may need to speak with a person or provider on their VA care team at times that are convenient for them. VA Video Connect helps you do this through its live video capabilities. It's available as a web app or mobile app.
Because video calls can come with issues, like lagging video or low-quality audio, the VA provides a testing site that you can visit through the app. The test site allows you to test your video and audio quality before hopping on a call. Technical assistance is also available for the app 24/7.
5. Insomnia Coach
Veteran patients suffering from insomnia can use the Insomnia Coach mobile app to find helpful resources for dealing with and improving their condition. The app includes weekly training to guide you toward better sleep, also allowing you to track your sleep patterns with your smartphone to monitor progress.
A sleep coach works through the VA app to give you personalized feedback on your sleep patterns, along with tips to help you sleep more soundly. You can use this app from the VA's app store in addition to guidance from your VA care team.
6. COVID Coach
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new set of challenges for veterans, service members, and their families. COVID Coach is a VA app for both veterans and service members. The COVID app offers information and resources about COVID, as well as support for your mental health through the pandemic.
The COVID app includes tools for managing stress during these trying times, learning resources, and challenges to help you with your mood, relationships, and more. Track your anxiety and emotional well-being through the app, and set goals for improvement.
7. AIMS for Anger Management
Veterans and servicemembers suffering from anger can get help from the VA app store with AIMS for Anger Management. The app is designed to be used either alone or as a supplement to regular therapy and care from a VA care team. Through your mobile device, you can get help with deep breathing exercises, thought-stopping exercises, and muscle relaxation techniques to feel more in control of your anger.
The app also includes a digital log of your thoughts and feelings to help you notice patterns. Use the app to listen to calming music or view relaxing imagery to soothe yourself when needed.
8. PTSD Coach
Like other apps in the VA's app store, the PTSD Coach app offers information, resources, and support for veterans and servicemembers. Targeted toward PTSD, PTSD Coach lets you take a self-assessment about your symptoms, find crisis resources, connect with medical professionals who can help you, and learn more about PTSD and its causes and symptoms.
PSTD Coach includes a variety of tools that you can add to your menu based on what you use most. Tools include deep breathing techniques, grounding exercises, and symptom trackers.
9. VA Health Chat
VA Health Chat brings the benefits of a VA care team to your mobile device. You can use the app to chat with medical professionals and other VA team members who can answer questions and get you to the right person. VA Health Chat also offers appointment scheduling, prescription refills, and health care team messages, all through text-based communication.
The app is especially helpful when you have minor concerns that don't necessarily require a doctor visit but still require some quick answers. This app is currently available for veterans who use select VA clinics. You can find out if your clinic is an available location by heading to the VA Health Chat page in the VA app store.
10. Beyond MST
Beyond MST includes resources for veterans and service members who are survivors of military sexual trauma (MST). The app features self-help techniques and information to allow survivors to move through their progress at their own pace and with privacy. App users do not need to create an account or log into the app, and the app doesn't store any personal information.
Survivors can use Beyond MST to read motivational and inspirational articles related to their trauma. There's also a text-based coaching system that can tell you more about the app and give you personalized topics to work on each day. You can also read MST stories from others, look at positive imagery, learn to challenge negative thoughts about yourself, and create your own goals toward wellness.
11. VA Mental Health Checkup for Veterans
Veterans with a mental health disability could find help from the VA Mental Health Checkup for Veterans app. The app is helpful for veterans to provide self-care in mental health situations they'd like to work through privately while receiving the support necessary to improve their symptoms. However, it also includes real-time feedback and the opportunity to fill out assessments to give to your care team.
Through this VA app, you can find mental health resources and learning materials, symptom trackers, and feedback and results from mental health assessments. This app requires veterans to log in securely to keep their health information and personally identifiable information private.
How Do I Install VA Mobile Apps?
Each app in the VA App Store is free for veterans to use. Apps in the VA app store are also listed on the iOS App Store and Google Play. But, unlike Google Play and Apple’s App Store, each mobile app in the VA App Store is just for veterans.
To download an app, visit the appropriate mobile app store for your device. Navigate to the app store from your mobile device. For the Android version of an app, click the Android link to download. For the iPhone version, like the iOS link to go to the App Store and download the app. Then, simply follow the instructions to continue the download and installation.
Veterans can also visit the web-based store to find a version of each VA app that they can launch in their browser. Click on the app you'd like to use. Then, click on the link that says Launch in Browser to begin using it. You can also access the web version of an app from a mobile device, like a phone or tablet, if you'd prefer not to download an app.
Some apps require you to create an account and log in for your privacy, especially if they hold onto your health information. Follow the instructions for each app to determine whether you need to create an account.
Get Help from the VA App Store
In addition to the usual apps on your smartphone, like mobile banking apps and calendar apps, consider adding some from the VA app store to your device. As a veteran, it's crucial to get the care you need and deserve, whether it's self-care or through your VA care team.
The government's VA apps are designed to ensure that you get that care and necessary information right from the privacy of your home. Some VA mobile apps are also available to current service members. Learn more about getting a secure login for specific apps that contain your VA Electronic Health Record (EHR).