Find benefits and services includes several features in service of the product goal: to help Veterans and their families find relevant benefits and confidently take the next steps. Feature development is informed by research and iterated through testing and design insights.
The product features can be divided into three elements: the guided experience, the benefits directory, and information for next steps.
The guided experience
When users first arrive on the product, they need some simple guidance to find their relevant benefits so that they’re not overwhelmed with information. This experience guides the user through a series of questions to narrow down which benefits meet their needs depending on who is receiving the benefit, the Veteran’s service type and service status, if the Veteran has a service-related health issue, and the selected benefit categories.
Filtering benefits by category
Each benefit has been assigned to a category, i.e. emergency funds, medical assistance, or elder care. Users are shown which categories are available and can filter benefits by category to more quickly find ones that meet their needs.
Viewing example information for what the benefits offer
Some benefits have a section where people can read examples of what the benefit offers. This is in short, bullet form and helps people gain a better understanding of what the benefit is for.
Searching benefits by name or description
People can search for benefits from the homepage or from within the benefits directory. Veterans or family members can quickly surface the benefit that meets their need.
Saving relevant benefits
Without logging in, Veterans and their families can curate a list of relevant benefits to save for later or send to a friend.
Discovering associated benefits
Most benefits have an associated benefit; if you are eligible for one , you are automatically eligible for another. Associated benefits are listed together, so that users don’t have to make the connection between the two themselves.
Printing saved benefits
Many Veterans go in-person to VAC area offices and having a printed list of relevant benefits jump-starts their conversation with VAC frontline staff. The printed list includes selected filters, the saved benefits, and relevant information for contacting the area offices.
Next steps list
Depending on the path entered in the guided experience, people are presented with a list of next steps. The next steps are linked to a user path, since the next steps applicable for Veterans can be different than those for organisations.