The Trump administration's veterans affairs hotline has received at least 107,600 calls since its launch in June 2017, according to the Veterans Affairs Department.
The hotline started with limited hours before it became operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week in mid October.
Though the administration calls it a White House hotline, calls aren't going to the White House, but rather to agents working out of a VA facility in West Virginia. Most of the staff are veterans or family members of veterans, and their job is to answer inquiries, provide directory assistance, document concerns about VA care, benefits and services, and to expedite the referral and solution of concerns, the VA said in a November 2017 news release.
The hotline, (855) 948-2311, "provides veterans a supplemental option to report issues if they are not being addressed through VA's normal customer service channels," the release said.
Former VA Secretary David J. Shulkin in November said the hotline allowed veterans to talk to live agents who could "answer their needs and concerns." Some veterans have found it useful, while others have described it as "just another layer of bureaucracy."
An Aug. 5 Washington Post story chronicled a day's work for an agent. The agent's ability to help veterans was limited. When an Air Force veteran called to report an error in a bill, the agent could not see in her system why the bill was sent; she couldn't access his benefits or medical records even with his permission; and couldn't call the provider to inquire about it, the newspaper reported.
"All she could do was type his problem and send it to a different team in a different place that would respond in approximately 60 business days, if it responded on time," the Washington Post story said.
The VA told PolitiFact that between Oct. 15 (when the hotline became 24/7) and July 27, the hotline has classified 29,126 cases as concerns, and 25,953 of those cases have been resolved. In July 2018, the average was 24 days for resolution, the department said.
"The hotline serves as an important feedback mechanism that allows VA headquarters officials to identify trends more quickly than before. It is also the only VA contact center that provides enterprise-wide complaint, compliment and recommendation intake," the VA said in a statement to PolitiFact.
The Trump administration launched a number for veterans to call and voice their complaints, as Trump promised. We rate this pledge as Kept.