VA smart cards link to benefits
- By Judi Hasson
- Dec 11, 2000
The Department of Veterans Affairs will distribute 200,000 smart cards to
military veterans and agency employees by next June to help them apply for
their benefits over the Internet.
In the first major step to distribute smart cards across the federal
government, 3-G International Inc. has been selected to provide the security
and authentication to make the program work.
During the first phase of the $3.6 million contract, VA Express cards
will be distributed in the Chicago area. The smart card distribution paves
the way for the use of 3GI's Passage software with up to 4 million VA Express
cards for veterans and VA employees.
The company will issue the smart cards — similar in size to a credit
card — under a reseller agreement with Maximus Inc.
The cards contain administrative, clinical and eligibility information
as well as a veteran's digital signature on a microchip. The technology
will enable veterans to conduct digitally signed transactions over the Internet
for such benefits as education reimbursements, disability checks and survivor
"We're providing network security capability and authenticating who
it is to the [VA]," said Tom Gregg, 3GI's chief executive officer.
The company also is providing authentication software and services for
more than 500,000 smart cards to other agencies, including the Defense Department,
the Navy, the Air Force and the General Services Administration, according