Skip to main content

Lighthouse APIs Provide Solutions to Improve the Veteran Experience

Back to the news

  • Published on: January 8, 2021

The Lighthouse Application Programming Interface (API) platform provides a portfolio of public-facing APIs, allowing third parties to “plug into” the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to send and retrieve data, like plugging an appliance into a wall socket. Through the Lighthouse API platform, Veterans are empowered to share their data with trusted third parties in a secure, controllable manner. Currently, Veterans can consent to share their VA records with several third party applications including Apple HealthiBlueButtonOneRecord Health and others.

The API capability simplifies and streamlines Veteran access to VA data and services, while reducing administrative burden. VA provides critical services and benefits to more than 19 million Veterans. In years past, the process of applying for and obtaining access to VA benefits (such as disability compensation) was time-consuming, difficult and slow, causing Veterans to wait weeks, or often months to receive an award decision.

VA is the largest healthcare provider in the United States, but until recently, Veterans were unable to digitally share their VA records with third-party applications. Now, thanks to the VA Lighthouse API platform, a Veteran can choose to securely share his or her VA health records with third parties, enabling innovative and beneficial uses of that data.

VA prioritized development of Benefits Intake APIs to enable digital submission of Veteran claims, eliminating the administrative burden of faxing or mailing paper forms, reducing claims adjudication time by up to 6 days.

The Benefits APIs have made the benefits process easier for Veterans by enabling digital submission of any claims application form, bypassing the need to mail or fax forms to VA. Since the launch of the Benefits Intake API, more than 68,000 claims have been submitted online. Prior to the launch, approx. 65-70% of forms were submitted by fax, with the remainder by USPS mail. In June, more than 22,700 forms were completed online. Due to continued adoption of the Benefits Intake API, digital submissions now encompass over 5% of all claims received by VA.

This year the VA Lighthouse API team will continue to enhance API services to help Veterans and their advocates work with VA. The team will expand API functionality to enable better collection and management of Veteran health data, launch the appeals API, enabling digital submission of appeals forms, and expand integrations with other government agencies and third parties to provide Veterans with an increasingly streamlined experience when interacting with VA.

For more information and to receive updated on VA’s Lighthouse API program, visit VA Lighthouse API news and updates or email

Our commitment to digital and IT transformation is shaped by daily dedication to customer service and the close collaboration of our workforce, managers, and leaders. Ready to join us in improving Veterans’ care? Check out all current information and technology career opportunities on DigitalVA. You can also contact VA’s Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer at 512-326-6600, Monday thru Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST or by submitting a resume to

Share This Story


This page includes links to other websites outside our control and jurisdiction. VA is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of non-VA Web sites. We encourage you to review the privacy policy or terms and conditions of those sites to fully understand what information is collected and how it is used.

Page last updated on January 8, 2021


An official website of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Looking for U.S. government information and services?

We’re here anytime, day or night - 24/7