VFW.org

VA ID Card Alert

Cards contain Social Security numbers embedded in bar code

The VA ID cards issued to veterans when they enroll in the VA health care system contain their Social Security numbers embedded in the bar code. The code can be read by many bar code readers. 

The VA has known about this security problem for quite some time.  See: https://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/access/veteran_identification_card.asp

The VFW has learned that the VA will begin mailing veterans new cards beginning in January or February 2014. It is not known how long it will take to mail new cards to the millions of veterans who are currently enrolled in the VA health care system.

Until a new card is received, veterans should protect their VA ID card and only use it when attending an appointment at VA medical facilities. Once the new card is received, veterans are advised to destroy the old card by shredding or cutting it up (cutting between the lines of the bar code, not through them).

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