The originator of the idea works with homeless veterans out of Skid Row in Los Angeles.
What it does
It brings experts and veterans together in one place to exchange information about applying for disability benefits.
How we built it
We heavily customized an open sourced discussion forum called discourse, to provide a great user experience.
To fill out the PDF we relied on the Python fdfgen library as well as the PDFTK PDF manipulation tool. With these were able to create FDF files and merge them into the standard VA form PDF.
Challenges we ran into
Narrowing down the number of features to develop during this hackathon.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Challenging the status quo in order to help fellow veterans, particularly combat veterans.
What we learned
There's nothing like this currently in existence in this space. Other online resources for veterans benefits are focused on getting veterans in-person assistance. This is a radically different approach.
What's next for the Service Connection?
Testing and further developing the prototype with the goal of going live by Veterans Day.