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Content style guide

Access messages

Appears when the user tries to access an item that’s not available to them. It may be because the record has been deleted, the user doesn’t have access, etc.

Note: See the help users to recover from errors pattern for guidance on when to consider adding instruction to call the VA.gov help desk or other “next-step” call to action.

System downtime

Variations in messaging will be contingent on:

  • Whether or not the downtime is scheduled/expected
  • If scheduled, when the application will be back up (precise time stamp if known, general estimate if not)
  • If not expected, general estimate of when the application will be back up
Scenario Message title Message content Actions Component State Location
Entire site is not accessible (site-wide scheduled downtime) Site maintenance We’re working on VA.gov right now. If you have trouble signing in or using tools, check back after we’re finished. Thank you for your patience.
Date: Day, Date, Year Start/End time: 0:00 a.m. to 0:00 a.m. ET
N/A Plain text N/A Replace page
Entire site is not accessible (expected) VA.gov isn’t working right now We’re sorry. Something went wrong on our end. Please refresh this page or try again later. N/A Plain text N/A Replace page
Application or tool is not accessible [APPLICATION NAME] is down for maintenance We’re making some updates to [APPLICATION NAME]. We’re sorry it’s not working right now. Please check back soon. N/A Plain text N/A Replace page below title
Application or page is accessible (general message; specific iterations to be added later) Some parts of this may not be working You can still use [APPLICATION/PAGE NAME], but some parts of it may not work for you. If you’re having trouble, please try again later. N/A Alert box Warning alert Below page title
Component is not accessible (general message; specific iterations to be added later) [COMPONENT NAME] isn’t working right now We’re sorry. Something went wrong on our end. Please refresh this page or try again later. Go back to previous page Alert box Warning alert Replace affected component
Component is accessible (general message; see application/component specific messages) Some information may not be up to date You can still use [COMPONENT NAME], but you may not be able to see all your updated information. If you’re having trouble, please try again later. N/A Alert box Warning alert Above affected component
Unable to complete an automated task (e.g. save application in progress) We couldn’t save your form We’re sorry. Something went wrong when we tried to save your form. Try saving it again in a few minutes. If you’re on a public computer, you can continue to fill out your form, but your information won’t automatically be saved. N/A Alert box Error alert Below affected component
Unable to complete a user-initiated task, can’t proceed We’ve run into a problem We’re sorry. Something went wrong on our end. Please try again. N/A Alert box Error alert Above page title
Unable to complete a user-initiated task, can still proceed We’ve run into a problem We’re sorry. Something went wrong on our end. You can try again now, or move on to the next step and come back later to complete this. N/A Alert box Warning alert Above page title

Network connection loss

Scenario Message title Message content Actions Component State Location
Application/page/component is not accessible due to user connection loss We can’t load [APPLICATION/PAGE/COMPONENT NAME] Please refresh this page or try again later. Try again Plain text N/A Below page title
Unable to complete an automated task (e.g. save application in progress) due to user connection loss We can’t save your form right now Please make sure you’re connected to the Internet, and then try saving your form again. Try again Plain text N/A Below affected component
Unable to complete a user-initiated task due to user connection loss We’ve run into a problem Please check to make sure you’re connected to the Internet, and try again. N/A Alert box Error alert Above page title

Authorization

Scenario Message title Message content Actions Component State Location
(Application) user’s records are not found We don’t seem to have your records We’re sorry. We can’t match your information to our records. If you think your information should be here, please try again later or call us at 800-698-2411 (TTY: 711). We’re here 24/7. N/A Plain text N/A Replace content below page title
(Page) user’s records are not found We don’t seem to have your records We’re sorry. We can’t match your information to our records. If you think your information should be here, please try again later or call us at 800-698-2411 (TTY: 711). We’re here 24/7. N/A Plain text N/A Replace content below page title
(Component) user’s records are not found We don’t seem to have your records We’re sorry. We can’t match your information to our records. If you think your information should be here, please try again later or call us at 800-698-2411 (TTY: 711). We’re here Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. ET. N/A Plain text N/A Replace affected component
(Application) user is not eligible for a benefit because they aren’t a Veteran/dependent/spouse You’re not eligible for this benefit It looks like you’re not eligible for this benefit based on the information you’ve given us. Please check your eligibility again. Check your eligibility N/A Plain text Replace content below page title
(Application) user is not currently enrolled in a benefit (e.g. not enrolled in Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits) You’re not enrolled in this benefit right now Our records show that you’re not signed up for this benefit. If you think you’re eligible for this benefit, you can apply now. (1) Check your eligibility (2) Apply now Plain text N/A Replace content below page title
(Application) user is not a VA patient We can’t give you access to this tool right now We’re sorry. Only patients who’ve received care at a VA facility can use VA.gov health tools. If you’ve received care at a VA medical center, clinic, or Vet center, please call that facility to find out if you’re in their records. Find your VA facility Plain text N/A Replace content below page title

Empty state

Scenario Message title Message content Component Location
(Application) No data tied to the user or scenario We don’t have any [DATA TYPE (ie, prescription refills or health records)] for you in our system   Plain text Replace content below page title
(Page) no data tied to the user or scenario We don’t have any [DATA TYPE] for you in our system   Plain text Replace content below page title
(Component) no data tied to the user or scenario We don’t have any [DATA TYPE] for you in our system   Plain text Replace affected component
Last updated: Aug 25, 2022