April 2021 Veterans Benefits Statistics Report

April 2021 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics Report

We just received the April 2021 veterans disability benefits statistics report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This monthly statistical snapshot lists all pending VA claims for disability compensation, pension, and survivor’s benefits. We’ll explain how these claims numbers changed during the past 30 days, and what this latest report means for veterans.

April 2021 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Inventory Status

The April 2021 veterans disability benefits statistics report lists all outstanding claims submitted for the VA to process. On April 3, there were slightly more than 481,000 pending applications sitting in the VA’s claims inventory. While overall VA claims shrank last month, they’re back on the rise again for April:

  • As of April 3, 2021: 481,164
  • As of March 6, 2021: 479,058
  • Difference: +2,106
  • Daily churn: +105 claims

If you look at the trend line over the past year, total VA claims rose steadily until November 2020. Since then, they’ve hovered right around 480,000 claims per month. The VA’s obviously doing what they can to process benefits for veterans as quickly as possible. They will, of course, prioritize older claims in the current backlog ahead of newly filed VA benefit applications. Almost 1 in 3 claims (31%) are first-time applications for VA disability compensation. Among those, 35% list at least eight service-connected disabilities that require individual VA ratings.

April 2021 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Backlog Status

Any pending claims more than 125 days old automatically move into the VA’s backlog category. Let me just tell you how shocked we were to see this massive shift from March to April! The VA cleared nearly 500 claims per day out of the backlog category during the last 30 days:

  • As of April 3, 2021: 201,614
  • As of March 6, 2021: 211,294
  • Difference: -9,680
  • Daily churn: -484 claims cleared from the backlog

Right now, a little more than half of all first-time VA disability claimants end up in the backlog. Based on this month’s report, there’s no difference in claims for up to seven or eight-plus unrated conditions. So, it appears that the VA isn’t prioritizing claim-processing times based on the total number of health problems. Here are the most-backlogged claims for VA benefits in April:

  • 88.9% of Blue Water Navy claims for Agent Orange exposure
  • 70.7% of claims filed under the Nehmer Agent Orange stipulation
  • 52.8% of initial disability claims that list 8+ unrated health issues
  • 52.4% of initial disability claims that list 7 or fewer health problems
  • 36.5% of claims asking for higher VA ratings or that list new, unrated conditions for vets already paid some benefits
  • 33.8% of claims from surviving spouses, children, or parents of deceased vets

Sign up for a free call from a VA-accredited lawyer near you to get confidential claim advice by phone. You don’t need to make an appointment or go anywhere to get professional VA claim help. So, why do we offer this service? Because current data shows the VA assigns the wrong rating to at least 1 in every 10 vets filing claims. An incorrect VA rating could cost you thousands every year in lost benefits your country owes you for your service!

All lawyers in our network provide contingency-based representation. That means if you don’t win a cash settlement, you owe the lawyer $0 for helping you. And if you win, then you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee.

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Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.