August 2020 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics Report Analysis

August 2020 veterans disability benefits statistics report

What’s new in the August 2020 veterans disability benefits statistics report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs? Keep reading to see how applications for VA disability and pension benefits changed over the past 30 days below.



August 2020 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Inventory Status

All unrated VA claims appear in the August 2020 veterans disability benefits statistics report. On August 1, the claims inventory held 441,509 unrated applications. Since January, the VA claims inventory has mostly stayed above 400,000 unrated applications every month. In July, the VA re-started in-person C&P exams for 76% of pending claims across the country. Coronavirus closings delayed many claims in the August 2020 veterans disability benefits statistics report. Hopefully, reopening 112 office locations will result in a lower number for next month’s report:

  • As of August 1, 2020: 441,509
  • As of July 4, 2020: 425,370
  • Difference: +16,139
  • Daily churn: +807 claims

And while the pandemic’s partly to blame for this increase, it doesn’t tell the whole story. The VBA’s latest report shows they processed 42% of Blue Water Navy claims submitted this year. Those claims grant presumptive VA disability benefits to anyone who served within 12 nautical miles of Vietnam. In addition, anyone who served in the Korean Demilitarized Zone may also qualify for Agent Orange benefits. Essentially, the VA assumes if you served during that period in that general area, you can get Agent Orange benefits. The VA assumes these 14 conditions are service-connected disabilities that qualify for benefits:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Early onset peripheral neuropathy
  • AL amyloidosis
  • Chloracne (acne-like lesions that appear after chemical exposure)
  • Porphyria cutanea tarda (painful, blistering skin eruptions that come from direct sunlight exposure)
  • Hodgkin’s disease
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Prostate cancer
  • Lung and other respiratory cancers
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Chronic B-cell leukemia
  • Soft-tissue sarcomas (but not mesothelioma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, chondrosarcoma or osteosarcoma)

So, how have these Agent Orange claims affected the August 2020 veterans disability benefits statistics report’s claim-processing times? On average, supplemental claims take 74 days, higher-level reviews take 78 days and initial applications take 90 days to process. Pension applications take 86 days, on average, while claims from dependent spouses, parents and children take 75.3 days to complete.

August 2020 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Backlog Status

Any claim the VA doesn’t complete within 125 days automatically moves into the backlog. The August 2020 veterans disability benefits statistics report shows another massive backlog increase this month. It now holds nearly 3x more unrated claims than it did in December 2019:

  • As of August 1, 2020: 198,770
  • As of July 4, 2020: 168,172
  • Difference: +30,598
  • Daily churn: +1,530 claims added to the backlog

Now, let’s look at what the August 2020 veterans disability benefits statistics report’s backlog category currently holds:

  • 38% are supplemental claims for higher ratings or new conditions
  • 27% are first-time VA disability claims for up to 7 conditions
  • 13.4% are decision review requests for AMA supplemental claims
  • 10% are initial VA disability claims for 8+ conditions
  • 9% are Blue Water Navy Agent Orange claims
  • 1.5% are first-time claims for survivor’s benefits
  • .5% are initial or supplemental pension claims

This month’s report also shows that where you live makes a difference in how long you wait for benefits. For example: Almost 69% of VA claims in Cheyenne, Wyoming take more than 125 days to process. But in Indianapolis, it takes the VA just 58.1 days to process your claim!

You May Qualify for Free Legal Assistance

A VA-accredited lawyer can make sure you get an accurate claim rating and maximize your monthly payments. Nearly 1 in 20 veterans don’t get all the benefits they deserve after their claim’s approval. Not sure if you need a lawyer to help with your VA disability claim? Sign up for a free phone call to get confidential advice from the closest advocate available to help you today.

All VA-accredited attorneys work on contingency. That means you pay $0 for legal assistance unless the VA approves your claim or you win your appeals case. In recent years, 4 in every 5 veterans with legal assistance prevailed against the VA in court. If you don’t win, you don’t pay your lawyer any legal fees. And if you win, then you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee.

Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free benefits evaluation now!

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