The December 2017 veterans disability benefits statistics report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is now available for review. See our analysis below for any significant changes in the claims inventory and backlog numbers during the past 30 days.
December 2017 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Inventory Status
The Veterans Benefits Administration lists any unapproved pension and compensation claims in the December 2017 veterans disability benefits statistics report. On December 2, 2017, there were 331,714 applications awaiting a determination decision in the VA claims inventory. Unfortunately, this newest report reverses any claims inventory reductions we saw since November. However, we expected higher numbers in the December 2017 claims inventory due to next year’s COLA increase. Since the 2018 2% raise is the largest veterans have seen for several years, claim numbers could rise in the coming months.
- As of December 2, 2017: 331,714
- As of November 4, 2017: 324,686
- Difference: +7,028
- Daily churn: +351.4 claims
December 2017 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Backlog Status
If the VA hasn’t approved an application after 125 days, then it automatically transfers into the backlog category. Much like last month, the December 2017 report shows an increase in the claims backlog numbers:
- As of December 2, 2017: 75,621
- As of November 4, 2017: 75,498
- Difference: +123
- Daily churn: +6.15 claims added to the backlog
Despite adding a few hundred claims over the last 60 days, the total backlog numbers are still very low. This holiday season, we hope the VA redoubles efforts to clear more claims from the backlog before the year ends. Luckily, December’s report shows only a slight increase in the backlog. Vets considering applying for benefits should do so now, since approved applicants will receive bigger monthly payments in 2018.
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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.