The December 2018 veterans disability benefits statistics report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is here. Learn how unrated VA disability pension and compensation claims changed in the last month and how it may affect you.
December 2018 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Inventory Status
The December 2018 veterans disability benefits statistics report lists all claims still pending the VBA’s rating. On December 1, the inventory held 357,677 unrated VA claims. Once more, we see this claim category’s numbers going down dramatically month-over-month:
- As of December 1, 2018: 357,677
- As of November 3, 2018: 365,481
- Difference: -7,804
- Daily churn: -390 claims
Not mentioned in this month’s report is how hard it is to rate newer VA claims. According to the VBA’s 2017 annual report, new VA compensation beneficiaries list at least five service-connected disabilities per claim, on average. Once approved, each vet receives about $11,822 in VA disability benefits, according to the VBA. Most-approved SC disabilities on VA disability claims in 2017 include:
- Tinnitus (159,800 claimants)
- Limited knee flexibility (83,329 claimants)
- Hearing loss (81,529 claimants)
- Cervical/lumbosacral strain, i.e., lower back muscle strains (73,073 claimants)
- Limited arm mobility/range of motion (67,563 claimants)
- Scars — unspecified number or body area (61,580 claimants)
- PTSD/post-traumatic stress disorder (51,273 claimants)
- Limited ankle motion/mobility (50,384 claimants)
- Migraine headaches (41,912 claimants)
- Sciatic nerve paralysis (36,584 claimants)
December 2018 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Backlog Status
Once 125 days goes by, all unrated VA claims automatically move into the backlog. The December 2018 veterans disability benefits statistics report shows they’re working hard before the holidays begin:
- As of December 1, 2018: 81,870
- As of November 3, 2018: 84,383
- Difference: -2,513
- Daily churn: -126 claims cleared from the backlog
Looking at the VBA’s report, it’s easy to see why the agency backlogs so many claims. It shows veterans who served before 1990 have about half as many service-connected disabilities as today’s vets:
- World War II-era veterans: 2.41 SC disabilities each, on average
- Korean Conflict-era veterans: 2.45 SC disabilities each, on average
- Vietnam War-era veterans: 3.83 SC disabilities each, on average
- Gulf War-era veterans: 6.73 SC disabilities each, on average
- Peacetime-era veterans: 3.34 SC disabilities each, on average
Still, the December 2018 veterans disability benefits statistics report shows the VA’s clearing out backlogged claims much faster this month!
You May Qualify for Free Legal Assistance
Veterans with a VA-accredited attorney handling their claims often get paid the most benefits faster than filing on their own. At least 4 in every 5 veterans with lawyers filing their appeals prevail in court. You’ll pay nothing for legal assistance unless a lawyer helps you win. And if your case wins, 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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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.