December 2019 veterans disability benefits report

December 2019 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics Report Overview

Let’s review the December 2019 veterans disability benefits statistics report numbers from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Below, you’ll learn how VA disability compensation and pension claim numbers changed over the last 30 days.

December 2019 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Inventory Status

The December 2019 veterans disability benefits statistics report shows all disability compensation and pension claims pending the VA’s ratings decision. On December 7, the VA’s inventory category contained 386,743 unrated applications. December has always been a historically high month for new benefits claims at various federal agencies. In 2016, December’s report shows 8,500+ new unrated inventory claims, while 2017 featured 7,000+ new applications compared to November. Still, this month’s jump is pretty huge:

  • As of December 7, 2019: 386,743
  • As of November 2, 2019: 367,498
  • Difference: +19,245
  • Daily churn: +915 claims

After last year’s claims inventory shrank significantly, we’d hoped to see similar losses this holiday season. After all, there’s a new (and allegedly faster) VA appeals process in place, right? Yet according to the December 2019 veterans disability benefits statistics report, first-time filers account for just 1 in 3 claims. About 1 in 6 December VA claims requested a decision review, meaning they wish to appeal their initial disability ratings. Those come from veterans already receiving some VA monetary benefits each month, but believe they deserve a higher disability rating. On average, today’s veterans filing VA compensation claims report at least five different service-connected disabilities.

December 2019 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Backlog Status

After 125 days from their filing date, any unrated inventory claims automatically transfer into the VA’s backlog category. Thankfully, the December 2019 veterans disability benefits statistics report shows a major drop in backlogged claims this month:

  • As of December 7, 2019: 66,594
  • As of November 2, 2019: 73,019
  • Difference: -6,425
  • Daily churn: -306 claims cleared from the backlog

About 41% of backlogged claims in the December 2019 veterans disability benefits report come from first-time applicants for SC disabilities. Supplemental claims for new conditions or requesting a higher VA disability rating make up 42% of this month’s backlog. Pension and survivor’s benefits applications take up the remaining 17% of December’s backlog. Today, it takes about 96 days to process fully developed disability compensation claims filed online vs. 102.4 for non-FDC applications.

Obviously, the VA wants to complete these claim reviews as quickly as possible. With that many conditions to review and assign a VA rating, though, speed is less important than accuracy. Still, the VA admits that it made the wrong decision in about 12% of claim reviews in the last year. If you’re concerned about your own VA claim getting the wrong rating or denied in error, talk to a lawyer!

A VA-accredited lawyer can help you get the most veterans disability benefits you’re owed paid faster. In the past three months, VBA data shows first-time disability claims received accurate ratings just 86.5% of the time. That means more than 1 in 6 disabled veterans got paid less than they deserved in monthly benefits! The lawyers in our network are willing to fight the federal government to get you every penny you deserve.

In fact, every lawyer in our network offers free, no-obligation consultations to veterans. Last year, lawyers helped 4 in every 5 vets filing appeals prevail against the VA in court. An attorney can make sure your claim info’s correct and gather medical evidence that best proves your case. Put it this way: Because these attorneys work on contingency, you’ll pay $0 in legal fees if you don’t win. And if your case does win, you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee. (Plus, if government made a mistake but you win your appeals case, we can make them pay your legal fees.)

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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, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity,, 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.