Let’s review the December 2020 veterans disability benefits statistics report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This monthly statistical report covers all outstanding disability compensation, pension and survivor’s benefits claims. Learn how VA claims data changed during the past 30 days and what it means for veterans below.
December 2020 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Inventory Status
The December 2020 veterans disability benefits statistics report lists all unrated claims pending the VA’s decision review. On December 5, the claims inventory held more than 481,000 unrated claims. More than half of all first-time pending claims are taking more than 125 days for the VA to process (51.5%):
- As of December 5, 2020: 481,752
- As of November 7, 2020: 480,004
- Difference: +1,748
- Daily churn: +87.4 claims
Blue Water Navy claims for Agent Orange-related disabilities make up less than 4% of December’s claims inventory. About 1 in every 5 first-time claimants (21%) requested VA disability ratings for up to seven different conditions. At least 1 in 10 vets applying for VA disability listed a minimum of seven different health issues requesting ratings.
December 2020 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Backlog Status
If the VA takes more than 125 days to finish processing any claim, it automatically transfers into the backlog category. Unfortunately, this month’s backlog grew quite a bit, likely because the VA’s still underwater with in-person exams:
- As of December 5, 2020: 208,047
- As of November 7, 2020: 203,550
- Difference: +4,497
- Daily churn: +225 claims added to the backlog
Not surprising, really, since December’s report also indicates that 98% of outstanding claims are “pending evidence.” In other words, the VA’s still trying to work through its backlog of in-person C&P exams for older claims. If we had to guess, we’d expect this bottleneck to take at least 6-12 months to resolve. Since the pandemic’s still going strong, we doubt the VA backlog will fall back below 100,000 claims before 2021 ends.
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