December 2023 veterans disability benefits statistics report

December 2023 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics Report Analysis

We’ve completed our analysis of the December 2023 veterans disability benefits statistics report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Every month, the VA issues a new report showing how claims numbers from veterans changed during the last 30 days. Below, we’ll explain how the VA’s newest numbers may impact veterans and their families who rely on these benefits.



December 2023 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Inventory Status

All VA benefit claims currently under review appear in the December 2023 veterans disability benefits statistics report. This monthly update lists applications for disability, pension, and survivor benefits that need ratings or the VA’s approval for payment. Based on this latest report, the VA’s claims inventory shrank nearly 2% between November 4 and December 2, 2023:

  • As of December 2, 2023: 1,079,564
  • As of November 4, 2023: 1,096,839
  • Difference: -17,275
  • Daily churn: -864 claims

Today, it takes the VA at least 148 days to review each veteran’s claim. That means the soonest you can get VA disability compensation or pension payments is 6 months from your filing date.

Appealed claims aren’t listed in the December 2023 veterans benefits report. However, here’s how long it takes to process different types of appeals in the November 2023 AMA metrics report:

  • 605 days for direct review requests (i.e., appeals that don’t include new medical evidence for the VA to consider)
  • 697 days for appealed claims with new medical evidence for the VA to review
  • 713 days for appeals hearings in front of an administrative law judge

Now, some good news: The VA approved 55% of supplemental claims filed so far in 2023!

December 2023 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Backlog Status

Now, let’s look at backlogged claims in the December 2023 veterans disability benefits report. Any applications the VA still hasn’t finished processing after 125 days ends up in the backlog category. Unfortunately, we saw a big bump in backlogged claims for the last month of this year:

  • As of December 2, 2023: 318,221
  • As of November 4, 2023: 301,408
  • Difference: +16,813 claims
  • Daily churn: +841 claims added to the backlog

Nearly half (47%) of December’s backlog involves claims from vets who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another 1 in 4 claims (24%) come from Vietnam War vets.

Gulf War vets make up about 1 in 5 (19%) backlogged claims this month. Finally, 1 in 10 (9%) claims in this month’s backlog come from peacetime veterans. These are former military members who served between the end of Vietnam and the start of the 1990s Gulf War.

Claims from Korea, World War II and other service era veterans make up less than 1% of December’s claims backlog.

Get Free VA Claim Help from a Local Expert

The VA admits it made mistakes on at least 13% of veterans’ claim reviews during the past year. Why settle for less money each month than you rightfully earned through military service? We can connect you with a VA-accredited attorney who can help you get all the benefits you need and deserve.

Under federal law, your lawyer must charge you $0 if your claim isn’t successful. And if the VA awards you benefits, then your lawyer gets just one small fee out of your lump-sum award.  

Want to speak with a VA-accredited expert near you for free? Click the button below to start your free online benefits quiz and see if you may qualify:

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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.