Near the start of each month, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs releases current claims inventory and backlog numbers in a monthly statistics report. See how these numbers changed during the last 30 days in our February 2017 veterans disability benefits statistics summary.
February 2017 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Inventory Status
Pension and compensation claims currently awaiting a determination decision from the VA are included in each month’s report from the Veterans Benefits Administration. On February 4, 2017, 389,932 applications were listed in the claims inventory category. Claims inventory fluctuations happen every month, but the February 2017 veterans disability benefits statistics show an almost complete reversal compared with January’s numbers.
- As of February 4, 2017: 389,932
- As of January 9, 2017: 364,202
- Difference: +25,730
- Daily churn: +1,286.5 claims
February 2017 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Backlog Status
If an application’s waited more than 125 days to receive the VA’s determination decision, it moves into the claims backlog. As of February 4th, 100,593 claims were categorized as backlogged. This means for the first time since fall 2015, the number of claims listed in the backlog broke six figures, ending a 16-month streak of historically low numbers.
- As of February 4, 2017: 100,593
- As of January 9, 2017: 80,173
- Difference: +20,420
- Daily churn: -+1,021 claims added to the backlog
Although this spike in backlogged claims is essentially the opposite of what we saw in January’s report, you shouldn’t worry too much about these higher numbers. The claims backlog numbers in the February 2017 veterans disability benefits statistics report only seems distressingly high when you’re comparing month-over-month numbers. In spring 2013, the backlog rose to more than 600,000 claims. what we’re seeing now is only a moderate overall increase that highlights rising demand from disabled veterans.
Can A VA-Accredited Attorney Help?
You may find it highly beneficial to speak with a local VA-accredited attorney before filing your own disability claim. An experienced disability attorney can walk you through every step of the application process and set appropriate expectations. They can help you gather medical paperwork to submit along with your application that clearly supports your disability claim. Of course, an experienced attorney can also request claim status updates and file your appeal, if needed. Best of all, most Social Security lawyers work on contingency – so you won’t pay legal fees unless you get benefits.
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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.