The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs issued its February 2019 veterans disability benefits statistics report, so let’s take a look. Learn how unrated VA disability pension and compensation claims changed in the last month below.
February 2019 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Inventory Status
The February 2019 veterans disability benefits statistics report lists all unrated claims pending a decision. On February 2, the claims inventory held 610 more applications than in January’s report. And compared to last year, the VA claims inventory numbers rose 8%. That’s no surprise, since VA benefits rose 2.8% thanks to this year’s COLA increase.
- As of February 5, 2019: 353,682
- As of January 5, 2019: 353,072
- Difference: +610
- Daily churn: +30.5 claims
First-time filers make up just over 34% of this month’s unrated claims in the inventory category. According to the February 2019 veterans disability benefits report, these first-time claimants include:
- 71,361 (59%) vets with 7 or fewer service-connected disabilities
- 32,243 (27%) vets with 8+ service-connected disabilities
- 10,879 (9%) spouses, children or parents applying for survivors’ benefits
- 6,712 (5.5%) vets claiming VA pension benefits
Right now, most vets filing VA disability claims wait more than 90 days for a decision. However, the agency is now making changes in the review process to speed things up. They’re also spreading the workload around a bit differently starting this month. The VA’s goal for this year is to get all disability claims reviewed and rated in 60 days or less.
February 2019 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Backlog Status
After 125 days, the VA moves any unrated pending claims into the backlog. The February 2019 veterans disability benefits statistics report shows a serious drop in backlogged claims since January:
- As of February 2, 2019: 81,073
- As of January 5, 2018: 88,760
- Difference: -7,687
- Daily churn: -384 claims cleared from the backlog
Nearly 23% of February’s unrated VA disability claims fell into the backlog category. However, backlogged claims fell 1% compared to this time last year. We applaud the VA’s efforts to speed up claim reviews! The Agency Financial Report shows appealed claims in 2018 received a VA decision within 66 days, on average. Agency officials should have their faster claim review process in place for backlogged claims by September 30, 2019.
You May Qualify for Free Legal Assistance
A VA-accredited lawyer gives you the best chance for getting the maximum benefits you’re owed paid faster. And VBA reports show that vets with lawyers handling their appeals prevail in 9 out of 10 cases. These lawyers work on contingency, so you’ll pay nothing now for legal assistance. In fact, no lawyer will take your case unless they think you’ll win. And if your case does win, 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!
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.