Recently, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs released its January 2018 veterans disability benefits statistics report. Our update below notes any significant changes during the past 30 days to the VA claims inventory and backlog numbers.
January 2018 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Inventory Status
The January 2018 VA report lists any compensation or pension claims currently awaiting a determination decision from the Veterans Benefits Administration. On January 6, 2018, there were 338,972 applicants listed under VA claims inventory category. The first report for this year shows a slightly higher spike in claims than we saw in December’s inventory update. However, this number’s significantly lower than when the claims inventory numbers reached 883,930 unrated pending applications in July 2012.
- As of January 6, 2018: 338,972
- As of December 2, 2017: 331,714
- Difference: +7,258
- Daily churn: +363 claims
January 2018 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Backlog Status
The claims backlog includes any VA disability benefits applications over 125 days old still waiting for a determination decision. While the January 2018 veterans disability benefits statistics report shows a significant jump in backlogged claims, it’s not surprising. Due to this year’s 2% COLA increase, we expected more disabled vets to file benefits claims just before the holidays. Any measurable jump in the claims inventory category can also cause the VA’s backlog numbers to rise:
- As of January 6, 2018: 83,375
- As of December 2, 2017: 75,621
- Difference: +7,754
- Daily churn: +387.7 claims added to the backlog
If you’re a disabled vet considering filing a benefits application, these numbers shouldn’t discourage you. After all, the VA claims backlog hasn’t surpassed 100,000 disability benefits applications since September 2015. As the year progresses, these numbers will likely fall back down to previous months’ levels.
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
Want VA-accredited filing your claim or securing contingency-based representation during the appeals process? Our experienced VA lawyers are happy to offer free, no-obligation confidential consultations and answer your disability claim questions. Last year, 90% of disabled vets with attorney representation prevailed at their ALJ hearing.
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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.