We have the January 2022 veterans disability benefits statistics report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This report shows all VA disability, pension, and survivor’s claims currently awaiting the VA’s determination decision. We’ll explain how the latest numbers may impact veterans, along with any other notable changes during the last 30 days.
January 2022 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Inventory Status
The January 2022 veterans disability benefits statistics report shows all claims the VA hasn’t yet rated or approved for payments. On January 1, the claims inventory held at least 625,000 new applications:
- As of January 1, 2022: 625,932
- As of December 4, 2021: 629,574
- Difference: -3,642
- Daily churn: -182 claims
Thankfully, the claims inventory shrank during the past 30 days. However, it’s still more than 142,000 claims above what we saw this time last year in January 2021. Looking back at January 2020’s pre-pandemic numbers, by comparison, this month’s inventory holds 216,294 additional claims. The longer the pandemic rages on, the harder it will be for the VA to reduce these claim numbers. Today, nearly 7 in 10 VA disability claims (69%) takes more than 125 days to process.
January 2022 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Backlog Status
After 125 days, the VA automatically moves any unprocessed claims into the backlog. For the second month in a row, December’s report shows fewer backlogged claims compared to the previous 30-day period:
- As of January 1, 2022: 260,869
- As of December 4, 2021: 256,369
- Difference: +4,500
- Daily churn: +225 claims added to the backlog
This month’s report shows a new peak in backlogged VA claims since the pandemic began in March 2020. We’ve never seen a number this high since spring 2015 — so which claims make up this month’s backlog?
- 35% are Agent Orange-related claims from Vietnam veterans and their families
- 28% are supplemental claims for new, unrated conditions or requests for higher ratings
- 15% are initial VA disability claims with no more than 7 unrated conditions
- 11% are Decision Review Requests for AMA supplemental claims
- 8% are initial VA disability claims with at least 8 unrated conditions
- 2% are requests for future disability exams to reevaluate existing conditions
- 1.3% are survivor’s benefit claims from eligible dependents
In FY2021, Congress allocated $272 million in additional funding just to help reduce the rising claims backlog. The VBA’s FY2021 Financial Report shows they expect to reduce the current backlog to 100,000 claims by mid-2024. In addition, Congress approved another $150 million for record-scanning purposes to speed up this process. Finally, the VA recently requested $13.6 million to hire 95 more employees specifically for processing disability compensation claims in 2022.
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
For at least 10 years, the VA’s given 1 in 10 veterans the wrong rating or mistakenly denied them benefits. A VA-accredited lawyer can help you secure the most benefits you deserve every month with no out-of-pocket legal fees. We can connect you with one right away for a free, no-obligation case review. Sign up for a free phone call below and we’ll put you in touch with a VA-accredited advocate today.
You always pay $0 for legal assistance unless you win a cash settlement. And if you win, then you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee. Need to appeal a denial? Then the government may pay all your legal fees if you win!
Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free online 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.