We have the July 2021 veterans disability benefits statistics report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This monthly report from the VA shows all outstanding applications for disability, pension, and survivor’s benefits. Our analysis explains what changed during the past 30 days, and how these new numbers may affect veterans.
July 2021 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Inventory Status
The July 2021 veterans disability benefits statistics report lists all claims now pending the VA’s review for ratings or approval. On July 3, the claims inventory held a little less than 600,000 unreviewed applications. After last month’s progress in clearing out the claims inventory, July’s report holds grim news for veterans. The VA received more than 3,000 benefit claims from vets every day during the past month:
- As of July 3, 2021: 587,447
- As of June 5, 2021: 522,504
- Difference: +64,943
- Daily churn: +3,247 claims
So, which veterans are most affected by this massive jump in the VA claims inventory? Let’s review which types of claims make up this month’s totals:
- Supplemental claims: 34% of vets in this month’s inventory seek a higher VA rating or benefits for additional disabling conditions.
- VA disability compensation: First-time applicants for these benefits account for nearly 1 in 4 claims now pending (24%).
- Agent Orange-related claims: Vets who served in Vietnam or those with presumptive disabilities related to this chemical exposure make up another 24%.
- Decision review requests: 12% of this month’s inventory involves supplemental claims where veterans submitted new evidence that supports their case.
- Pension and survivor’s benefit claims make up the remaining 6%.
July 2021 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Backlog Status
Any claims still pending after 125 days automatically move into the VA’s backlog. Thankfully, the VA’s still clearing claims out of this category as quickly as they possibly can! Veterans applying for VA benefits in 2021 should wait about 115 days before they hear a decision:
- As of July 3, 2021: 188,184
- As of June 5, 2021: 190,309
- Difference: -2,125
- Daily churn: -106 claims cleared from the backlog
According to the VA’s website, Fully Developed Claims (FDCs) filed online take about 116 days to process. Benefit claims filed through an attorney or in person, however, take about 114 days for the VA to process. About 1 in 10 vets filing supplemental claims already have a 100% disability rating or qualify for VA unemployability benefits. This means they already get the max benefit amount they qualify for each month but continue to file new claims or appeals.
Here’s about how long it takes to complete each VA claims stage and retroactive award amounts for 2021:
- 106 days to process VA claim appeals
- 144.5 days to complete requests for higher-level claim reviews
- 126 days to review supplemental claims for additional benefits
- $3,109.97 is the average retroactive VA benefit award
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
Every year, the VA pays the wrong benefit amount to about 1 in 10 veterans, on average. That’s why we strongly recommend having a VA-accredited lawyer file your paperwork instead. Since all VA-accredited lawyers work on contingency, you’ll pay $0 for legal assistance if you don’t win a cash settlement. But if you do win, then you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee. You can sign up for a free phone call today and get confidential claim help without ever leaving your home.
Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free online benefits evaluation now!
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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.