The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs published its March 2018 veterans disability benefits statistics report this week. See any significant changes to the VA claims inventory and backlog numbers over the last 30 days in our analysis below.
March 2018 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Inventory Status
The March 2018 veterans disability benefits statistics report includes compensation and pension claims the Veterans Benefits Administration has under review. On March 3, 2018, the VA claims inventory category held 328,794 applicants waiting for a determination decision. While the claims inventory rose slightly above February’s totals, this month’s numbers are nearly 19% lower than a year ago. And this month’s numbers are down 86% compared to March 2013, when the claims inventory peaked at 611,000.
- As of March 3, 2018: 328,794
- As of February 3, 2018: 328,257
- Difference: +537
- Daily churn: +26.95 claims
As the VA brings its online claims database up to modern standards, we expect these numbers to keep improving. The March 2018 veterans disability benefits statistics report should encourage more disabled vets to file claims.
March 2018 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Backlog Status
After 125 days, any unrated applications still under review automatically transfer from the VA claims inventory into the backlog. Backlogged claims in the March 2018 veterans disability benefits statistics report fell almost 5% month-over-month. In fact, the VA cleared more than twice as many backlogged claims since they published the last report. One year ago, the March report showed over 98,000 backlogged claims — about 26% more than this month’s numbers. We love sharing good news, and the March 2018 veterans disability benefits statistics report shows less than one in four pending applications moved into the backlog.
- As of March 3, 2018: 81,872
- As of February 3, 2018: 83,375
- Difference: -1,503
- Daily churn: -75.15 claims cleared from the backlog
The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 should help streamline the VA’s claim reviews and appeals process. Even now, the VA’s modernization efforts appear to show positive results. In 2019, disabled vets will have three different “lanes” to appeal denied claims or request a higher rating. We’re excited to see how this law will help more disabled vets going forward!
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
Want professional help filing your disability claim with the VA, or someone fighting to win you benefits during your appeal? Our VA-accredited lawyers are happy to offer free, confidential consultations where you can ask questions specifically about your disability claim. Last year, 90% of disabled vets that successfully fought the VA in court had lawyers helping them.
If you’re worried about paying for a lawyer, we offer free assistance to disabled vets who qualify. That means you won’t pay anything for professional help filing your claim. If your lawyer does help you win, then federal law says you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee. It’s the best way to get the most VA benefits you deserve. Plus, you’ll get paid faster than you would applying on your own.
Want someone who really understands the VA claims process to review your paperwork before you file? You can schedule a confidential meeting with one of our lawyers to check your claim for mistakes or missing information. Right now, the VBA website shows about 82% of claims filed in the last three months were error-free. That means that 18% of veterans who applied in the last 90 days got denied just for filling the forms out wrong. What if your claim gets denied because they couldn’t read your handwriting or you accidentally left one field blank?
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.