May 2021 veterans disability benefits statistics report

May 2021 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics Report

Let’s review the May 2021 veterans disability benefits statistics report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This statistical snapshot from the VA shows pending applications for disability compensation, pension, and survivor’s benefits. Our analysis will explain how things changed during the past 30 days, and what these latest numbers mean for veterans.

May 2021 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Inventory Status

The May 2021 veterans disability benefits statistics report lists all pending unrated VA claims. At the start of this month, this category held more than 531,000 claims for VA benefits. This is without question the biggest jump we’ve seen during a single month. It’s also the most unrated claims listed in the VA’s inventory category since 2015:

  • As of May 1, 2021: 531,791
  • As of April 3, 2021: 481,164
  • Difference: +50,627
  • Daily churn: +2,531 claims

Now, let’s look at which veterans are driving this massive spike in VA claims for May:

  • 29% are first-time benefit applicants
    • 93,815 disability compensation claims that list no more than 7 unrated medical conditions
    • 50,425 disability compensation claims with at least 8 health issues that need ratings
    • 9,043 survivor’s benefit claims from deceased veterans’ spouses, children, or parents
    • 2,550 veteran’s pension claims
  • 67% are supplemental claims from veterans who already receive some monthly VA benefits
    • 201,697 claims for additional unrated conditions or requesting higher VA ratings for existing service-related disabilities
    • 71,794 decision review requests for AMA supplemental claims that don’t require additional documentation or C&P medical exams
    • 60,430 presumptive disability claims from Agent Orange exposure
    • 23,008 claims requesting future disability exams
    • 1,195 pension claims requesting increased entitlement or reconsideration
  • 3% are Blue Water Navy claims for Vietnam War-era vets with health problems related to Agent Orange exposure (17,560 applications)

May 2021 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Backlog Status

Once your application takes longer than 125 days for the VA to process, it automatically transfers into the backlog. While overall inventory numbers look terrible right now, at least the backlog’s still going down:

  • As of May 1, 2021: 193,371
  • As of April 3, 2021: 201,614
  • Difference: -8,243
  • Daily churn: -412 claims cleared from the backlog

While VA claims spike, the backlog reductions this month can benefit virtually all veterans. Here’s a closer look at which veterans make up the May 2021 veterans disability benefits statistics report’s backlog:

  • 33% served during the Gulf War
  • 30% served in Vietnam
  • 22% served in either Iraq or Afghanistan
  • 12% served during peacetime (from the end of Vietnam to the beginning of the Gulf War)
  • 2.4% served in Korea
  • .8% served in World War II

You can get free, confidential claim advice from a VA-accredited lawyer near you by phone. That means you don’t have to pay anything, make an appointment, or leave your home to get professional help. Why do we offer this service? At least 1 in every 10 vets gets the wrong VA rating, which means they’re paid the wrong benefit amount. Don’t accept less money than you deserve for pledging your life to defend this great country!

All lawyers making these phone calls work on contingency. So if the VA doesn’t pay you a cash settlement, your lawyer gets $0 for helping you. And if you 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 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, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity,, 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.