We now have the November 2019 veterans disability benefits statistics report numbers from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Below, we’ll explain how VA disability compensation and pension claim numbers changed within the last 30 days.
November 2019 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Inventory Status
The November 2019 veterans disability benefits statistics report shows total disability compensation and pension claims awaiting the VA’s determination decision. On November 2, the inventory held 367,498 unrated VA claims. It’s not surprising to see a rise in the claims inventory this time of year. Seasonally, this is the first month after the federal government announces its annual cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) increase for the coming year. Starting in January 2020, all veterans in active-payment status will receive a 1.6% monthly benefits increase.
- As of November 2, 2019: 367,498
- As of October 5, 2019: 362,722
- Difference: +4,776
- Daily churn: +239 claims
So, how does this increase in the November 2019 veterans benefits report’s claims inventory affect those waiting for benefits? Original entitlement claims make up just over 35% of this month’s inventory. About 1 in 3 initial claims are from veterans with service-connected disabilities applying for VA benefits. Supplemental claims make up the other 65% in November’s inventory category. The number that stood out is that 47% of pending VA claims are for worsening or additional medical conditions. That means nearly half the vets filing disability compensation claims this month got diagnosed with something new or felt worse. We sincerely hope the VA processes these claims quickly and pays those vets all the money they deserve!
November 2019 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Backlog Status
Pending inventory claims automatically transfer into the VA’s backlog category once 125 days pass with no determination decision. Unfortunately, the November 2019 veterans disability benefits statistics report shows a moderate jump in backlogged claims since October:
- As of November 2, 2019: 73,019
- As of October 5, 2019: 71,017
- Difference: +2,002
- Daily churn: +100 claims added to the backlog
We expect the claims backlog grow this time of year, and the November 2019 veterans disability benefits report bears this out. Seasonally, more vets file VA benefits claims during the fall. In addition, the feds just announced a COLA increase for 2020. According to the November 2019 veterans disability benefits statistics report, about 1 in 5 claims this month moved into the backlog. The current average processing time for fully developed VA claims is 94 days; for all others, it’s about 100 days. That means it’s inevitable that some VA claims take much longer to review before rendering a determination decision. This month, about 1 in 10 VA claims listed at least eight unrated conditions.
Obviously, the VA wants to complete these claim reviews as quickly as possible. With that many conditions to review and assign a VA rating, though, speed is less important than accuracy. Still, the VA admits that it made the wrong decision in about 12% of claim reviews in the last year. If you believe you either got the wrong VA rating or they mistakenly denied you benefits, talk to a lawyer!
You May Qualify for Free Legal Assistance
A VA-accredited lawyer won’t charge you for legal advice or a claim review. In fact, every lawyer in our network offers free, no-obligation consultations to disabled veterans. Recently, lawyers helped 4 in every 5 veterans prevail against the VA in court. No advocacy group has a better case-win rate, or helped more vets hold the VA accountable for their mistakes. A lawyer can make sure your VA claim’s correct and includes thorough, convincing medical evidence. It’s the best way to ensure you get the most VA benefits you deserve paid faster. Simply put, if legal assistance doesn’t help you win a cash settlement, you pay the lawyer $0. And if you do win, then you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee.
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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.