The October 2020 veterans disability benefits statistics report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is now available. We’ll explore how VA disability benefits claim data changed over the past 30 days and what it means for veterans.
October 2020 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Inventory Status
The October 2020 veterans disability benefits statistics report shows all pending unrated VA claims. On October 3, the claims inventory held 475,290 unrated applications. For the first time since late 2014, we may see the VA’s claims inventory break half a million unrated applications this year. While claims are still rising, they’ve slowed down somewhat since September’s report came out:
- As of October 3, 2020: 475,290
- As of September 5, 2020: 441,509
- Difference: +10,862
- Daily churn: +543 claims
Almost 1/3 of unrated applications in the October 2020 veterans disability benefits statistics report are from disabled first-time claimants. Surprisingly, unrated supplemental claims make up 63% of the total inventory for October. In fact, the VA likely chose to prioritize first-time disability applicants ahead of those already receiving monthly benefits. According to this month’s report, veterans filing 1 in every 10 supplemental claims already receive the maximum monthly benefit payment. Nearly half (48%) already have at least a 50% VA disability rating and get some compensation each month.
For first-time claimants in the October 2020 veterans disability benefits statistics report, here’s how those numbers break down:
- 30.5% are disability compensation claims that list at least 8 unrated conditions
- 62% are disability compensation claims with no more than 7 unrated conditions
- 5.8% are survivor’s benefit claims (i.e., from wives, children or parents of deceased veterans)
- 2% are initial pension claims
October 2020 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Backlog Status
After 125 days, the VA automatically moves all unrated claims still pending into the backlog category. For the first time since we can remember, the VA’s backlog shrank month-over-month:
- As of October 3, 2020: 203,837
- As of September 5, 2020: 204,158
- Difference: -321
- Daily churn: -16 claims cleared from the backlog
The most interesting thing to note in this month’s backlog is the total number of Blue Water Navy claims. As we mentioned before, this is the new category created exclusively for handling Agent Orange claims. Just over 90% of those claims moved into this month’s backlog, showing the VA considers them lower priority than others. Where you file can delay your claim-processing time, too. Nationwide, you have as much as a 50/50 chance of the VA backlogging your claim. States with the longest average VA claim-processing times include:
- Maine (158 days)
- New Hampshire (155 days)
- Connecticut (153 days)
- Rhode Island (151 days)
- New Mexico (150 days)
- Hawaii, Massachusetts, Vermont (149 days)
- Minnesota (148 days)
- Alaska, Oregon, South Dakota (147 days)
You May Qualify for Free Legal Assistance
You can get free, confidential claim help from a VA-accredited lawyer over the phone today. Government records show nearly 1 in 10 veterans received the wrong VA disability rating in the last year. Talking to a lawyer about your claim is always free. In addition, this phone call won’t obligate you to do anything else.
All VA-accredited attorneys work on contingency. That means you pay $0 for legal assistance unless the VA pays you a cash settlement. And if you do 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 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.