What does the September 2020 veterans disability benefits statistics report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs tell us? Keep reading to learn how VA disability and pension claim numbers changed during the past 30 days.
September 2020 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Inventory Status
The September 2020 veterans disability benefits statistics report lists all unrated VA claims. On September 5, the inventory held 464,428 unrated claims. For the first time since 2014, we may see the VA’s claims inventory break half a million unrated applications this year. We’d hoped to see these numbers fall as the VA started performing in-person C&P exams again, but no such luck. However, backed-up VA claims show no sign of slowing down yet:
- As of September 5, 2020: 441,509
- As of August 1, 2020: 441,509
- Difference: +22,919
- Daily churn: +918 claims
However, this may simply indicate a surge in first-time applicants who delayed filing claims during this spring’s pandemic-related office closures. About 1 in 3 claims (30%) this month are first-time applications for VA disability compensation. Another 43.5% are supplemental claims for additional service-connected disabilities or higher VA rating requests for worsening conditions. Blue Water Navy Agent Orange claims make up almost 4% of the September 2020 veterans disability benefits statistics report’s inventory.
Initial survivor’s claims account for another 2%. The rest include new and supplemental pension claims as well as decision review requests. According to the September 2020 veterans disability benefits statistics report, 94.8% are currently “pending evidence.” This means the VA requires more information in order to assign ratings and complete those claims.
September 2020 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Backlog Status
Once 125 days goes by, all unrated claims automatically move into the VA’s backlog category. Luckily, backlogged claims showed much less growth in the latest VA benefits report. It still cracked 200,000 unrated claims for the first time since summer 2015, which we anticipated last month:
- As of September 5, 2020: 204,158
- As of August 1, 2020: 198,770
- Difference: +5,388
- Daily churn: +215.5 claims added to the backlog
Now, let’s take a closer look at the veterans that currently make up the September 2020 backlog’s composition:
- 34% are Vietnam War-era vets
- 30% served in the Gulf War
- 21% served in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11
- 12% are peacetime veterans (i.e., served between Vietnam and Gulf War eras)
- 2.2% are Korean War veterans
- .7% are World War II veterans
- .2% served in other periods not noted above
You May Qualify for Free Legal Assistance
You can sign up for a free, no-obligation phone call with a VA-accredited lawyer to discuss your claim. VA records show they gave nearly 1 in 10 veterans the wrong disability rating in the past year. The lawyers in our network are happy to review your claim for free or help you appeal.
All VA-accredited attorneys provide contingency-based legal assistance. In other words, you pay the lawyer $0 if your case doesn’t win. In recent years, 80% of vets with lawyers prevailed against the VA in court. 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.