Let’s review the September 2021 veterans disability benefits statistics report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This report shows each month’s total pending VA claims for disability, pension, and survivor’s benefits. Learn what changed during the past 30 days and how the latest numbers may affect veterans here.
September 2021 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Inventory Status
The September 2021 veterans disability benefits statistics report lists all claims currently waiting on the VA’s disability rating or approval. On September 4, the claims inventory held more than 607,000 pending VA benefit applications. This is the highest we’ve seen the claims inventory go, numbers-wise, since the fall of 2014:
- As of September 4, 2021: 607,710
- As of August 7, 2021: 589,154
- Difference: +18,556
- Daily churn: +928 claims
Of those, about 36% (more than one in three) claims fall into September’s backlog. It’s likely no surprise that the vets most affected by this increase are those who served in Vietnam. What is interesting, though, is the average time it takes to process VA claims, regardless of type. According to the VBA, it now takes about 116 days to review and either approve or rate fully developed claims. (These are claims that veterans file online using only electronic records, and directly through the VA.) However, if an attorney files your claim, the VA processes it about one day faster (115 days total).
So, where does it take the longest for the VA to complete these claim reviews? So far, these VA district offices have the longest claim review times in 2021:
- Cleveland, OH – 170 days
- Louisville, KY – 165 days
- St. Louis, MO – 151 days
- Salt Lake City, UT – 141 days
- Buffalo, NY – 139 days
- Lincoln, NE – 137 days
And these VA district offices have the shortest claim review times in 2021:
- Providence, RI – 74 days
- Milwaukee, WI – 75 days
- St. Paul, MN – 80 days
- Seattle, WA – 87 days
- Chicago, IL – 91 days
- Reno, NV – 92 days
September 2021 Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics: Claims Backlog Status
The backlog category includes any claims more than 125 days old still pending the VA’s review. We’re happy to see both the claims inventory and backlog categories going down again this month:
- As of September 4, 2021: 217,425
- As of August 7, 2021: 185,462
- Difference: +31,963
- Daily churn: +1,598 claims added to the backlog
Once again, Vietnam vets and those who served in the surrounding waters make up most of this month’s backlog. The September 2021 veterans disability benefits statistics report shows 91% of Agent Orange-related claims are backlogged right now. This is almost certainly because too few VA clinics and facilities are open and performing medical reviews for these vets. While the pandemic continues to limit VA operations, I’m afraid most claims will take longer to process. As a result, total VA claims may reach or surpass 2012’s record-setting peak of 883,930 pending applications.
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
About 1 in 10 veterans gets the wrong benefit payment each month, according to VBA data. Those who have a VA-accredited lawyer file their claims may get the maximum monthly benefit they deserve, and faster. Thankfully, all lawyers in our network provide contingency-based representation. That means you pay $0 for legal assistance unless the VA awards you a payout. 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 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.