Veterans Disability Benefits Statistics – February 2016

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Each month, we’ll dive into the veterans disability benefits statistics released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). We’ll take a look at what the numbers say and what it could indicate for you and your claim. This will not only give you a better understanding of the process, but you can get a sense of where benefits are falling each month.



Claims Inventory Status

The claims inventory status is reported by the Veterans Benefits Administration. It consists of pension and compensation claims that are awaiting a decision from the VA. At the moment, 856,593 claims fall under this category. This number is 4,000 less than what was seen in January. Since 2013, is has continued to fall or remain relatively consistent each month.

  • As of February 15, 2016: 355,530

  • As of January 18, 2016: 360,593

  • Difference: -5,063

  • Daily churn: -253.15 claims

While the VA has certainly increased its efforts (the claims in inventory are down from 883,930 in July 2012), the current rate still cannot meet demand. If no other applications were to be filed, then it would take the VA almost six years to get through the current inventory status claims at its current rate. That’s directly impacting the fluctuation of the claims backlog.

Claims Backlog Status

Backlogged claims have been waiting on a ratings decision for longer than 125 days. By February 15, that number was up by a little over 5,000 from last month, but continues to remain on trend with slight fluctuations occurring monthly.

  • As of February 15, 2016: 83,157

  • As of January 18, 2016: ~77,800

  • Difference: +5,357

  • Daily churn: +267.85 claims added to the backlog

The VA is desperately trying to work through its backlog, but the numbers are on the rise again. In late December 2015, the MilitaryTimes reported that the backlog was at 75,000. By mid-January, that number had climbed to almost 78,000, and less than a month later it had already topped 83,000.

But the news isn’t all bad. To put the claims workload into perspective, the backlog is down tremendously since 2013. At its peak, over 600,000 claims were categorized as backlog. In some cases, applicants had to wait years for a determination to be made on their case. The efforts made by the VA to cut through the backlog has positively impacted the system as a whole.

Can An Attorney Help?

If you are looking for assistance to guide you through the veterans benefits applications process, an attorney can be a good resource to turn to. A VA-accredited attorney will be able to help with the collection of medical documents, check on your claims status, and if needed, appeal a denial. On top of that, many attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid once you are awarded benefits.

If you’re ready to connect with a legal representative, simply click on the button below and check your eligibility.

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