On Monday the VA reported that the disability compensation claims backlog1 decreased by more than 4,700 claims, while the total number of claims decreased by more than 3,700. There are currently almost 120,000 claims in the backlog, meaning that they have been pending for more than 125 days. Those in the backlog make up about 32% of the total number of claims. Overall, there are more than 376,000 disability compensation claims pending.
To meet the deadline to end the VA backlog by the end of FY 2015, the VA must reduce the backlog by at least 2,855 claims per week. The VA has reduced the backlog by more than 81% since March 2013. Since that same time, the VA has processed 4,178 claims per week on average.
While there has been steady progress on the backlog, the VA will need to improve their progress in processing disability claim appeals, which continue to rise. There are currently more than 308,800 pending VA appeals.
To read more about the VA disability compensation process and IAVA’s recommendations to eliminate the backlog, read IAVA’s 2014 Red Tape Report. To hear more about veterans’ experiences with VA benefits and healthcare, visit The Wait We Carry.
1IAVA continues to track and report backlogged claims to include claims not counted in the VA’s Rating Bundle. IAVA does this because we believe that claims from all veterans and their families should be included in the goal to end the VA Backlog by 2015.