VA Reports Backlog Down by Over 900 Claims
Each week, IAVA's Research Director, Jacqueline Maffucci, PhD, reports on and analyzes the VA disability benefits backlog.
Tuesday, October 28 | 13:00
This week, the VA reported that the backlog decreased by more than 900 claims. The total number of pending claims also decreased, by about 800 claims. There are currently about 519,000 veterans waiting on a decision from the VA about their disability compensation claim, with over 237,000 veterans waiting more than 125 days.
Although both the number of pending claims and backlogged claims decreased this week, these decreases are much smaller than the amount needed to end the backlog by the end of FY 2015. With just 47 weeks left, the VA will have to reduce the backlog by more than 5,000 claims per week to eliminate the backlog by this deadline.
As the charts below show, momentum in processing backlogged disability claims has slowed in recent weeks. It is important to understand the reason for this slow down and make sure that protocols are in place to address them. In IAVA’s 2014 Red Tape Report, we highlighted the need to ensure that the disability claims process becomes a more dynamic one that can better adapt to the fluctuating needs of the system. This includes ensuring the VA can identify the supports it needs to continually process claims quickly and efficiently.
Overall, the VA has made a lot of progress on the disability claims backlog, reducing it by more than 62% since last year. However, we have a long way to go in reducing the backlog to zero, and keeping it there. As more new veterans return home, we need a system in place to ensure that our veterans and their families receive all of the benefits they have earned. Ending the VA backlog must be the first step in that process.
To hear more about the veterans who have waited or continue to wait in the backlog, visit http://www.thewaitwecarry.org.
* Note: IAVA 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. For more on this, please see IAVA’s blog post from July 22, 2103, “Is the VA Moving the Goalpost?”