I really don’t like statistics. In the world of VA Disability Compensation there are stats for everything. A recent report released by the VA states that the VA backlog has been reduced by 44%. This means that the total number of claims still backlogged with the VA is 344,000. Now, this may seem like a great improvement, but what do those numbers really mean?
First, let’s address what the VA means by backlogged. According to the VA, a backlogged claim is one that has been pending more than 125 days. That is just over four months, or if you are a Kardashian, a long marriage. On a serious note, most claims, in my experience, take at least 8-12 months to come back from the VA. Granted, there are differences in this timeline depending upon multiple factors. Some Veterans have waited more than 18 months for a decision.
We also need to address this idea of decisions being rendered. While the backlog may be reduced, that does not mean that those Veterans who were granted a decision were approved. It simply means that they are no longer waiting for a decision. It is still very likely that these Veterans have been denied, or given a rating lower than what they were expecting.
Let’s say you were one of the 240,000 Veterans who finally got a decision, but it was denied. Well, you then have to file a Notice of Disagreement, VA-9, and so on depending upon where you are in the timeline. It will still take a long time to receive a decision back from the VA. The same goes if you are waiting for a hearing, regardless of what level you are at in the process.
Am I trying to bash the VA? Not at all. I actually believe that they are making great strides in this backlog and are setting a good foundation for the future. We know that the people at the VA are working hard, and that the system in which they work is the problem. I simply wanted to clarify what to really expect for our Veterans who are waiting to receive the benefits they deserve. When a report like this comes out, the mainstream media picks it up, and then a bunch of people who don’t have experience working with the VA try to report on what it means.
If you are a Veteran who is in need of help with a VA Disability Claim, give me a call today for a free consultation. Our toll free number is 1-877-526-3457. You can also fill out this form if you’d rather I call you.