Wednesday, November 25th, 2015
According to the VA, the claims backlog comprises disability compensation and pension claims received by the VA requiring a rating decision. In March 2013, the claims backlog reached a peak of 611,073 cases; however, according to the VA, the backlog has been steadily reduced in size to 73,777 as of November 21, 2015. You may view VA’s claims backlog chart here. The 73,777 number is somewhat misleading because VA considers claims appealed following a rating decision in a different category and tracks them separately.
The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) provides weekly reports from the 56 regional offices regarding processing of Compensation, Pension, and Education benefits. The VBA reports contain data covering claims inventory, claims backlog, claims accuracy, and Fully Developed Claims. Although VA does not explain fully, the VBA notes that, as of November 21, 2015, the total number of pending claims, which include disability compensation and pension claims that have been received by VBA and that require development and a decision by a VBA claims processor, totals 369,521. This represents a significant drop from 883,930 pending claims in July 2012.
While VA’s reports indicate some progress, it should be noted that these numbers are fluid. In other words, they keep changing and depending on how one defines the claims backlog, to include cases waiting for a rating decision, to be issued a Statement of the Case, or to be transferred to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, the numbers change.