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Good news announced regarding VA claims backlog

For years, the Department of Veterans Affairs has been struggling with a significant backlog of disability claims. Just over one year ago, the VA announced that its disability claims caseload had reached a critical tipping point. Thankfully, the VA has good news to report about the current state of the veterans disability application process.

According to data recently released by the VA, the backlog of pending disability claims has been reduced by an impressive 44 percent since March of last year. Practically, this means that 344,000 claims have currently been stalled in processing for longer than 125 days. While this is an unacceptable number, it is a far lower number than the roughly 611,000 claims stalled in processing for that amount of time approximately one year ago.

The secretary of the VA recently acknowledged both that, “No veteran should have to wait to receive earned benefits,” and that the agency still has more work to do to fully right the situation.

Among the work yet to be done is continuing to increase the accuracy of the agency’s determinations so that fewer veterans are compelled to file appeals for unjustified denials of benefits. Currently, the VA estimates that its determinations are only accurate 91 percent of the time. That means that approximately one in 10 veterans needs to either file an appeal or is otherwise affected by an incorrect determination.

While experienced attorneys can help veterans with this process, it is one that should be avoided whenever possible. When the VA correctly determines that a veteran deserves benefits during the initial application process, an appeal will become unnecessary.

Source: The Washington Post, “Veterans Affairs’ backlog of claims down 44% since peaking a year ago, department says,” Josh Hicks, April 1, 2014

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