VA Disability Claim Backlog Almost 900,000
Posted on May 01, 2012
Representative from the Department of Veterans Affairs met with the House Veterans Affairs Committee in late April to discuss the ongoing backlog of veterans’ disability cases as well as steps the VA will take in coming months and years to make the processing time for disability claims shorter. Currently, the VA reported, the backlog is 897,566.
Because of the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan – paired with recent budget cuts – veterans’ disability claims have gone up by 48 percent in the last four years. Because of this, the processing time on 65 percent of claims is more than 125 days, and the error percentage is a staggering 16 percent. The VA believes that they will receive another 50,000 claims next year as injured vets continue to return from overseas and that the backlog will reach 1.2 million.
The VA said that going paperless in the coming years will help cut down the backlog, though the transition is proving to be a challenge. A veteran with the group Disabled American Veterans stressed that while his organization applauds the idea of a faster claim process, they are most concerned with the accuracy of decisions.
The VA said that their goal is to be paperless by the end of 2013 and to have the claim waiting time under 125 days for everyone by 2015. In addition, they are aiming to decrease the error rate to only two percent within three years.