Historically, veterans with disabilities often suffered a significant wait time to get benefits. In 2012, many veterans were waiting nine months to a year to get the benefits they deserved. While the backlog for benefits and wait times have significantly decreased in recent years, it is important to know exactly what you face if you are filing for Veterans’ disability benefits.
Three Things You Need to Know
Whether you have already applied for disability benefits or you are considering filing an application, it is important to know that:
- The backlog has decreased in recent years, but it has not been eliminated. The claims backlog fell from over 611,000 in March 2013 to under 100,000 in 2015. In November 2016, the backlog was 84,041. A backlog is defined as a wait of more than 125 days. As of November 5, 2016, there were 8,566 claims pending in the Houston office and 9,963 claims pending in the Waco office. These claims include, but are not limited to, disability claims. As of November 5, 2016, the average time for a decision to be made in Houston was just over 388 days and the average time for a decision to be made in Waco was more than 270 days.
- A benefits application that is denied is not counted in the backlog. Thus, while your claim is being appealed, it is not considered to be on backlog even though you are not receiving the benefits you have earned.
- An incomplete or incorrect application can delay your claim or prevent your claim from being decided in a timely manner. Accordingly, it is important to protect your rights by filing a complete and truthful application.
And You Have the Right to Get Help
While a Veterans’ disability lawyer can’t get you ahead in the line of waiting veterans, we can make certain you navigate the process correctly and receive benefits as soon as possible. We can also help veterans whose claims have been wrongly denied get the benefits they deserve. To learn more, schedule a confidential consultation at Morgan & Weisbrod by calling 800-800-6353.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.