Recently, the Department of Veterans Affairs reported that it has been making headway at reducing the overwhelming backlog of veterans’ disability claims. Indeed, the agency reported that they number of backlogged disability claims – specifically, the claims pending more than 125 days – has dropped nearly 20 percent from its highest point roughly four months ago.
However, while this drop likely comes as welcomed news to those waiting for disability benefits, critics are still concerned that it is still not enough. Even President Obama conceded as much in a recent speech at the Disabled American Veterans’ convention when he stated, “Today, I can report that we are not where we need to be, but we’re making progress.”
For instance, despite the recent 20 percent drop in backlogged disability claims, there are still nearly 500,000 claims that have been pending more than 125 days – with total claims sitting at 773,000, according to the VA. And, it is numbers such as these have prompted veterans groups to take additional action. Recently, a petition submitted by the group Concerned Veterans for America, and signed by 26,000 veterans, was sent to the White House calling for an end to this backlog.
Sadly, not even Texas been spared from this excessive VA disability claim backlog. In fact, the Texas Veterans Commission has even started hosting clinics and events geared towards helping veterans reduce this backlog. Fittingly, these clinics have become to be known as “Beating the VA Backlog” events.
The frustrating process of seeking VA disability benefits
Although it remains to be seen whether the recent attempts to reduce the VA disability backlog will be successful, one certainty that will likely remain is that the process for obtaining VA disability benefits will continue to be extremely frustrating for many veterans. Not only can the process be a lengthy one – as indicated by the long wait times and immense backlog – but veterans can be denied several times before ultimately being approved for benefits. Unfortunately, disabled veterans must deal with this issue-plagued system if they want to receive the financial compensation and medical benefits that they may be entitled to.
The compensation a veteran receives is generally related to the impairment
ratings given to the veteran by the VA, which range from 10 percent to
100 percent disabling. A rating of 30 percent or higher may even result
in additional compensation for dependents.
Consequently, it is often best for disabled veterans to seek the assistance of an experienced VA disability attorney to guide them through this difficult, and often maddening, process. A skilled attorney can review the facts of a VA disability claim and help prove the connection between the disability and the veteran’s military service.