Backlog Excuses Rise
Veteran Disability Lawyer
When VA recognized additional presumptive disabilities, you could expect an increase in claims. So the VA added 3,000 claims processors last year, for a total of 14,000.
Nevertheless, the number of veterans’ initial disability claims taking more than four months to complete has doubled. The number of claims that take more than 125 days to decide has gone from 200,000 a year ago to 450,000 today. This does not count the half million or so claims on appeal after an initial decision.
So, what are the excuses? The VA says the delays are due in part to (1) a generation of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with more complex claims, (2) the expanded compensation for Agent Orange-related illnesses and (3) the poor economy. Nobody doubts the reasons, but action, not excuses, is what is needed by the VA brass.