The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) disability claims backlog reached its lowest point ever, Nov 23 from its previous record low achieved May 2018.
Additionally, the percentage of the total inventory in backlog is less than 18%, surpassing the previous record from October 2016.
“I’m pleased with the Veterans Benefits Administration’s delivery on our commitment to improve customer service and provide benefits in a way that honors Veterans for their service,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This is evidence, that VA’s unprecedented modernization efforts are yielding positive results.”
These milestones follow VA’s highest ever claims process output of 1.44 million claims completed at the end of fiscal year 2019, 4% more than its prior best-ever in 2015.
VA’s strategic target is to process disability claims within 125 days. Since Oct. 1, approximately 75% of those claims have been completed in that time frame.
Veterans who apply for disability benefits currently receive a response in an average of 107 days. This includes first-time claims from recently-discharged Veterans and older Veterans who file claims for additional benefits. Some claims take longer due to complex evidence requirements and medical examination scheduling necessary to decide the claim.