Veteran’s Administration (VA) reported on June 24 the number of pending disability claims awaiting rating was 801,931. Of those, 524,711 were backlogged for longer than 125 days. Already the numbers have dropped from the previous week when the total number of backlogged claims awaiting rating was at 808,074.
Progress has also been made with disability claims that have been pending for more than two years. About 97 percent of those claims have been processed, according to VA. This includes 2,100 vets in Florida who have been waiting for that long. All of this stems from an initiative that began in April, where focus was put on those claims that had been backlogged the longest.
At the St. Petersburg VA Regional Office, efforts will now be focused on claims that have been pending for more than a year, along with finishing up the remaining oldest claims. This office has been criticized by some applicants who have been waiting more than 560 days to receive a decision. In fact, one vet waited more than 1,000 days until a call from the Tampa Tribune newspaper finally led to an approval.
Just before the initiative in April was underway, there were nearly 70 percent of claims backlogged for 125 days or longer. But the St. Petersburg office, along other VA offices across the United States, are still working toward the goal of eliminating all backlogged claims by 2015.
It can be very frustrating to wait a long time to receive an answer on a disability claim. At the Law Offices of Veterans Help Group we understand this and will do what we can to ensure that the process isn’t delayed any longer than it should be, such as by making sure all paperwork is in order when filing a claim or appealing a decision.