VA Warns Disability Claims Backlog Will Get Worse Before it Gets Better

Disability claims skyrocketed last year due to the constraints the pandemic placed on the complex disability claims process. Currently, there are more than 190,000 disability claims in VA’s backlog – the VA predicts that the backlog will increase and peak this summer, estimating around 225,000-to-240,000 pending claims by August.

According to an article published by Federal News Network, “Thomas Murphy, VBA’s acting undersecretary for benefits, told the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Wednesday afternoon. “Under a recent court order, VBA must re-adjudicate over 62,000 Blue Water Navy claims. These claims were added to the inventory in April. In addition, we’re about to begin processing claims for the three new Agent Orange presumptive conditions mandated by Congress of bladder cancer, Parkinsonism, and hypothyroidism. We’ve seen a slow decrease in the backlog over the last couple of months, but these new issues and a continued rollover of claims currently in inventory will see a short-term spike in the backlog this summer.” If all goes well, the disability claims backlog should drop to 140,000 by the end of this fiscal year and return to pre-pandemic levels of about 100,000 by the end of 2022, Murphy said.”

Relevant pages: Veterans Disability