Backlog of Veterans' First-Time Disability Claims Reaches Almost 300,000

Backlog of Veterans' First-Time Disability Claims Reaches Almost 300,000

By Veterans Affairs Law posted on September 28, 2023

The volume of veteran disability claims has reached an all-time high. Although the VA claims otherwise, it appears almost 300,000 overdue claims overrun the system. This comes amid a significant expansion in veterans’ benefits, as the VA tries to process several new cases to fulfill last year’s PACT Act.

What is the PACT Act?

PACT Act stands for Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxins Act, an important piece of federal legislation for veterans who were exposed to toxic chemicals and burn pits overseas. It passed in August 2022 with the aim of providing further benefits for disabled veterans who left the service between 2001 and 2013. In essence, it would offer better coverage for Iraq/Afghanistan war vets who had to work around hazardous air-borne substances, known to cause respiratory disease and cancer.

Why We’re Seeing Such a Backlog in VA Claims

As you might imagine, however, with that many veterans trying to make PACT Act claims all at once, the VA has run into quite a log jam. This has been even more strenuous as they impose more and more deadlines on enrollment, while more veterans scramble to file claims.

Of course, the VA had too many back cases during the pandemic lockdowns in 2020. Prior to that, it had gotten its backlog down to about 70,000 cases, but since then, the volume has more than quadrupled. The VA has responded to this workload increase by expanding its workforce by about 20% (roughly 30,000 new workers).

What else has the VA done to respond to this problem?

There is plenty of pressure on its bureaucracy to address the backlog and not allow case levels to balloon out of control like it had 10 years earlier. Much of that pressure comes straight from Congress. In response, the VA intends to digitize its system to expedite its notoriously slow approval processes.

How Do You Avoid This Backlog Difficulty?

So, as we’ve mentioned before, it’s very easy to get stuck in the VA bureaucracy and wait a year to hear from them. While there’s no silver-bullet approach to achieving instant results, you CAN improve your chances for faster turnaround times if you hire professional legal help. Our team of veterans’ attorneys does nothing but this for former military personnel languishing in the VA system, trying to gain disability benefits.

Veterans Affairs Law is here to support American veterans while they attempt to secure their benefits. It’s not the easiest system to navigate (even without the backlog), which is why we offer valuable legal assistance. Contact us anytime to learn more by calling 941-552-6677.

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