Page 19

USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

19

NEWS CLAIMS PENDING BY REGION (AS OF OCT. 21)

CHIPPING AWAY VA works to make the claims process faster

Total 325,294

Pacific 61,003

he Department of Veterans Affairs has seen a marked decrease in the number of disability claims it is handling and has doubled down on reducing processing times: Since 2013, the number of active claims has been slashed nearly in half, from a high of 610,000 in 2013 to roughly 325,000 in late October. But the number of backlogged claims — those older than 125 days — saw an uptick at the start of 2017, prompting the department to institute mandatory overtime for claims processors for the fourth straight year. VA Secretary David Shulkin told USA TODAY in September that the department has succeeded in reducing the disability claims backlog and plans to tackle a rise in appeals claims next. “Our goal is to get (those numbers) down significantly, and the appeals legislation that just passed will take 18 months to implement before veterans will see a quicker decision on those,” he said.

Midwest 51,319

T

North Atlantic 72,626

Continental 64,515

Southeast 72,119

Outside U.S. 3,712

STATES WITH THE MOST PENDING CLAIMS (AS OF OCT. 21)

Source: Department of Veterans Affairs

Texas

34,642

California

PENDING CLAIMS IN 2015, 2016 & 2017*

31,796

253,522

Florida 16,541

North Carolina

16,441

Virginia Pennsylvania Tennessee

19.7%

71,240

24.5%

72,623

20%

18.8%

22.7%

New York

12,283 9,794 9,161 9,096 8,865

74,331

33.2%

90,318

25.9%

Georgia

Ohio 74,374

24.6%

20.8%

97,382

40.9%

77,483

95,837

75,395

48.8%

127,916

188,643

■ 2015 pending claims ■ 2015 claims over 125 days ■ 2016 pending claims ■ 2016 claims over 125 days ■ 2017 pending claims ■ 2017 claims over 125 days % of claims over 125 days

22,770

WHO FILES THE CLAIMS

22.5%

Total inventory

Vietnam War

519,530

362,412

389,824

461,677

341,929

375,646

385,337

371,153

368,858

368,771

378,468

330,820

28%

2015

2016

2017

2015

2016

2017

2015

2016

2017

2015

2016

2017

JANUARY

APRIL

JULY

OCTOBER *Date reflects beginning of each quarter

Find out how to get your claim processed faster at: ▶ benefits.va.gov/FDC Applying for any kind of VA benefit for the first time? Visit: ▶ ebenefits.va.gov

Gulf War (1990s conflict)

30%

Peacetime (the end of the Vietnam War to the Gulf War)

11% 4% 3% 1%

Post-9/11 (Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts)

World War II* Korean War* Other era claims*

24% *Percentages are rounded up

Profile for STUDIO Gannett

VETERANS AFFAIRS 2017  

VETERANS AFFAIRS 2017