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May 2, 2024

What is the Current Backlog of VA Disability Claims? (2024 Update)

Last updated on May 5, 2024

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If you want to learn how to implement these strategies to get the VA benefits you deserve, click here to speak with a VA claim expert for free.

The good news is VA claims adjudicators continue to work through the backlog of VA disability claims.

  • The number of “backlogged” claims hit a 10-year high of 417,855 in January 2024, and has since decreased by 27% to 307,030 as of May 2024.
  • The number of “pending” claims also hit a 10-year high of 1,098,340 in November 2023, and has since decreased by 13% to 956,777 as of May 2024.

In just six months, the VA has made major progress toward resolving the VA claims processing issues.

Brian Reese the VA Claims Insider recently stated, “I’m pleasantly surprised by the faster-than-expected progress the VBA is making toward resolving the VA claims backlog. It’s clear to me that VBA leadership is prioritizing numerous VA disability system changes for the better, resulting in faster and more accurate rating decisions. That’s good news for veterans and their families.”

Summary of Key Points

  • VA claims adjudicators are actively reducing the backlog of VA disability claims. Significant progress has been made in the past six months towards resolving the issues with VA claims processing.
  • The number of backlogged VA claims reached a 10-year high at 417,855 in January 2024, but has decreased by 27% to 307,030 by May 2024.
  • The total number of pending claims peaked at 1,098,340 in November 2023 but has since decreased by 13% to 956,777 by May 2024.

2024 VA Claims Backlog Update

The VA claims backlog is a big concern for veterans because the longer a claim takes for a decision the longer a veteran is waiting to receive their rightfully earned VA disability benefits.

The good news is that the VA continues to make progress toward burning down the backlog of VA disability claims.

For example, the total number of backlogged VA claims hit its highest point in a decade at 417,855 in January 2024, but has since decreased by 27% to 307,030 as of May 2024.

A backlogged VA claim is defined as a “VA disability claim that requires a rating decision but has been pending for more than 125 days since receipt without a decision.”

Pending VA Claims Update

The number of pending VA claims is also a concern for veterans because it hints at the current workload for VA claims adjudicators—meaning—the more pending claims there are in the system, the longer it will take for a VA rating decision on a submitted claim.

While the VA generally processes claims on a first-in-first-out basis, there are a variety of potential issues that can delay your claim.

For example, the more conditions you file for per claim, the longer it will take a VA rater to review and decide your claim.

Other issues that can delay VA claims processing include not adding the appropriate medical evidence at claim submission, C&P exam scheduling issues, station 499 cloud system errors in the VA’s technology, VBA staffing shortages, VBMS issues, and overdevelopment of claims.

A pending claim “includes VA disability compensation and VA pension claims received by VA that normally require a rating decision.”

3 Tips to Help Speed Up Your VA Claim

You can help the VA help you get your VA claim approved faster, regardless of backlogged VA claims!

The VA Rater is not out to deny your claim — it’s on you to give the VA all the evidence the VA Rater needs to make a more accurate rating decision, faster.

At VA Claims Insider, we teach veterans the “SEM Method,” which stands for Strategy + Education + Medical Evidence = VA Rating You Deserve Faster

#1. Strategy:

Your VA claim Strategy should focus on:

  • 1-3 disability conditions per 1 claim only – simple, simple, simple, think less is more!
  • Mental health claims, simple increase claims, and/or secondary claims (if eligible)

#2. Education:

Your VA claim Education should focus on:

  • High-Value VA disability claims, which are claims that have a high likelihood of being rated at 30% or higher on their own.
  • C&P exam education so you can crush your C&P exam and get the rating you deserve, faster.

#3. Medical Evidence:

Your VA claim Medical Evidence should focus on:

  • Mental health evaluation and Independent Medical Opinion (IMO) is preferred, if and only if, you have a mental health condition.
  • Medical evaluations to include first-time Medical Dx, Nexus Letters, and/or VA DBQs for high value claims only.

Wondering if you should get a Nexus Letter?

If you’ve already submitted your VA claim, you can call 1-800-827-1000, speak to a representative, and ask for the status of your claim.

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Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • ✅ THE LINCHPIN: The ONE Thing You Need to Do Right Now to Win Your VA Claim Faster!
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  • ✅ THE SECRET: The REAL Secret of VA Claim Success That Nobody Else is Teaching Right Now!

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About the Author

Brian Reese
Brian Reese

Brian Reese

Brian Reese is one of the top VA disability benefits experts in the world and bestselling author of You Deserve It: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Veteran Benefits You’ve Earned (Second Edition).

Brian’s frustration with the VA claim process led him to create VA Claims Insider, which provides disabled veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons learned to win their VA disability compensation claim, faster, even if they’ve already filed, been denied, gave up, or don’t know where to start. 

As the founder of VA Claims Insider and CEO of Military Disability Made Easy, he has helped serve more than 10 million military members and veterans since 2013 through free online educational resources.

He is a former active duty Air Force officer with extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multi-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2011 supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO, and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).

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This means you do NOT currently have the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve, and you could be missing out on thousands of dollars of tax-free compensation and benefits each month.

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