The White House administration has been making steady progress in reducing the number of backlog disability claims among veterans. According to an Associated Press report, while in March there were 611,000 claims pending for 125 days or more in the backlog, this number has been reduced to 500,000 pending claims in the backlog.
This reduction comes after the Department of Veterans Affairs made an announcement in May about plans to reduce the number of backlog disability claims. These plans included requiring all VA employees to work a minimum of 20 overtime hours per month and to start prioritizing those claims that have been pending for more than a year.
While the administration is working to take care of the pending disability claims backlog, there may be an increase in the number of veterans filing claims related to being exposed to Agent Orange. This is due to the fact that a Washington Post report found some military members may have been exposed to the chemical after the Vietnam War. One former post-Vietnam Air Force pilot has even had his once denied claim reversed.
For veterans seeking disability, while the administration focusing efforts on reducing the backlog is certainly a good thing, people seeking disability of any kind — whether a veteran or not — should keep in mind there can be a lot of red tape one must go through.
In some cases, like that of the Air Force pilot just mentioned, a claim will initially be denied. However, this does not mean an appeal is not possible. In these circumstances, an attorney with experience fighting a denied disability claim should be contacted.
Source: The Washington Post, “Obama says VA has reduced backlog of disability claims,” Josh Hicks, Aug. 12, 2013