The VA announced that in fiscal 2023, department benefits officials completed nearly 2 million veteran and survivor claims, the most in agency history and up almost 16% from the previous year. During a press call Wednesday, VA Undersecretary for Benefits Joshua Jacobs said through the first three months of fiscal 2024, his staffers are 34% ahead of last year’s pace.
However, the quality of those “completed claims” have been called into question. There are numerous decisions, called duty to assist decisions that simply state that the VA failed to properly process the claim and will move forward with processing. Therefore, no actual decision that has been made.
Further, despite the claims of success from the VA, the back log of cases for first-time benefits claims in the system (cases that have taken more than four months to complete) has now risen to over 400,000 claims, the highest backlog numbers since June 2014. The VA stated that they expect “the backlog to stabilize in coming months and fall back down to pre-pandemic levels in 2025.” Further, officials are expected to release specific projection targets in coming weeks. Only time will tell if the VA will move toward not only significantly lowering the backlog of cases, but ensuring that the completed decisions are adequately processed.
Gardberg and Kemmerly is open for calls and online assistance and will continue to help our Veterans in any way possible, including staying up to date on any information that is helpful to our Veterans in dealing with VA claims. If you have a claim for disability and need assistance, please call our office and speak with one of our qualified Veterans’ Disability attorneys. Gardberg and Kemmerly is committed to helping injured and disabled Veterans obtain the benefits they deserve. If you need help with a disability claim, call the office at 251-343-1111 or 1-800-332-1529 for a free consultation. Gardberg and Kemmerly is proud to serve Veterans across the country from our home office in Mobile, Alabama.