Earlier this month, President Barack Obama said that his administration has reduced Department of Veterans Affairs’ disability claim backlogs by 20 percent.
According to CNN, the agency was overwhelmed by applications due the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “We’re turning the tide. We’re not going to let up until we eliminate the backlog once and for all,” Obama said.
Obama also admitted that the 20 percent decrease is not enough. “I’m going to be honest with you. It has not moved as fast as I wanted,” Obama said. Earlier this year, the Obama administration increased VA mental health services by 7.2 percent and increased the capacity of its crisis line by 50 percent.
According to CNN, the average wait time for a VA claim is 273 days, but in big cities such as New York, veterans can wait for almost two years. CNN also reported that the number of claims pending for more than a year skyrocketed from 11,000 in 2009 to 245,000 in December 2012. Earlier this year, the VA announced that more than 65,000 claims were eliminated from backlogs.
It is encouraging that these claims are being eliminated and processing times have decreased. Aside from VA benefits, a veteran may want to see if he or she qualifies for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. For many veterans, collecting VA benefits does not affect SSDI eligibility or payments.
If you have applied for VA benefits because of a disability, we suggest contacting a Tulsa Social Security disability attorney to see if you may be eligible for SSDI benefits. We offer free consultations, and you may reach us by phone at (918) 587-0050. Contact us today.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys
Troutman Touts: The SSA can review your household income and living arrangements to make sure you continue to meet benefit requirements.