Delays in VA Disability Appeals

The process of applying for VA disability compensation benefits can be frustrating.  As we have mentioned in past articles on this blog, the average time from application to receiving an initial decision was more than 260 days in 2012.  VA has been working to reduce the backlog of initial applications waiting for a decision.  However, VA’s effort may lead to a backlog of appeals from those initial decisions.

Are VA Appeals Delays Increasing?

A recent article at Military Times reports that lawmakers are concerned over an increase in the time that it takes for a veteran to make it through the appeals process.  According to this article, members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee questioned VA officials recently over reports that wait times for appeals to be completed had reached an average of more than three and a half years.  If true, this does seem to show that the average time for completing an appeal is increasing within the last year.

What Can I Do About VA Appeals Delays

Hopefully, VA will focus resources on finding ways to reach the correct decisions on appeals more quickly. In the meantime, it is important not to get discouraged or overly frustrated by the appeals process.  The advice that we have given before still stands.  Go ahead and start your application for benefits so you can protect your effective date.  While you may still have to wait through a long appeals process, you should ultimately receive more back benefits when you do receive a favorable decision.  Also, the earlier you start the process, the sooner you will be done with it.  Delaying filing an application for benefits will not solve the problem. It will just mean that it will be that must longer before you receive the benefits you should be getting.

Other Questions About VA Appeals

You may have other questions about how to file an appeal.  Some common questions include whether a remand can be appealed and whether an increased rating will increase your VA disability income.  You can find answers to many of your VA questions on the Veterans Benefits section of our Questions and Answers page.

Often, when you do have questions, the best thing to do is to contact our office to set up a free consultation with one of our attorneys.  It is easy to do.  Simply complete the “Need Help” form or call the phone number on the right side of this page.

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