The length of the veterans benefits appeals process is one of the most frustrating aspects of applying for veterans benefits. According to an article at Stars and Stripes, the average time to resolve an appeal got even lengthier in the past year. It reached 923 days (roughly two and a half years). As a result of this delay, veterans end up tied up in the appeal process for years in order to get their disability benefits approved. This delay can be extremely frustrating for veterans.
Why Does the Veterans Benefits Appeals Process Take So Long?
Initial decisions from the VA can take a long time. The VA has been working to improve the average processing time of initial decisions. The VA’s goal regarding initial decisions is to make sure that all initial decisions are made within 125 days of an application. However, the focus on issuing initial decisions quicker may have led to an increase in veterans claims that are going up through the appeal process. As a result, the decisions being made in claims on appeal can be delayed. This happens because there has been an increase in the number of claims decided and then appealed. While there is disagreement about the number of claims that are denied incorrectly by VA, many veterans do end up having to go through the appeals process in order to get the benefits to which they are entitled.
The VA appeals process is already lengthy. Further delay is not good for veterans. Hopefully, VA will continue to work to address the serious problem regarding the length of time that veterans have to wait for decisions.
If you have questions about veterans disability compensation benefits, you may find the Veterans Benefits section of our Questions and Answers page helpful. Another way to get answers to your questions is to set up a free consultation with one of our attorneys accredited to handle veterans disability benefits claims. To set up a consultation, you can simply fill out the “Need Help” form or call the phone number on the right of this page.
Since we originally published this article, the average time for VA appeals to be decided is still increasing. Click here for updated information about VA appeal wait times.