Veterans, How is Your Regional VA Office Doing?

The Bay Citizen has developed an interactive map that tracks the progress of the 58 VA regional offices weekly.  The data is collected from the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Monday Morning Reports and its Aspire system which shows how the VA is doing in working towards its aspirational goals of reducing the backlog of claims and providing services that veterans need in a timely manner.

By clicking on a circle that corresponds to a city, one can see the number of vets waiting, the percentage of change in pending claims, the average wait times for both initial and appealed claims, etc.

The high numbers of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, coupled with the numbers of Vietnam vets who are filing new claims, is overwhelming the system and causing processing delays of several months or more.  Since July 2012, the VA has reduced the backlog by almost 24,000 claims (2.8%), but the national wait time of over four months for veterans seeking responses to their disability applications is still 68%.  And, if their initial requests are denied, the appeals process takes even longer with average wait times being about 3-4 years.  If you are a veteran filing for benefits, it might be more advantageous to work with a disability attorney to ensure that everything is in order for your application to be approved.