Today’s Washington Post reports on the mounting number of unsettled claims in the VA Disability system:
…Nearly 400,000 disability claims were pending as of February, including 135,741 that exceeded VA’s 160-day goal for processing them. The department takes six months, on average, to process a claim, and the waiting time for appeals averages nearly two years.
This already strained system may grow more overburdened in years ahead as many of the troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan return from those wars, experts say. VA gives veterans from the current conflicts top priority in claims processing.
“The projected number of claims from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will rapidly turn the disability claims problem into a crisis,” said Linda J. Bilmes, a Harvard University professor of public policy…