An increased number of veterans who assert previous disability decisions were incorrect are filing claim appeals, The Washington Post reports.
Numbers provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs reveals a 50 percent increase in disability appeals since Obama took office in early 2009. Currently 256,061 veterans are filing appeals, and the Board of Veterans' Appeals, a subset of the VA, told the Washington Post the number of pending cases is expected to double over the next four years.
The startling number of appeals is quickly morphing into a backlog situation similar to the one already plaguing the VA – disability claims. Around 900,000 disability claims were filed with this department at its peak this year, and while the VA alleges it has cut that number by 20 percent, the backlog continues. According to the news outlet, the high profile of the disability claims controversy has overshadowed the veterans waiting on their appeals.
Veterans who file disability claims appeals are facing long waits with seemingly no end in sight. According to data on the VA website, veterans on average wait more than 1,000 days after filing an appeal through the basic administrative steps. There are ways for veterans to file disability appeals outside of the VA system – through the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims – but it takes an additional 321 days.
The Washington Post reports that the growing backlog of disability appeals is a result of a decrease in available VA resources.