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Veterans Benefits Administration Reports

Characteristics of Claims

366,499 Total Pending Claims; 85,535 Backlogged Claims

Claims by Era

Total Pending Claims

  • Post-9/11 (Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts) claims make up 24% of the total inventory.
  • Gulf War (1990s conflict) claims make up 31% of the total inventory.
  • Peacetime (the end of Vietnam to the Gulf War) claims make up 11% of the total inventory.
  • Vietnam War claims make up 27% of the total inventory.
  • Korean War claims make up 4% of the total inventory.
  • World War II claims make up 2.2% of the total inventory.
  • Other era claims make up 0.4% of the total inventory.

Total Backlogged Claims

  • Post-9/11 (Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts) claims make up 26% of the backlog.
  • Gulf War (1990s conflict) claims make up 32% of the backlog.
  • Peacetime (the end of Vietnam to the Gulf War) claims make up 12% of the backlog.
  • Vietnam War claims make up 23% of the backlog.
  • Korean War claims make up 4.6% of the backlog.
  • World War II claims make up 2.2% of the backlog.
  • Other era claims make up less than 0.1% of the backlog.

Original vs. Supplemental Claims

The current inventory of compensation claims contains two types of claims:

  • Original claims, which are those submitted by Veterans of all eras who are claiming disability compensation or pension from VBA for the first time.
  • Supplemental claims, which are those submitted by Veterans of all eras who have previously filed for disability compensation or pension with VBA. For example, where a Veteran's condition has worsened, they may file for review to see if they are entitled to greater compensation, and supplemental claims include Veterans already on the rolls who claim a new condition.

Contentions and Claims Complexity

  • The number of claims is magnified by growing complexity. There has been a 200 percent increase over the last 10 years in original claims containing eight or more specific medical issues, or contentions.
  • The number of individual disabilities claimed has doubled in just the last five years.

More About Original and Supplemental Claims in Inventory

  • 63% of pending claims are supplemental and 37% are original.
  • 81% of Veterans filing supplemental claims are receiving some level of monetary benefit from VBA.
  • 10% of Veterans filing supplemental claims already have a 100% disability rating (i.e., they receive $2,800 or more per month) or qualify for Individual Unemployability and are compensated at the 100% disabled rate.
  • 48% of Veterans filing supplemental claims are already rated at 50% disability or higher.
  • 34% of supplemental claims are from Vietnam-era Veterans and 26% are from Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

Note: This data is updated on a monthly basis by the 10th of each month.