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Disabled veterans waiting months, years for benefits to be approved

We have mentioned before on our Minneapolis, Minnesota, Social Security disability law blog that some disabled workers have had to wait months or years for their benefits to be approved. Sometimes applications are rejected by the Social Security Administration due to missing paperwork or other mistakes that only prolong the application and approval processes. Other times, Americans are forced to bring their cases to an administrative law judge when their benefits are wrongfully denied.

Because obtaining disability benefits is often a complicated and lengthy process, many disabled workers choose to work with an attorney who knows how to fight for the benefits they are entitled to receive after becoming seriously injured or ill. And even those who have fought for our country still need someone on their side to fight for their rights to obtain disability benefits.

According to recent reports regarding the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' disability claims backlog, disabled veterans can expect to wait more than 250 days to learn whether their claims for disability benefits have been approved or not.

The VA has struggled for decades to keep up with the hundreds of thousands of disability claims that are filed by veterans every year. As a result, the backlog of claims continues to grow and disabled veterans are forced to wait months before they can finally receive the benefits they are entitled to receive.

About 12 months ago, veterans who had filed disability claims could expect to wait about 188 days for their claims to be resolved. Currently, the wait has increased to about 262 days. Earlier this month, about 863,000 claims remained pending. The VA has claimed that it is working to address this problem, but the VA also stated that the backlog of disability claims will not be significantly reduced or eliminated until 2015.

Some disabled veterans are also eligible to obtain Social Security disability benefits in addition to disability benefits through the VA. To learn more about the benefits disabled veterans may be eligible to obtain and whether or not one's application can be expedited, folks should consider consulting an attorney.

Source: NPR, "For Veterans, The Wait For Disability Claims Grows Longer," Quil Lawrence, Dec. 27, 2012

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