According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, the crash project to give priority to the oldest veterans disability benefits claims has paid off. The VA reports that it has processed 97 percent of claims more than two years old. This means that 65,000 claims are no longer part of the backlog.
The Department of Veteran Affairs has tried many strategies to reduce the backlog of disability claims from veterans. Now the agency is trying another approach: Mandatory overtime. The VA has instituted an overtime requirement for more than 10,000 employees who handle disability claims. Employees will need to work at least 20 overtime hours per month.
On March 16, 2013, the Department of Veteran Affairs released its latest report on VA disability claims. It revealed that a total of 895,838 claims for disability benefits were pending. Of these, almost 630,000 have been awaiting decisions for more than 125 days.
According to numbers provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the central Texas claims processing center in Waco has the longest average wait time for disability benefits in the United States. The Waco center average is 393 days, 139 days longer than the national average and more than three times longer than the fastest center in St. Paul, Minnesota.