VA officials have announced that they expect the backlog of current cases is going to get worse before it gets better. Officials define the backlog as the number of first-time disability and pension claims that have been waiting for decisions for more than 4 months. That number topped 215,000 this week.
Officials expect the backlog to get worse in large part because of office closings due to the pandemic and because of new claims for Blue Water Vietnam veterans. VA expects another wave of new cases this fall as they begin to offer presumptive benefits for burn pit-related respiratory disorders. Secretary McDonough has committed to reducing the increasing backlog numbers through hiring about 2,000 new personnel to help work through the current claims.