In a recent post we discussed the different ways to file an application for service connection. Once that application has been filed the wait begins. The claims process can often take over two years, and this is just the wait for the initial decision, a Rating Decision, to be issued by the Regional Office. The Center for Investigative Reporting has created a Waiting for Help Map that keeps track of the average wait times for each of the 58 Regional Offices across the country.
The St. Louis Regional Office has over 18,000 claim pending and the average wait time is 249 days.
The Chicago Regional Office has just under 17,000 claims pending and the average wait time is 301 days.
The St. Petersburg Regional Office has the most claims pending with over 50,000 claims pending and the average wait time is 233 days.
Each Regional Office has a different number of claims and a different average wait time. It is in the best interest of a claimant, a veteran, to have someone assisting them in the claims process who knows what evidence to submit in order to prove the claim. Once a rating decision has been issued the claim should be reviewed for effective date and proper initial rating percentage, if either of these are incorrect, or the claim was denied, the decision must be appealed withing one year from the date the decision was issued.
If you or someone you know has a possible claim for VA benefits our office offers a free consultation to any veteran wishing to pursue VA benefits. Call today to schedule an appointment.
Last Updated in April of 2015.