VA Audit: Over 40,000 Veterans Appeals Ignored

From Ben Krause VCS AD for Advocacy and founder of


VA Regional Offices are ignoring 18.5 percent of veterans’ appeals on average, according to a recent audit. The Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that ignoring claims causes a processing delay of 444 days.

Let’s hope the VA notices your appeal. In “Audit of VA Regional Offices’ Appeals Management Processes” report, auditors found that one veteran’s claim had been ignored for over 1,500 days.

As of the date of the audit, 246,000 disability appeals were on file. If the 18.5 percent average holds across the entire VA, another 45,000 appeals claims are not on record despite the VA having the appeal on file.

To assess appeals processing, the Veterans Affairs OIG created a sample of VA regional offices across the US. These offices served as the “average” regional offices. The auditors then handed the different offices 783 potential NOD’s. VA adjudicators failed to identify 145 of these as potential appeals.

Here is how the process works. A veteran files an appeal because they disagree with a decision by the VA. In this form, it is considered a Notice of Disagreement (NOD). Once a review of the claim is completed, if the reviewer does not agree with the veteran, a Statement of the Case is created by the VA. If the veterans still disagrees, they appeal and VA then certifies the appeal to the Board of Appeals.

For the Notice of Disagreement portion, the VA has set a target of 125 days to complete the review. The VA has also set a 180-day target for the certification process.

In 2010, VA took an average of 656 days to fully process an appeal. This audit does not provide the average for 2011, but one unidentified regional office averages 1,219 days.

The audit of the Veterans Benefits Administration also revealed de novo review appeals are decided more quickly. A de novo review means the Decision Review Officer will look at the existing evidence and make a new determination. It is like looking at a claim with new, more experienced eyes.

The Veterans Affairs OIG released the results of their audit into disability claims appeals earlier this week. The Veterans Affairs OIG audit was intended to seek out the root of delays relating to veterans’ appeals.

On a high level, it revealed that regional offices are focusing primarily on new claims and not appeals. This means, if the claims adjudicator gets it wrong the first time, the veteran has a very long wait to get the appeal decided in less than one year. If the VA fails to notice the appeal, that veteran will have another 1 year and 4 months to wait before VA even begins to adjudicate the appeal.

This audit evaluated eight regional offices throughout the country. The Veterans Affairs OIG specifically selected regional offices that would serve as an average across the VA.

The regional offices audited were: Boston, Lincoln, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Montgomery, New York, Philadelphia, and Salt Lake City. Survey Critique

This survey does a great job exposing some of the issues veterans are experiencing. It tells us that a de novo review is a quicker solution. It also tells us that the VA is failing to even notice almost 20 percent of veterans appeal.

The survey fails to identify the regional offices and their performance. It gives us a list of which regional offices were audited. It does not tell use the performance of each. Instead, the Veterans Affairs OIG craftily assigns numbers to each. It does not tell us which regional office is assigned to what number.

It further fails to give us a firm averages. How long does it take to process an NOD? How long does it take to process the appeals certification? We do not know.

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17 Responses to VA Audit: Over 40,000 Veterans Appeals Ignored

  1. Troy Ressel says:

    I filed my notice of Disagreement in July 2012 and it was accepted August 2012 which is 1151 days. Since October 2012 it hasn’t even been touched. When you call the hotline, leave an email or use the Chat feature you get the same answer. Thank you for your service, we are currently experiencing a large volume of claims. Your claim is currently under review and could take longer depending on the complexity of your claim. Other than that there is no one else to contact and try to get the ball rolling. I served 24 years in the US Army with 7 years in combat and seem to be treated badly by the VA.

  2. George Crawley says:

    I have been fighting for disability increase thru the Detroit Office for a very long time I finally get a request in for a video conference with a judge but was informed it could take another 2 years . I can’t work due to my legs and now . The Detroit office has me at 20 {cd9ac3671b356cd86fdb96f1eda7eb3bb1367f54cff58cc36abbd73c33c82e1d} I have had multiple surgeries including for a bone infection that I receive while being a patient of the Allen Park Veterans Hospital.

  3. Joe sansony says:

    Congress is being misled on what’s going on at the VA. They really don’t understand the system of corruption, therefore they are unable to fix it. Shoveling billions more at the VA and telling them the majority of it is discretionary spending will never fix anything. I saw the U.S. Post office BMC facility in Northlake Il. operate like the V.A. back in the 1970s. They would actually call overtime on every night shift when there was nothing to do, and take sorted mail out, dump it on belts, mix it up, so it would be sorted again by the same people. This was to justify their over hiring and to keep their operating budget up so congress wouldn’t cut it. Does anyone really believe that The Lawyers at the Veterans Appeals Board will actually ever catch up and then watch their co-workers get laid off afterwards? Federal Government Jobs are like no other jobs anywhere. The employee’s are all hogs feeding at a trough filled by the taxpayers. The politicians really don’t care and the voters don’t want to know. On average 22 veterans kill themselves every day. No Mystery why. A friend of mine in Florida has had a claim in since 2009. He’s ready for a wheel chair and is constantly in and out of physical therapy and is being told that the Veterans Appeals Board in D.C. currently has a seven year backlog. While Congressional members say it’s half that. Delay, Deny….Wait till they die.

  4. JC Cas says:

    Hello, my VA appeal has been pending for 869is days, I started calling the VA for an update, couldn’t get an update! A few days ago I called my congressman in California, the next day I checked Ebenefits and called the VA, my appeal was completed!!!! Hopefully it was approved, good luck!

  5. Jon Logo says:

    The unions are the cause. They give bonuses for the delays. Unions shouldn’t be involved in our military period, they are low life corrupted THUGS. Shame on this country for allowing this! They run jump and skip for illegals and Muslim terrorists.DISGRACE!!! I hope karma screws all the evil doers with a cactus. BASTARDS!!!

  6. 1978-1982 marine at camp lejeune..rated 80{cd9ac3671b356cd86fdb96f1eda7eb3bb1367f54cff58cc36abbd73c33c82e1d} peripheral neuropathy camp lejeune water hazard filed IU claim jan 2015 denied..sept 2015 filed nod dro in florida still waiting..sent in voc rehab saying not feasible ..went to ilp program…had another c&p exam from qtc in jacksonville the va has all this and it telling me normal 377 days to get long is 16 months waiting for iu claim??? 485 days total waiting 2 years for IU claim from the start…the va has everything there ….whats the hold up????????????????????????????????????

  7. tonya says:

    Have you heard anything yet? What did you say to your congressman?

  8. Dewayne Dillon says:

    Fighting with the VA for money that has been set aside for us is like fighting in the wars. The VA office in Jackson miss is one big joke for our veterans.

  9. Prolactinoma says:

    I cited this article in a 2014 letter to the VA. In 2017, I discovered that my appeal information can’t be found at the regional office (I live in South Carolina) and my eBenefits documents aren’t showing the right information. Thankfully, I took screenshots.

    It ain’t getting better, old heroes. This millennial is getting screwed right along with you.

  10. joseph boyd says:

    i am at 631 days waiting now for nod dro in florida…thats messed up…

  11. joseph boyd says:

    now at 675 days waiting for nod dro iu claim….smc a&a claim denied said i rate this but am not 100{cd9ac3671b356cd86fdb96f1eda7eb3bb1367f54cff58cc36abbd73c33c82e1d} yet i have to wait for nod dro to get done first for a&a….so i wait for va to do something again in florida……………

  12. joseph boyd says:

    i guess no one here 694 days waiting now in florida….lol normal…

  13. Venus Bivines says:

    My appeal was remanded back to 1992 and sent to the RO 05/09/2017. All the C&P exams were done by 07/15/2017. Today is 11/30/2017. Whenever I call, I get the script stating all claims will be processed based on the agency’s workload. I am tired of the script. After reading multiple blogs, what workload are they working on? I don’t see any progress.

  14. joseph boyd says:

    i guess the va is closed ..i am at 815 days now on my iu nod dro clam… pete florida needs to be closed they are useless….

  15. Bob68 says:

    I filed a NOD in Nov. 2014 in Atlanta Ro office 12/11/2017 for prostate cancer get the same thing as everyone else tired of the script and thank you for your service

  16. Sheilla Figgins says:

    I filed my claim for injuries that happen in 1973 in 2011. It has been turned down numerous times and has been in DC since Aug 16 waiting to get a VA Judge to look at it. It does seem that the VA wants us older Vets to die so they don’t have to pay our claims!

  17. Ron says:

    Wait on decision for 2008 appeal and just remanded for 4th time. Obviously errors are there or remands wouldnt be happening. VA just continues to change wording and word play to not admit their errors in original claim denial. Also merged TDIU appeal where met all requirements and had required evidence now will have to wait until this remand is decided. 😡

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