Veterans Disability Benefits: Statistics about the Waco, Texas VA Regional Office

The Attig Law Firm represents U.S. Veterans in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma (and in every other state of the country) in their claims before the VA for disability compensation.

Here are some statistics published by the VA about the VA Regional Office in Waco, Texas.

In April 2010, the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report of the VA Regional Office in Waco, Texas.  You can read the report by clicking on this link to the VA OIG Report: VAOIG-09-03848-130.  The report is not very glowing, and includes the following conclusions:

* The Waco Texas VA Regional Office failed to establish the correct date of claims in 12% of the claims sampled.

This is almost twice the national average of 7%, nationwide, and suggests that the Waco Texas VA Regional Office is not properly date-stamping and recording communications received from Veterans.  If a correct date of claim is not estabished, then the Veteran is losing on substantial past-due benefits when a claim is granted - the Effective Date of a claim is the date of receipt of claim.

 

Advocates and VSOs should continue to challenge the Waco Texas VA Regional Office, even when service-connection is granted and an impairment rating established, to ensure that the Waco Texas VA Regional Office is properly setting the Earliest Effective Date.

* The Waco Texas VA Regional Office incorrectly processed 17% of the PTSD claims sampled.

* The Waco Texas VA Regional Office incorrectly processed 93% of the "100% Temporary Disability (usually for hospitalization) ratings sampled.

* The Waco Texas VA Regional Office failed to properly evaluate all residual disabilities related to Veteran's in-service TBIs in 27% of the claims sampled (This will be a huge issue for Veterans in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and every other state, as Gulf War Veterans grow older and the residual disabilities from TBIs grow more severe and more costly).

* The Waco Texas VA Regional Office improperly processed and/or evaluated 7% of the "herbicide exposure" claims filed.

Current Claims Pending (Entitlement): As of Monday, November 1, 2010, the Waco Texas VA Regional Office had 38,084 claims for Veteran Entitlement pending.  24.2 % of these claims at the Waco Texas VA Regional Office were pending over 125 days (9,232 claims).

The national average for these types of claims in the same period was 29.5% of claims pending over 125 days.  One year ago (November 2, 2009), the Waco Texas VA Regional Office had 18,763 claims for Veterans Entitlement pending, of which  36.1 % (6,776) were pending over 125 days.

These numbers suggest a significant spike in VA disability claims at the Waco Texas VA Regional Office in FY 2010.

Claims Pending (Award Adjustments): As of November 1, 2010, the Waco Texas VA Regional Office had 3,494 pending claims for Award Adjustments.

Of these,  9.1% were over 125 days old (318 claims). The national average for these types of claims in the same period was 24.5% over 125 days. One year ago (November 2, 2009), the Waco Texas VA Regional Office had  3,571 claims for award adjustments pending, of which 8.9% (318) were pending over  125 days.

Claims Pending (Accrued Benefits and Appeals): Finally, the Waco Texas VA Regional Office had 58 claims pending for survivor’s accrued benefits, and 10,040 claims pending on appeal.

In November 2009, the Waco Texas VA Regional Office had 16 claims pending for survivors accrued benefits, and 7,561 claims pending on appeal.

Average Awards: Statistics on Average Awards of disability compensation are difficult to verify and research accurately; all amounts here are estimates based on reviews of multiple studies.

As of 2004, the VA Office of Inspector General reported that approximately 208,986 Texas Veterans received an average 2004 payment of $8,928  per veteran.  The Average degree of disability in 2004 for Texas Veterans was 38.5% (the national average for the same time period was 37%).

As of 2004, the average age of Texas Veterans was 57 years old.  As of 2004, the VA Office of Inspector General reported that 67.4% of Texas Veterans are represented by attorneys or Veterans Service Organizations (VSO).   As of 2004, 7.7% of Texas Veterans that received disability compensation were receiving 100% disability due to individual unemployability (the national average for the same time period was 8.4%) Per 1000 Veterans in Texas, 32 appeals were filed in 2004 (the national average in 2004 was 32 appeals per 1,000 Veterans).

General Texas Veteran Statistics. There are, as of June 2004, approximately 1,681,748 Veterans living in Texas. In 2004, Texas ranked third in terms of the number of Veterans living in Texas, second only to California and Florida.   Of the Texas Veterans, only 12.4% (208,986) were receiving disability compensation payments (as of 2004).

by Chris Attig


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