The number of backlogged veterans disability claims fell below 100,000 cases, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced on Aug. 24. Allison Hickey, the VA undersecretary for benefits, told reporters during a conference call that though this marks a “historic milestone,” the VA may never fully eliminate the backlog, with roughly 11% of new cases unlikely to be processed within the 125-day deadline.
Roughly 98,500 of the 363,000 pending claims at the VA are now backlogged, which is defined as pending for more than 125 days. The VA received harsh criticism when the backlog peaked at around 613,000 cases two years ago. The reduction in backlogged claims is being hailed as proof by the department that its efforts in the wake of the scandal are paying off.