VA claims are backloged severally, with over 900,000 pending original claims. The VA has been working on a "special" project to decide as quickly as possible all claims over two years old, estimated to be 40,000 claims. The VA says they are complete with this task and are moving to the next phase, deciding all claims over one year old, an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 claims.
These old claims refer only to claims that have never even received the first decision from VA. Many veterans have appeals that are pending 2, 3 even four years on appeal to the Decision Review Officer, the first step in appealing to the Board. Many other appeals are taking the same amount of time to reach the Board of Veterans' Appeals after a Statement of the Case is issued. As the VA rapidly is deciding the huge backlog of original claims, they are making many mistakes, and the claims backlog is fast becoming an appeals backlog. Expect it to take 2-3 years to get to the Decision Review Officer and four years to the Board, as the number of appeals grows and growns.
The Washington Post article and its sources are greatly underestimating the number of pending appeals, as the reality is probably closer to 350,000, rather than the 250,000 claimed.