As of May 6, 2013, there were 19,900 veterans waiting to hear a response from the St. Louis Regional VA "about compensation for a disease, injury or illness linked to service in the military."
Where does that number, and classification of it, come from? The Center for Investigative Reporting has released a huge set of data (which is periodically updated) from the nation's Department of Veterans' Affairs and its local offices.
You can explore the data yourself below, but here are a few observations we've gathered from looking through it so far:
- 801,919 veterans nationwide were waiting to hear responses from VA offices as of April 22, 2013. At that time, 19,660 of those were waiting for the St. Louis Regional VA to respond.
- The average processing time of a claim from the St. Louis Regional VA was over a year (369.9 days) as of March 1, 2013. The average wait time for St. Louis as of Oct. 1, 2009 was 115 days.
- The number of claims staff working at the St. Louis VA service center was 339 as of Dec. 31, 2012. This is a net increase of 2 people since Sept. 30, 2010, and the number has not dipped below 332 in that period of time.
St. Louis Public Radio has reached out to the St. Louis Regional VA office for comment.
We welcome you to look through the data, compare St. Louis' data to the national and compare the data from other offices across the nation. Let us know what you find by tweeting @KelseyProud or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Louis' data is as follows:
And here's the national data: