According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, the wait time for veterans to receive benefits has skyrocketed from 116 days in 2009 to 330 days now. In response, US Representative Bill Enyart is sponsoring legislation to try to reduce that wait.
What the bill would do is pay partial, provisional benefits for veterans whose cases aren't handled within 125 days after they are submitted. Currently, that would apply to more than half a million veterans.
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.