Bill Passed to Raise Cost of Living for Veterans’ Benefits

Legally reviewed by Brendan Garcia , Owner and Lead Attorney

The Veteran’s Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act, a bill introduced by Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. and Jon Tester, D-Mont. in February, will go into effect December of this year. This new law will provide Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for veterans that are eligible for disability compensation, additional compensation for dependents, clothing allowances, and indemnity compensation for any surviving immediate family.

The new adjustment rate, effective Dec. 1, 2019, will be a 2.8 percent increase, which is the largest since 2012. This means that if a veteran receives $1,000 per month in benefit payments, the COLA increase will equal more than $300 over the course of the year. The bill was co-sponsored by every member of the Senate Veterans Affairs committee.

Senator Isakson stated that this bill is to help qualifying veterans keep up with the rising costs of living. The bipartisan bill will ensure that veterans and their families will be able to keep up with the increased costs of housing, utilities, food, and other necessary expenses.

The typical cost-of-living adjustment that the VA uses for allocating benefits is normally equal to the amount of adjustment that Social Security recipients receive, which is determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price index. However, the Veteran’s Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act determined that there needed to be a higher increase for former servicemembers and their families.

It is important that veterans and their families receive the full benefit amount they are owed. If you or someone you know has had issues with their support payments, namely disability compensation, it is crucial that you seek legal counsel. A seasoned attorney from VetLaw’s team can help you determine if you have a case and help you fight for the compensation you are owed.