Bill Would Provide Cost-of-Living Compensation Increase in Veteran Benefits

22 Jun 2011

A new bill would provide for a cost-of-living adjustment in the benefits paid out to disabled veterans. 

The bill was introduced on May 5 in the U.S. Senate.  It would include a provision for compensation increase in  disability compensation, compensation for dependents and clothing allowances.  The bill would also increase dependency and indemnity compensation benefits, and dependency and indemnity compensation benefits for children

The bill would not set a specific amount to be paid.  Instead, the increase would be calculated based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index.  The Consumer Price Index is the main indicator of the cost-of-living in the United States.   Based on the Consumer Price Index, veterans’ benefits will be automatically calculated to reflect the increased cost of living.  If the cost of living has increased by 4% this year, then the benefits that the veteran is eligible for will also be automatically increased by 4%.  These payment increases would be calculated on an annual basis, and would be rounded off to the nearest dollar.

What this means for America's disabled veterans is that the benefits that they are eligible for would reflect the increasing cost of living in the U.S..  The bill would guarantee a cost-of-living adjustment in compensation that accurately reflects increasing living costs.  Increases in compensation would be based on rates as of November 30, 2011.

Veteran’s benefits lawyers have no doubt that the promoters of the bill have good intentions.  They want to lower the burden on disabled veterans.  However, the downside is that if there is no increase in the Consumer Price Index, then there may be no increase in benefits either.

It has been approximately 2 years since veterans saw any increase in their benefits.  The last couple of years have been very difficult for veterans and their families because of the additional financial strain.  Many disabled veterans return from battle zones unable to find employment, relying heavily on their benefits to sustain themselves, and a stagnant benefits scale only worsens matters.