Military veterans could find themselves with an automatic cost of living adjustment for their benefits if recently introduced legislation were to become law.
A pair of bills would provide COLAs for military veterans and their families. Both bills are sponsored in the House by Congressman Mike Bost (R-IL).
The Veterans’ Compensation COLA Act of 2017 (H.R. 1329) would provide a COLA beginning December 1, 2017. The cost of living increase would be applied to:
- Wartime disability compensation
- Compensation for dependents
- Clothing allowance
- Dependency and indemnity compensation to surviving spouses
- Dependency and indemnity compensation to children paid to wounded warriors and their families for injuries they suffered while serving
The legislation states that the COLA would be based on the same computation methodology as used for Social Security.
The other bill is the American Heroes COLA Act of 2017 (H.R. 1328). It would authorize the VA Secretary to provide automatic annual COLAs to the same categories listed above without having to get authorization from Congress just as is currently done for Social Security. Under current law, Congress must pass legislation every year to increase the rates of veteran disability compensation.