Veterans Guaranteed COLA Next Year
Cost of living increases for Social Security recipients are automatically given every year. That is not the case for veterans though. However, lawmakers have made sure that veterans get the boost they need.
In mid-May, House lawmakers finalized plans to guarantee a cost of living boost for veterans for next year. Legislation will be signed into law anytime now, guaranteeing that veterans’ support payments will keep pace with Social Security benefit increases and other federal stipends. Congress approves the benefit increases every year without controversy, but it has to be done on deadline to ensure that veterans benefits keep up with inflation costs. Even though there have been battles over federal spending, the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act was adopted by both chambers without opposition. The House of Representatives passed the act unanimously on May 23. It had already passed the Senate, and President Biden signed the increase into law in mid-June.
Under this legislation, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits — including disability compensation, benefits for survivors, and clothing allowances — will see a cost of living increase in 2024. It will be equal to that of Social Security payouts, so the VA will increase the amounts by the same percentage as the COLA for Social Security recipients, which becomes effective on December 1, 2023.
This past January, the Social Security cost of living increase and the veterans benefits increase were both at 8.7%, which was the highest increase in 40 years. That reflected higher than expected costs for things like housing, groceries, and gas costs over the last year. It has been predicted by the Senior Citizens League that the 2024 COLA would be much lower, at around 3.1%.
The veterans COLA guarantee is done every year, but it was worked on even earlier this year to help ensure financial stability for veterans. According to the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, veterans have put their lives on the line and they deserve certainty when it comes to providing for their families. Veterans should not have to worry whether their benefits can cover their basic needs. They should not have to choose between essentials such as gas for their cars or groceries for their families.
Cost of living increases are measured by the Consumer Price Index. The next increase will be announced in October.
Learn More About Veterans Benefits
A boost in benefits can be very helpful to veterans. With inflation reaching high points, it’s getting harder for everyone to pay bills and everyday expenses. Those on a fixed income especially feel the pressure.
The White Plains veterans disability benefits lawyer from The Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon can assist you with your case. We understand that the laws are rapidly changing and you need someone on your side to advocate for your rights. To schedule a free consultation, fill out the online form or call 914-294-2145.