Sens. Reintroduce Veterans’ Disability COLA Act

February 7, 2019, 11:28 AM HST (Updated February 7, 2019, 11:28 AM)
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Sens. Brian Schatz and John Thune (R-S.D.) reintroduced the Veterans’ Disability Compensation Automatic Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) Act on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. This bipartisan legislation would require the federal government to provide disabled veterans with an automatic COLA in years when there is an increase in benefits payable under title II of the Social Security Act, which sets the requirements for disability insurance benefits.

“The benefits of veterans who are disabled should not have to fly with the political winds,” said Sen. Schatz. “Our bill keeps these veterans from waiting in suspense, giving them the certainty of knowing their benefits will stay current with the cost of living.”

“We owe our veterans a debt of gratitude, and providing them with this additional certainty is the least we can do,” said Sen. Thune. “Every year Congress has to pass legislation to make sure disabled veterans receive a COLA. Enacting this bill would remove the need for this annual exercise and insulate this important benefit from any potential congressional inaction. It would also allow Congress and Veterans Service Organizations to focus their efforts on other needed reforms to deliver for our veterans.”

The veterans’ COLA is usually enacted each year but it does not happen automatically. It is already anticipated in the Congressional Budget Office’s baseline, which means this bill is budget-neutral and will provide disabled veterans additional certainty from year to year.

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