Unlike other government disability benefit programs such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) do not get an automatic Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) when one is necessary. For veterans’ disability benefit rates to receive an increase from a COLA, Congress has to approve a bill for it every year the SSDI program has the same increase.
According to Military Times, the COLA has been announced for 2013 benefits under the Social Security Administration. Now a bill to give the same increase to veterans’ disability benefits has passed in the House of Representatives.
HR 4114 passed the House with a unanimous 369-0 vote and now moves on to the Senate floor for a second review. The bill calls for a COLA between 1.3% and 1.9% with the final number being decided upon in October.
While there has been a history of the COLA legislation passing with no issues in the past, there is always the chance that the bill could be shot down due to talks about a deficit reduction agreement. There has also been mention of changing how COLAs are calculated for beneficiaries, but these changes would need more consideration before the bill would be signed into law in November.
As long as this legislation moves through as it typically does, veterans who receive disability benefit pay should see an increase in their checks starting in January 2013. Veterans who do not see the correct increase in their checks, or those who have yet to apply for disability benefits, can find help through a veterans’ disability attorney.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from Veterans Help Group is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veteran’s disability rights firm today – 1-855-855-8992.