COLA News: Veterans Disability Benefits Awaiting Cost of Living Adjustment

It’s time for a decision to be made on whether or not veterans disability benefits will see a Cost of Living Increase, or COLA, for 2013.

The annual COLA is automatic for Social Security disability benefits, but Congress must approve the increase for veterans disability benefits. Currently, Congress has yet to pass the benefit increase, but is expected to do so before the deadline in early December.

Every year, the need for a Cost of Living Adjustment is assessed by reviewing the economic state of the U.S. Historically, every time a COLA is approved for Social Security disability benefits, the same is eventually approved for veterans disability benefits.

The amount of the COLA this year has not been calculated, but estimates believe it will be around 1.3 percent of the current benefit rates. A previous announcement from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) warned that if Congress did not approve the Cost of Living Adjustment for veterans’ disability benefits, disabled veterans would not see the increase in their January disability check.

New information from the VA reveals that they may still be able to implement the COLA for the first payment of 2013 if Congress approves the increase by the first week of December.

The amount a disabled veteran receives in veterans disability benefits depends on his or her disability rating, as well as the standard rate of compensation as determined by the VA. A veteran with a disability rating of 30 percent will collect a lower monthly payment than a veteran with a 70 percent disability rating.

Obtaining an accurate disability rating is critical to securing the veterans disability benefits you are entitled to. If you find it difficult to obtain an accurate assessment, contact 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.