Veterans collecting survivor and/or disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are due to receive a small increase starting with their January payments. The Social Security Administration recently announced a 1.7 percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) which now extends automatically to VA benefits.
Last year, Congress passed a bill which would make the COLA automatic for VA benefits starting in 2014. Prior to this bill, Congress had to vote on whether or not to apply the COLA to veterans’ benefits after it was announced. The vote on this matter was often left up to the last minute before the New Year, making the COLA increase in payments late for some January payments.
Now COLAs are automatic for VA benefits, as long as there is a COLA each year. COLAs are determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics’ analysis of the Consumer Price Index. If the Index increases, a COLA is likely for the coming year.
This is the fourth year in a row that a COLA has been approved, and the first year that it is automatically applied to both Social Security and Veterans’ benefits.
A COLA is a minor increase in benefits and many veterans may still be coming up short for financial resources. The Law Offices of Veterans Help Group is dedicated to helping veterans obtain all of the benefits to which they are entitled, both from the VA and from the Social Security Administration. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits, contact our firm today – 1-855-855-8992.