The Senate sent the White House a bill on Tuesday with a COLA increase for veterans benefits, giving nearly 4 million veterans and survivors a 1.7 percent increase in their monthly benefit payments next year.
When the Senate returned this week, it acted quickly to ensure that checks issued beginning in January reflect the adjustment for the higher cost of living.
The House approved the measure in July. The bill including the COLA increase for veterans now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.
Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, welcomed the financial boost.
“Particularly in this difficult economy, our veterans deserve a boost in their benefits to help make ends meet,” Murray said.
What is a COLA Increase?
COLA stands for Cost of Living Adjustment. It is usually a percentage raise up from the existing payment. The government approves such adjustments for everything from veterans’ benefits to social security payments to federal employee salaries. And of course private employers often give COLA increases for their employees’ pay.
How Much Are Your Veterans’ Benefits?
Of course, COLA aside, if you are concerned that your veterans’ benefits have not been accurately calculated — including because they were based on an incorrect ratings decision — we encourage you to contact us for a case evaluation. We do not charge to evaluate your case; we will take a look at the facts, answer your questions, and let you know how we can help.