Pres­i­dent Signs Vet­er­ans COLA Bill

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM - Wash­ing­ton, DC

Pres­i­den­tBarack Obama last Thurs­day signed leg­is­la­tion by Sen. Bernie San­ders (I-Vt.) to pro­vide an­nual cost-of-liv­ing ad­just­ments in ben­e­fits for vet­er­ans with ser­vice-con­nected dis­abil­i­ties and for their sur­vivors.

The leg­is­la­tion, for the first time in years, ends a Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs prac­tice of round­ing down ben­e­fits.

“I ap­plaud the pres­i­dent for sign­ing into law the mea­sure that ad­dresses one of the ma­jor con- cerns brought to my at­ten­tion by vet­er­ans ser­vice or­ga­ni­za­tions,” said San­ders, who chairs the Se­nate Com­mit­tee on Vet­er­ans’ Af­fairs.

“This law will pre­vent the VA from round­ing down dis­abil­ity com­pen­sa­tion and cer­tain sur­vivor ben­e­fit cost-of-liv­ing ad­just­ments,” San­ders added. “Th­ese seem­ingly small amounts of money add up over time and will con­trib­ute to the fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity of mil­lions of vet­er­ans and their sur­vivors.”

The Vet­er­ans’ Com­pen­sa­tion Cost-of-Liv­ing Ad­just­ment Act of 2013 ties an­nual cost-of-liv­ing in­creases for vet­er­ans to the same Bureau of La­bor Sta­tis­tics con­sumer price in­dex that is used to an­nu­ally ad­just So­cial Se­cu­rity ben­e­fits. For the com­ing year, the mea­sure would in­crease com­pen­sa­tion ben­e­fits by 1.5 per­cent on Dec. 1 for al­most 4 mil­lion vet­er­ans and sur­vivors.

“Pro­vid­ing ad­e­quate fi­nan­cial com­pen­sa­tion to our vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies is our re­spon­si­bil­ity as a na­tion. We owe them an enor­mous debt of grat­i­tude for their ser­vice and sac­ri­fices,” said San­ders.

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