President Signs Veterans COLA Bill
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.