Towards the end of May 2020, The House of Representatives passed an oral vote in favor of increasing the cost-of-living that corresponds to veterans’ benefits. The benefit approval is tied to the cost of living adjustments approved by the Social Security Administration. The 2020 pay raise approved for the military was 3.1%. Rep. Mac Thornberry, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, expressed that he believes next year’s raise will be about the same.
The veteran benefits that will be affected include the following:
- clothing allowance
- dependent compensation
- dependency and indemnity compensation to surviving spouses and children
Since 1975, Social Security COLA has been guaranteed by law but veteran benefits COLA are required to be passed by Congress. Last year, the COLA increase for veterans was approved with zero opposition. This year, the president’s signature and the senate passage would merely be formalities. However, because Congress is dealing with disrupted schedules as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, these formalities may be delayed.
The social security administration determines the annual COLA raise for its recipients on the Consumer Price Index, determined each December by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor statistics.
The bill for 2020 was introduced by retired navy Rep. Elaine Luria and co-sponsored by marine veteran Mike Bost. Both stressed the pressing action needed by the Senate and insisted that it is important now more than ever for veterans to receive their benefits with the public health emergency currently being faced. They explained that some veterans depend on their benefits to pay for necessities.
In his own statement, Bost said that it was critical now more than ever for the individuals that have served for them to receive the benefits that they have worked for.
Veterans believe that the veteran COLA increase to social security should be tied to military pay raise increases instead. This has been a continuing issue for many vets.
We are Veterans Helping Veterans
The Veteran Legal Assistance Program is here to support veteran and active-duty military. We also want to keep active duty and retired military in the know about the issues affecting them. If you are in need of assistance, contact the Veterans Legal Assistance Program and let us know how we can help.
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