Thune, Schatz reintroduce bill to make annual veteran Cost of Living Adjustment automatic

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) reintroduced the Veterans’ Disability Compensation Automatic Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) Act on Wednesday.

The Veterans’ COLA Act is a bipartisan legislation that would require the federal government to provide disabled veterans with an automatic COLA in years when there is an increase in benefits payable under title II of the Social Security Act, which sets the requirements for disability insurance benefits.

“Our veterans have made immense sacrifices for our country, the least we can do is give them the peace of mind in knowing their benefits will increase as the cost of living does,” said Thune. “I’m proud to reintroduce this legislation with Senator Schatz to provide our disabled veterans the certainty they deserve.”

“There’s no reason that Congress shouldn’t guarantee an annual cost-of-living adjustment for our nation’s veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country,” said Schatz. “Our bill would make COLA benefit increases automatic so that our veterans have the certainty of knowing they’ll have enough to make rent and put food on the table.”

“MOAA is grateful for Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) for once again championing veterans and their families by introducing the Veterans’ Disability Compensation Automatic COLA Act of 2021,” said Lieutenant General Dana Atkins, president and CEO of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). “Each year veterans and their families must wait for Congress to approve annual cost-of-living adjustments for disability compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and rates for dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) for survivors, not knowing if lawmakers will pass the critically important measure so many rely on. This legislation will automatically provide the annual increase for disability compensation and DIC payments at the same percentage rate increase as Social Security, giving individuals the relief, they need to plan financially. MOAA thanks you for your continued commitment to serving our nation’s veterans by ensuring they receive the benefits they earned through service.”

The veterans’ COLA is usually, but not automatically, enacted each year and is already anticipated in the Congressional Budget Office’s baseline, which means this bill is budget-neutral and will provide disabled veterans additional certainty from year to year.

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