MOPH Chapter 177

Senate Passes COLA for Vets

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Senate Passes COLA Increase for Vets

Yesterday, the Senate came back to work and wasted no time in passing a 1.7 percent cost-of-living allowance, or COLA, adjustment for veterans and dependents receiving compensation from VA.

The increase is set to go into effect on December 1, 2012. 

The COLA increase bill, which
passed the House in July, was temporarily held up prior to the Senate recess for this year's election. However, both sides were able to hammer out their concerns over the break, passing the bill by unanimous consent yesterday afternoon.

The increase in COLA affects VA compensation for disabled veterans and surviving spouses. The COLA bill ties the rate for veterans' COLA to increases in Social Security compensation, which are determined each year by the consumer price index, or CPI.

Every year, Congress must pass a bill linking veterans' COLA increases to increases in Social Security. As the next Congress convenes, the VFW will continue to push for legislation permanently tying veterans' COLA increases to Social Security.

During the 112th Congress, Rep. John Runyan, R-N.J., introduced a bill that would have fixed this COLA loophole. Despite
VFW testimony and advocacy efforts, the bill failed to gain momentum after passing through the House VA Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs. To learn more about Runyan's bill, click here.

Your VFW will continue to fight for equitable increases in COLA for our veterans and surviving spouses.