Veterans Benefits Could Expect A Big Cost-of-Living Increase Before Year End

Beginning December, veterans may receive a huge cost-of-living increase in their benefits payout as Congress has finalized a legislation to give them the same cost-of-living boost that Social Security recipients will receive.

The measure links the cost-of-living boost for veterans benefits to the planned increase in Social Security benefits. Although the Social Security boost is automatic each year, lawmakers must approve the veterans benefits increase annually.

Passed unanimously in the House on Monday, without objection from the Senate earlier during the summer, the Veteran’s Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act is now headed towards the White House. President Joe Biden is set to sign it into law in the next few days, Military Times reported.

How much that boost will be next year is still not clear. The Social Security Administration is set to make an announcement regarding the COLA rate for 2022 by next month. This will be based on the economic trends in the previous few months.

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Credits: military.com

The boost will take effect for benefits checks sent out beginning this December. Since 2011, the cost-of-living boost has not been over 3.0% and has averaged only less than 1.3% in the last six years.

But just last month, officials from the Senior Citizens League predicted that by next year, the increase could reach 6.2%, based on the recent inflation and wage data released by federal economists. If this happens, it will be the biggest rise since 1983 for both Social Security and Veterans Benefits recipients.

Lawmakers applauded the passing of the bill Monday since it is needed support for all American veterans.

“The cost-of-living adjustment to veterans’ benefits is so much more than a rate adjustment tied to inflation,” said Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif. “It is a quality-of-life guarantee in the retirement years for veterans suffering from service-connected disabilities and ailments.”

According to Committee ranking member Mike Bost, RI11., the boost is crucial for veterans and families who depend solely on disability benefits as their main source of income.

“Many veterans rely on disability compensation payments to make ends meet; this was especially true during the pandemic…For millions of veterans and their families, this adjustment is more important now than ever before.”

The VA COLA boost pertains to payouts for disability compensation, clothing allowance, dependency and indemnity benefits, and other VA assistance programs.

Also Read: Do You Make Anywhere Between $30,000 To $100,000? Here’s How Much Your Social Security Benefits Will Be