Veterans’ Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)

From DAV: On October 18, 2011, it was announced that there would be a 3.6% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security recipients next year. The Senate immediately and unanimously passed leglislation, S. 894, to apply this same COLA increase to veterans disability compensation payments. Earlier this year, the house approved companion legislation, H.R. 1407. Once the COLA legislation is sent to the President and signed into law, it will provide a much-needed increase for the 3.2 million disabled veterans who receive monthly disability compensation payments as a result of injuries or illnesses suffered in service to the nation. For many veterans, particularly those with severe and catastrophic disabilities, these payments may be their primary or even their only source of income. For the past two years, disabled veterans have seen no COLA increases, and for many it has become increasingly harder to make ends meet. While the official COLA may have been zero, it is important to understand that the Consumer Price Index upon which the COLA is calculated does not take into account increases in the cost of food or gasoline. In addition, as disabled veterans grow older, their needs may also increase due to declining health and increased morbidity. While we recognize the difficult work facing Congress to make reductions in federal spending, we believe it would be irresponsible to target cuts at those who have already sacrificed so much for their country. Please urge your elected officials to reject any proposals that would reduce disability compensation, or prevent, reduce or delay the application of a full COLA for disability compensation.

Dear Friends and Clients,

In furtherance of our firm’s culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can.

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP