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.