Posted on 2 Nov, 2018
Veterans who get disability pay and military retirees are going to get 2.8 percent more starting in December. It will be the largest increase they’ve gotten in six years, the Social Service Administration recently announced. The increase for 2018 was 2 percent, and in the previous three years combined, the increases totalled 2 percent.
Currently, cost of living increases are automatic for Social Security benefits. This means that the executive branch has control over them and to not need approval from Congress. This applies to other federal benefits as well, such as military retiree payouts. These will be boosted as well.
There are other federal benefits that do not need re-authorization every year, including Department of Veterans Affairs payouts. This means that this announcement may serve as a precursor to changes to those benefits as well.
Congress only recently finished their discussions and paperwork related to the veteran benefits cost-of-living increases, and President Trump signed it into law quickly. This means that veterans will not receive more benefits including higher disability pay, clothing allowances, dependents compensation, and other payouts that will arrive starting in January.
Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe, a Republican from Tennessee, was pleased that the measure passed and that veterans will be able to keep up with cost of living increases. He mentioned that many veterans around the country rely on these compensation payments to live their lives, and with the cost of living rising, they were in danger of not being able to continue. Now they can.
For several years, veterans advocates have been pushing to make cost of increase adjustments automatic, but until now have not had success. That has changed, which brings these benefits into line with military retiree payouts. The SSA says that the changes will affect 64 million Americans, and the increases are based on predicted rates of inflation.
If a veteran or a military retiree is currently getting $1500 a month in compensation, than the cost of living increase will see them receive over $500 more each year.