BREAKING: Senate Unanimously Passes Tester’s Bipartisan Bill to Deliver Annual Cost-of-Living Increase for Veterans
Tester’s bipartisan bill to increase rates of disability compensation for millions of veterans and survivors one step away from President’s desk;
Chairman took to Senate floor to urge passage
The Senate today unanimously passed Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester’s bipartisan Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Act of 2023 following a Senate floor speech from Tester urging swift passage of the must-pass legislation. This bipartisan bill would increase the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and military survivors under the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and now moves to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration.
“Montanans proudly serve in our armed forces at one of the highest rates in the country. These veterans put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms, and their families made sacrifices too,” said Tester. “These veterans and survivors, who depend on VA benefits, deserve certainty when it comes to providing for their families…Our bill directs VA to increase veterans’ compensation, so that folks across the country—including 30,000 disabled veterans and survivors in my home state of Montana—get the support they need to stay afloat.”
Tester continued, “At a time when many Montanans are struggling with rising costs, from housing to healthcare to groceries, this cost-of-living increase will help give our veterans a little more peace of mind. Today, we have the opportunity to put political differences aside, and come together for the men and women who risked their lives for this country. Let’s pass this bill.”
The Chairman’s Veterans’ COLA Act would increase certain VA benefits including disability compensation, clothing allowances, and dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) for surviving spouses and children to reflect increases in the cost of living. It will directly benefit millions of disabled veterans and military survivors nationwide, including more than 30,000 veterans and survivors in Montana who receive disability compensation and DIC benefits.
The cost of living adjustment will be determined by the annual COLA adjustment to social security benefits, as determined by the Social Security Administration, and would go into effect December 1, 2023. The Social Security Administration bases their annual COLA adjustment on the Consumer Price Index, as determined each December by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Senator’s Veterans’ COLA Act is supported by the nation’s leading veterans and survivor groups, including The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, AMVETS, Vietnam Veterans of America, Gold Star Wives, TAPS, Wounded Warrior Project, Military Officers Association of America, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.