Tester introduces boost to disabled veterans’ benefits

Senator calls on Congress to ‘live up to its promises’ to nation’s veterans

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester is leading a bipartisan effort to authorize a boost in cost-of-living benefits for disabled veterans.

Tester today joined a group of bipartisan Senators introducing legislation that would increase this year’s compensation rates for veterans with service-connected disabilities, veterans with certain severe disabilities, and disabled veterans with spouses and children.  More than 19,000 Montanans receive disability, survivor or pension benefits from the VA.

Surviving spouses and children of veterans who died from service-connected injuries would also see an increase in benefits.  The exact amount of the cost-of-living increase is determined later in the year by the same formula used to determine cost-of-living increases for Social Security.

“The veterans who put their lives at risk for this country shouldn’t have to rely on a vote in Congress for the benefits they deserve, year after year,” said Tester, a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.  “But until we get that system fixed, Congress needs to live up to its promises and make sure all veterans have the benefits they’ve earned.  I am proud to fight every day for the folks who have fought for us.”

Adjustments to disabled veterans’ cost-of-living benefits are generally made annually, but they are not automatic.  Congress must approve the increase and the President must sign it into law.

Tester has sponsored separate legislation requiring automatic increases so veterans do not have to rely on Congress for their benefits.