Senate Passes Tester's Bill to Increase Benefits for Montana Veterans and Their Families

(U.S. Senate) – The U.S. Senate today unanimously passed Senator Jon Tester’s bipartisan legislation to provide a much needed increase to veterans’ VA disability and survivor benefits.

Tester’s Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act will increase the VA disability compensation rates based on the rising cost of living. The increase would also apply to survivor benefits and pensions paid to low-income senior veterans.

“This nation must fully support the folks who sacrificed so much,” Tester said. “A cost-of-living increase will give veterans and their families more financial certainty. It is critical that this legislation quickly becomes law so veterans can receive these increased benefits before the end of the year.”

Tester’s bill will require the VA’s cost-of-living adjustment to be equal to the cost-of-living increase provided to Social Security recipients, which is determined in the fall by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index. If signed into law, the increase would be effective December 1, 2016.

Last Congress, Tester sponsored similar legislation that raised veterans’ disability compensation by 1.7 percent for 2015.

Tester’s bill received unanimous support from both Senate Republicans and Democrats.