Isakson, Tester Introduce Bill to Increase Benefits for Veterans

Joined by committee members in introducing bipartisan bill to boost veterans’ disability compensation, accommodate for cost-of-living adjustment

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today introduced the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2017, bipartisan legislation to increase veterans’ disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

“Our men and women in uniform have sacrificed greatly, and it is our duty to provide veterans and their families with the benefits they so rightly deserve,” said Isakson. “As such, we are working to ensure veterans’ benefits mirror rising living costs in our country.”

“Veterans have earned this benefit, and this increase is a step in the right direction to live up to the promises we made to our men and women in uniform,” said Tester. “I’m proud to stand with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to keep veterans’ benefits in line with the rising costs of housing, utilities, and food.”

The bill, which was co-sponsored by every member of the Senate VA committee, would increase the rates of VA disability compensation, dependency compensation for surviving children and spouses, as well as the clothing allowance for veterans based on rising costs of living.

This cost-of-living adjustment, which would be equal to the amount of the adjustment given to Social Security recipients, is determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index on a yearly basis. The cost-of-living adjustment for veterans would go into effect on Dec. 1, 2017.

In addition to Isakson and Tester, the original co-sponsors of the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2017 are U.S. Senators Jerry Moran, R-Kan., John Boozman, R-Ark., Dean Heller, R-Nev., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Mike Rounds, R-S.D., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, Patty Murray, D-Wash., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.