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Schatz Reintroduces Automatic Disabled Veteran Compensation Bill

US Sens. Brian Schatz and John Thune reintroduced the Veterans’ Disability Compensation Automatic Cost of Living Adjustment Act yesterday. This bipartisan legislation would require the federal government to provide disabled veterans an automatic COLA during years in which there is an increase in benefits payable under title II of the Social Security Act, which sets the requirements for disability insurance benefits.

“The benefits of veterans who are disabled should not have to fly with the political winds,” Schatz said. “Our bill keeps these veterans from waiting in suspense, giving them the certainty of knowing their benefits will stay current with the cost of living.”

The veterans’ COLA is usually enacted each year but it does not happen automatically. It is already anticipated in the Congressional Budget Office’s baseline, which means this bill is budget-neutral and will provide disabled veterans additional certainty from year to year, according to Schatzʻs communications director. Sen. Tune said this bill is the least that congress could do as a debt of gratitude to veterans.  

“Every year Congress has to pass legislation to make sure disabled veterans receive a COLA. Enacting this bill would remove the need for this annual exercise and insulate this important benefit from any potential congressional inaction,” Thune said. “It would also allow Congress and Veterans Service Organizations to focus their efforts on other needed reforms to deliver for our veterans.”

The full bill is available online [1].