Legislation sponsored by Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Norfolk, to boost disabled veterans’ benefits has passed the Senate and is on its way to the White House.
Luria’s bill directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to increase payments of veterans’ disability compensation, as well as additional compensation for dependents, the clothing allowance for certain disabled veterans, and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children. She said the bill “will provide a cost of living adjustment to disabled veterans who depend on their benefits to pay for necessities” by making sure benefit payments keep pace with inflation.
The increase would take effect Dec. 1 if signed into law by the president.
The increase is to be same as the cost-of-living increase for Social Security recipients. That increase is based on increases in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. The increase set in December 2019 was 1.6% and the increase to be set this year will reflect the difference between last’s year’s third quarter index level and this year’s. As of August, the year-to-year increase was 1.3%.
“As a 20-year Navy veteran, I understand how important it is to ensure that veterans’ benefits reflect the rising costs of living,” Luria said in a written statement.
The bill passed both the House of Representatives and Senate on voice votes.
Luria won both bodies’ approval of similar legislation last year.
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