U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, PA-11, joined his colleagues in the House yesterday in a bipartisan voice vote to increase the benefits that veterans with service-connected disabilities receive, and to increase the compensation received by survivors of certain veterans.
Rep. Barletta voted for the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2011 (S. 894).
"Our veterans deserve the very best care and compensation we can provide, and this legislation will make sure that our veterans with service-connected disabilities receive a much-needed and well-deserved cost-of-living adjustment this year," Rep Barletta said.
Although Congress has passed a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) every year for veterans since 1976, there has not been an increase since 2009. The COLA is tied to the Consumer Price Index, which also adjusts benefits for Social Security recipients.
The expected COLA for veterans who receive these service-related disability benefits is 3.6 percent. The new rates would take effect Dec. 1, 2011 -- once the bill is signed into law by the president. The 2012 cost of living adjustment is for veterans receiving compensation for service-connected disabilities. The COLA also affects the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation of veterans who died as a result of service.