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Will Vets Get COLA Increase in 2021?

The Senate recently unanimously passed legislation to link the two federal payouts, sending it to the White House to become law. President Trump is expected to sign the measure soon.

Military Times’ recent article entitled “Veterans will see same cost-of-living boost in 2021 as Social Security beneficiaries” reports that the bill isn’t controversial, and routinely passes Congress each year without any opposition. However, under current law, Congress must okay the connecting of the two increases, so veterans will get the pay boost. Attempts to permanently link the two sets of increases has seen little progress in recent years.

Vets and military retirees will get a 1.6% cost-of-living increase starting later in 2020. That increase is below the 2.8% increase beneficiaries saw in 2019.

In a statement, Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, and committee ranking member Jon Tester, D-Montana, praised the bill’s passage as important for veterans and the country.

“Our men and women in uniform deserve to have Washington in their corner working tirelessly to ensure they can keep up with the rising costs of housing, utilities, and food when they return to civilian life,” Tester said. “Today’s passage is a clear sign that we’re making good on our promises to those who’ve served.”

Our troops would see a 3% pay raise, as well as additional child care and family support programs under the House plan.

Military Times obtained an early copy of House personnel plans for the annual defense authorization bill, set to be voted on in the coming weeks.

Earlier this year, bill sponsor Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., called it Congress’ “duty” to ensure veterans’ benefits keep pace with rising costs.

Social Security officials are expected to announce the size of the annual cost-of-living adjustment in the next few weeks (if there is one). In 2019, the figure was 1.6%. In 2018, it was 2.8%.

Veterans benefits covered include disability compensation, compensation for dependents, clothing allowances, and dependency, and indemnity compensation checks.

If there’s a COLA increase to benefits checks, it will go into effect starting this December.

Reference: Military Times (Sep. 24, 2020) “Veterans will see same cost-of-living boost in 2021 as Social Security beneficiaries”

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