CBO Estimates COLA Increase

An August 8, 2013 estimate from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) anticipates that veterans benefits will have a 1.5% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), effective 1 December 2013 and seen in the January payments.

The cost estimate is in response to S 893, the Veterans Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2013.  S 893 authorizes COLA increases of 1.5% for veterans disability payments and Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuity payments.  The bill has passed out of committee and awaits the vote of the entire Senate.  A similar House bill, HR 569, is currently pending in the House Veterans Affairs Committee.  Most experts agree that they are likely to pass, but we can never be sure.

COLA increases are automatic for military retirement pay, and other federal benefits such as Social Security.  However, benefits paid by the VA must be separately approved by Congress.

A 1.5% increase is not large, but it is better than nothing and obviously more than the zero percent increase of 2010 and 2011.  Let’s all be happy that there is a chance of an increase at all!

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.

20 Comments on "CBO Estimates COLA Increase"

  1. AMEN to that!!!!!

  2. pablo ortiz | August 21, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
  3. In regards to the last statement that we all should be happy there is a chance of an increase is shameful at best because I sent Mr Byrd of NC about their increases of which his reply was they are automatic for them and they have no control over it but ask if they ever thought about turning them down,well you know how that turned out.

  4. When it comes to pay and benefit increases for Congress Members and other Federal employees….Nothing interferes with that and it is always at the highest end of that scale…..Congress has made SURE the increases they received are set as an automatic thing, so they do not get into any difficulties with their folks at home!!!!! At the same time, all veteran and retirees pay and benefit increases are at the MERCY of the politicians…..go figure…..

  5. So I will get a .5% increase in COLA. That works for me. To anybody considering the CSB don't do it. A $30,000 dollar check isn't worth the loss in the long run.

  6. Jo, what the hell are are you trying to say?

  7. Joshua, I suppose that you will go out and get drunk with joy after I correct you by saying that the recommended COLA increase is 1.5%, NOT .5%. Now you will feel like you are as rich as Bill Gates. LOL

  8. Lee, that was a good one!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!

  9. Illena welter | August 24, 2013 at 9:50 pm |

    Congress should get 1.5 too

  10. I second the motion, Illena!!!!

  11. Joseph Diggs Sr | August 24, 2013 at 11:47 pm |

    Thanks and i hope Veterans will recieve this modest increase and realize those in other areas of employment will recieve "Nothing".

  12. congress should get what earned. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  13. Norman E. Duquette | August 25, 2013 at 7:39 pm |

    Those "computing" the Cost of Living Index apparently do not shop for their groceries, with Milk now $4.00 per gallon, bread $2. per loaf, coffee at $16. per pound, pineapples at $2. each, bananas at 29 Cents each, eggs at $2. per dozen . I do most of our grocery shopping and have done so for years. In the past year Prices have increased by an average of about 40%. Who is doing the Cost of Living calculations and upon what are they basing their Cost of Living??? It don't figure. Figures do not lie but liars can figure. "Duke" Duquette

  14. How does that go again… Oh ya Tip O'niel from Ma. once said.
    Don't tell me I know what the little people think.
    As long as Congress thinks of us as the little people, just how much do you think they think we deserve. Tell me again how much they get to setup their office and staff when elected, sorry to many 0's. Greed is what America stands for today and until that changes we are heading the way of collapes.

  15. It is said that a veteran's worst enemy is another veteran. In our case I believe our worst enemy is the politician we continue to re-elect. Election after election we do not research those politicians who vote against veterans and common sense. When I look at the ballot, I look to see who the incumbent is then vote the opposite. We gotta get rid of this current idiotic group of politicians. I would vote for Tammy Duckworth who took a pay cut after getting elected to Congress.

  16. Not everyone gets the full COLA increase. Disability COLA increases are reduced to the next lowest whole dollar. For example, if the COLA would increase your payment to $250.95/mo, you would only get $250.00/mo. Someone on 20% disability would get an effective 1.2% instead of 1.5%. This has been going on for many years as a cost-cutting measure and is cumulative, so next year's COLA increase would be on top of this year's reduced amount, then rounded down again.

  17. Robert Kaplowitz | August 28, 2013 at 2:20 am |

    How many congessmen and senators have served in the military? What percentage of the VA administrators have served ? Their first duty is to look to benefit the young men and women that agree to risk life and limb for their country ? What is the value of a hand or leg due to injury in this country or in combat ?

    It is time for a commitment from the people we elect to fairly compensate and care for the military that allows them to be safe and much too prosperous.

  18. I've been waiting for years now for thousands of dollars in out of pocket medical expenses despite my prompt filings of VA Form 21-8416's!

    All this while they keep on paying themselves bonuses and other perks!

    Our Government – Screwing the American Veterans since the Revolutionary War…

  19. all elected officials should be drug tested be for they get paid.

  20. I need to quickly get to the form of 21-8416….can someone advise me where to locate same….annie

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