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!