Senators seek cost-of-living raise for disabled vets

Proposed legislation would provide a cost-of-living increase to disabled veterans' benefits.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., on Thursday introduced a bill that would boost disability compensation to veterans based on the annual cost-of-living adjustment paid to Social Security recipients. The legislation also would increase dependency and indemnity benefits distributed to surviving spouses and children. The increase would take effect on Dec. 1 and could affect as many as 3.5 million veterans and surviving family members in fiscal 2012, according to Murray.

"It's been two years since our veterans saw an increase in their benefits through a COLA, and those have been two difficult years," Murray said in a statement. "In a still challenging economy so many of our veterans depend upon the benefits they receive in order to meet their most basic needs, as well as those of their spouses and children," she said. "We have an obligation to the men and women who have sacrificed so much to serve our country and who now deserve nothing less than the full support of a grateful nation."

Based on a formula that takes into account increases in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, COLAs are designed to offset inflation and other factors that contribute to a rise in the cost of living.

If there is no CPI increase, a COLA will not take effect, said David Autry, spokesman for Disabled American Veterans, noting that this has been the case for the past two fiscal years. Measures introduced in the past that would have given veterans and Social Security recipients a one-time payout when no COLA is warranted have not been enacted, he added.

According to a Murray spokesman, the legislation would authorize an adjustment to veterans' benefits only if the CPI were to increase.

A bipartisan group of 14 senators has signed on to co-sponsor the bill.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.