ELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times
The care of U.S. veterans continues to remain a priority for Sen. Jerry Moran’s office and recently, a piece of legislation to help with just that headed to President Joe Biden’s desk.
Wednesday, Moran and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) – ranking member and chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs – announced their bipartisan Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Act of 2023 passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is headed to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law. This legislation will increase compensation benefits for veterans with service-connected disabilities and military survivors under the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), according to a release from Moran’s office.
“We have a responsibility to take care of our veterans and their families, many of whom rely on the VA for financial support,” Moran noted in the release. “Ensuring their benefits keep pace with rising costs and inflation will help provide disabled veterans and certain surviving spouses and children with some peace of mind and provide them the stability they deserve. I appreciate my colleagues working to pass this legislation, and I look forward to it being signed into law.”
“We’re at the finish line when it comes to delivering a cost of living increase for the 30,000 disabled veterans and survivors in my home state of Montana, giving these folks—and millions more across the country—a little peace of mind as they struggle to keep pace with rising costs,” Tester noted in the release. “Our veterans put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms, and they deserve certainty when it comes to providing for their families. On behalf of these brave men and women, I urge the President to sign our bipartisan bill into law without delay. This Act would increase certain VA benefits including disability compensation, clothing allowances and dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) for surviving spouses and children to reflect increases in the cost of living. It will directly benefit millions of disabled veterans and military survivors nationwide. The cost-of-living adjustment will be determined by the annual COLA adjustment to social security benefits, as determined by the Social Security Administration, and would go into effect Dec. 1, 2023. The Social Security Administration bases their annual COLA adjustment on the Consumer Price Index, as determined each December by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
The Veterans’ COLA Act is supported by the nation’s leading veterans and survivor groups, including The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, AMVETS, Vietnam Veterans of America, Gold Star Wives, TAPS, Wounded Warrior Project, Military Officers Association of America and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.