Titus, Abraham introduce bills to increase cost of living benefits for veterans

Feb 4, 2015
Press Release

February 4, 2015

Washington, D.C.– Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-LA., chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, and ranking Democrat Congresswoman Dina Titus, D-NV, announced Wednesday the introduction of two bills that support America’s veterans by providing cost of living adjustments (COLA) to their benefits.

The American Heroes COLA Act of 2015 (H.R. 677) would authorize the Secretary of the VA to provide an automatic annual increase to the rates of veterans’ disability compensation, compensation for dependents, clothing allowance, and compensation for surviving spouses and children based on the Consumer Price Index Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

Another bill, the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2015 (H.R. 675), would provide those cost of living adjustments next year, beginning Dec. 1.

“These benefits are instrumental to supporting those who have honorably served our nation. Passing the American Heroes COLA Act would provide our veterans much-needed peace of mind so that they know their benefits will be secure each year. We must demand higher protection of our veterans and their financial security. These bills, which enjoy bipartisan support, ensure our veterans and their families’ needs are met. Rep. Titus and I urge Congress to swiftly pass these bills into law,” Dr. Abraham said.

Like Dr. Abraham, Rep. Titus urged the passage of American Heroes COLA Act so that veterans’ benefits are automatically adjusted each year, as Social Security benefits are. Unlike Social Security benefit increases, veterans’ benefit increases currently rely upon Congress to pass legislation authorizing the increase.  

"Unlike with Social Security COLA increases, Congress must act each year to provide veterans with the COLA increases they need and deserve. Our nation’s heroes should receive their full compensation payments each year, in a timely fashion, removed from the political vagaries of Capitol Hill. Their livelihood should not be held hostage by political forces," Congresswoman Titus said. “By permanently adjusting benefits to include cost of living increases, we are providing critical peace of mind to those who have bravely served this country. I'm proud to join Rep. Abraham in introducing these bills to protect our disabled veterans and their families' financial security.”