Last month, the more than four million Veterans and survivors who receive compensation benefits from VA saw an increase of 1.7 percent in their total monthly payment.
The increase is due to an annual cost of living adjustment (a.k.a. COLA) that ensures compensation benefits for Veterans and survivors keep pace with inflation.
By law, COLA’s amount of increase is the same percentage as that of Social Security benefits. The Social Security increase is based on a Bureau of Labor Statistics calculation of the rise in the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers.
The new VA compensation rates range from $129 monthly for a disabled Veteran rated at 10 percent to $2,816 monthly for a Veteran without dependents rated 100-percent. The increase also applies to amounts for additional dependents, Veterans and survivors pension, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, and clothing allowances paid to certain disabled Veterans.
You can check your 2013 COLA increase amount online through eBenefits. If you don’t have an online eBenefits account already, this is a great reason to get one. Online access to your VA and DOD benefits information is just a click away and signing up takes just a few minutes.
Did you know?
- VA disability compensation is not subject to federal or state income tax.
- Veterans are rated at increments of 10 percent, reflecting degree of disability.
- The largest category of Veterans on the compensation scale is at 10-percent disability ($129 per month), with 782,000 Veterans at this rate at the beginning of fiscal year 2013 among the total 2.9 million Veterans receiving disability compensation.
- The largest category of service-connected disabilities for Veterans receiving VA compensation is musculoskeletal problems, accounting for about 40 percent of all disabilities. This includes such problems as impairment of the knee and arthritis due to trauma.
Samantha O’Neil is a communications specialist with the Veterans Benefits Administration.