Social Security Administration (SSA) officials recently announced that the cost-of-living payments for beneficiaries in 2019 will be increased by 2.8%. Under current federal law, these annual cost-of-living increases automatically boost other federal benefits. For instance, this increase will serve as a baseline for veterans who receive disability pay, as well as military retirees who receive payouts from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), so covered individuals could receive a boost in disability pay, clothing allowances, dependent compensation, and a host of other benefits starting in January. To learn more about these cost-of-living adjustments and how they could affect your own payments, please contact a member of our veterans benefits legal team for assistance.
For the first time, and as a result of years of pressure placed on Congress by veterans advocates, cost-of-living adjustments are now automatic for veterans who receive certain benefits. This means that, like Social Security benefit cost-of-living calculations, which are automatically updated every year to keep pace with inflation, Congress is no longer required to pass legislation on an annual basis to increase the rates of veteran disability compensation. Instead, the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities, and the surviving family members of disabled veterans who collect dependency and indemnity compensation will be able to receive the same annual cost-of-living adjustments as Social Security benefit recipients.
Cost-of-living adjustments are calculated using the Consumer Price Index, which measures the cost of goods and other expenses across the nation from July through September of the current year and then compares it to the previous year’s levels. Generally, if the Consumer Price Index increases, then the cost-of-living amount also changes. According to the SSA, next year, the cost-of-living will increase for Social Security benefit recipients, as well as some veterans and their families by 2.8%, which represents the highest adjustment since 2012 by nearly 1%. Based on these increases, it is estimated that veteran and military retirees who receive around $1,500 a month in payouts will receive an additional $500 over the course of the year. This significant of an increase in the cost-of-living could prove crucial to many veterans and their families who rely on their monthly benefit or pension checks, so if you have questions about how the increase will affect your own payments, please contact our legal team today.
If you are currently collecting veterans benefits or believe that you may qualify, you need the advice of an experienced attorney who can help represent your interests. Please call The Comerford Law Office, LLC at 312-863-8572 today to speak with a dedicated veterans benefits lawyer who can explain your legal options and assist you in submitting your own claim or filing a notice of disagreement.
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