WASHINGTON, May 8 – Veterans benefits would rise to keep pace with inflation under legislation introduced today by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
Other committee members who cosponsored the bill are Sens. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.V.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.).
The cost-of-living adjustment would boost benefits for veterans with service-connected disabilities and for their survivors. It is projected that more than 4.2 million veterans and survivors will receive compensation benefits during the next fiscal year.
“Providing adequate financial compensation to our veterans and their families is our responsibility as a nation,” said Sanders. “We owe them an enormous debt of gratitude for their service and sacrifices and these adjustments ensure that we fulfill that obligation.”
“The men and women who have suffered service-related injuries while serving our nation and their survivors deserve to be compensated at a rate that reflects the current cost-of-living,” Burr said. “One of my top priorities as ranking member is to ensure that they receive the assistance and care they have earned through their brave service.”
The Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2013 would increase compensation benefits on December 1, 2013. in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index, the same index that determines the annual rate adjustments for Social Security benefits.