Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI) introduced legislation today to increase veterans' compensation through a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA).  A bipartisan group of Senators signed on to co-sponsor the bill: Senator Larry Craig (R-ID), Senator John D. Rockefeller IV(D-WV), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Senator Jim Webb (D-VA), and Senator John Ensign (R-NV).

"Making sure disability compensation gets to our nation's veterans is one of the core missions of the Department of Veterans Affairs.  It's our duty to help those veterans whose health and ability have been altered by their service to our country," stated Senator Akaka.

The Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2007 directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (as of December 1, 2007) to increase the rates of:

  • Veterans' disability compensation
  • Dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children, and
  • certain related benefits.                             

The COLA increase for veterans will match the annual increase provided to Social Security recipients. The COLA is designed to offset inflation and other factors that lead to the rising cost of living over time.  The COLA rate is based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index.  This year's increase has yet to be determined.      

"It is important that we view all veterans compensation, including the annual COLA, as a cost of war.  It is clear that the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will continue to result in injuries and disabilities that will increase claims for compensation," Akaka said.


January 29, 2007