Isakson, Tester Introduce Bill to Increase Benefits for Veterans

Joined by committee members in introducing bipartisan bill to boost veterans’ disability compensation, accommodate for cost-of-living adjustment

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today introduced the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation to increase veterans’ disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

“As chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, my top priority is to ensure that veterans and their families receive the benefits they earned while serving our country,” said Isakson. “I’m proud to introduce this legislation to increase benefits for disabled veterans in keeping with rising costs of living.”

“The men and women who fought to keep us safe deserve benefits that reflect today’s economic realities,” said Tester. “Our bipartisan bill ensures that veterans and their families struggling to keep up with the rising costs of housing, utilities, and food can access the benefits and compensation they earned from a grateful nation.”

The bill, which was co-sponsored by every member of the Senate VA committee, would increase the rates of VA disability compensation, dependency compensation for surviving children and spouses, and the clothing allowance for veterans based on rising costs of living.

This cost-of-living adjustment, which would be equal to the amount of the adjustment given to Social Security recipients, is determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index on a yearly basis. The cost-of-living adjustment for veterans would go into effect on Dec. 1, 2019.

In addition to Isakson and Tester, the original co-sponsors of the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2019 are U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.,  John Boozman, R-Ark., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Bill Cassidy, R-La., Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Jerry Moran, R-Kan., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Mike Rounds, R-S.D., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C.

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The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is chaired by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., in the 116th Congress. Isakson is a veteran himself – having served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966-1972 – and has been a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs since he joined the Senate in 2005. Isakson’s home state of Georgia is home to more than a dozen military installations representing each branch of the armed services as well as nearly 700,000 veterans.