Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairs Applaud Passage of Critical Disability Benefits Increase
Washington, September 20, 2021 | Samantha Gonzalez
Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Ranking Member Mike Bost (R-Ill.) and Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) along with Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-Kans.) released the following statements after the House passed S. 189, the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2021, introduced by Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Ranking Member Troy Nehls and Chair Elaine Luria in the House. This critical legislation will increase the rate of disability compensation for veterans living with service-connected disabilities and their survivors.
“The bipartisan Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2021 will provide veterans with cost-of-living adjustments in line with skyrocketing inflation,” said Ranking Member Bost. “Many veterans rely on disability compensation payments to make ends meet; this was especially true during the pandemic. For millions of veterans and their families, this adjustment is more important now than ever before.”
“The cost-of-living adjustment to veterans' benefits is so much more than a rate adjustment tied to inflation—it is a quality-of-life guarantee in the retirement years for veterans suffering with service-connected disabilities and ailments,” said Chairman Takano. “It also comes with the assurance for veterans that their survivors will not see a steady decline in benefits if the economy changes and costs rise after they have passed. This guarantee is a great source of comfort for veterans as they age, and it is my honor to lead this effort to say thank you to our veterans. I’m grateful for Chair Luria’s work on this and look forward to President Biden signing this critical legislation. As many veterans are struggling with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m glad that we could come together and pass this increase early this year.”
“Prices on energy, rent and groceries are increasing around the country, and the disability benefits provided to veterans must keep pace with the rising cost of living,” said Ranking Member Moran. “Veterans disabled due to their service often count on these benefits to replace lost earnings. I applaud my colleagues in the House for advancing this important legislation and urge the President to quickly sign this legislation into law to help provide our veterans with some peace of mind in the coming year.”
“It’s on Congress to make sure veterans and survivors receive benefits that reflect their sacrifices and keep pace with the rising costs of living each year,” said Chairman Tester. “Unanimous passage of our bipartisan bill means we’re one step away from guaranteeing stronger benefits that’ll support veterans in the long-term, and I look forward to President Biden quickly signing this important legislation into law.”
The House passed five total veterans’ bills today to continue our work to allow veterans to access high-quality healthcare, including dental care, renew well-run VA programs, safeguard veterans earned benefits, and celebrate the service of three American heroes.