News Releases

Bill to increase veterans’ benefits now heads to president’s desk

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, respectively, today praised the Senate’s unanimous passage of the Veterans’ Compensation COLA Act of 2016, which will increase veterans’ disability benefits based on rising costs of living. 

“As chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I’m proud that the Senate joined us in ensuring that our veterans get the benefits they earned when they put their lives on the line for us,” said Isakson. “This increase will help our former service men and women who depend on these benefits. I look forward to seeing this bill signed by the president.”

“This critical legislation keeps faith with our men and women in uniform who were injured during their service to our country,” said Blumenthal. “Escalating living expenses are painfully squeezing veterans who rely on disability payments, and this bill would ensure their compensation keeps pace with rising costs. It is our duty to provide veterans and their families the support they need to live with the dignity they deserve.”

The Veterans’ Compensation COLA Act of 2016, the House companion to legislation introduced in the Senate by Isakson and Blumenthal last month, will boost the rates of VA disability compensation, dependency compensation for surviving children and spouses and the clothing allowance for veterans to account for any increase in the cost of living.

The increase will be equal to the cost-of-living adjustment received by Social Security recipients, which 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 December 1, 2016. 

The Veterans’ Compensation COLA Act of 2016 was previously passed by the House on July 11, 2016, and will now head to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

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The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is chaired by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., in the 114th 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 VA Committee 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 military as well as more than 750,000 veterans.