WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden today signed a bill cosponsored by U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) to automatically provide cost-of-living increases to Veterans Affairs benefits for certain veterans with disabilities and dependent survivors.
“Benefits for veterans with disabilities and dependent survivors should be consistent and not subject to arbitrary decisions by Congress,” said Senator Hassan. “This commonsense bill will automatically include yearly cost-of-living adjustments for benefits, instead of having Congress approve them every year. We can never fully repay our veterans for the sacrifices they have made, but making sure that they consistently receive the benefits they deserve is an important step.”
The bipartisan Veterans’ Disability Compensation COLA Act of 2021, led by Senator John Thune (R-SD), automatically adjusts the amounts paid to veterans for disability compensation and to certain surviving spouses, children, or parents for dependency and indemnity compensation by the annual cost of living adjustments. Before this law, Congress needed to approve the annual cost of living adjustments for disability compensation and rates for dependency for indemnity compensation for dependent survivors each year.
This bipartisan bill is part of Senator Hassan’s ongoing efforts to strengthen support for veterans. Earlier this year, Senator Hassan helped to pass into law the SAVE LIVES Act to expand COVID-19 vaccine access to all veterans, their spouses, and their caregivers through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Senator Hassan also helped secure key priorities for Granite State veterans in the bipartisan veterans package that was signed into law earlier this year, including the Deborah Sampson Act, which Senator Hassan joined in introducing to eliminate barriers to care and services that many women veterans face. Earlier this year, Senator Hassan also voted to advance historic bipartisan legislation to address the failure to provide sufficient compensation and care for veterans exposed to toxic substances during their service.