Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2014 Signed Into Law


On September 26, 2014, the President signed into law a bill that will automatically increase the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans.  The law, known as the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2014, will tie the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to the same amount that Social Security COLA that is passed each year on December 1st.

For example, Social Security benefits were increased 1.4% for 2014.  Had this law been in effect on January 1, 2014, then veterans would have received a comparable increase.  Note that there have been years when the Social Security COLA was zero percent, and benefits were not raised.

Assuming there is a COLA for next year, veterans and their families should look for the increase in 2015.

Here is the text of the Act:

One Hundred Thirteenth Congress of the United States of America

2d Session

Begun and held at the City of Washington on Friday, the third day of January, two thousand and fourteen

S. 2258

AN ACT

To provide for an increase, effective December 1, 2014, in the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans, and for other purposes.

1.  Short title

This Act may be cited as the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2014.

2.  Increase in rates of disability compensation and dependency and indemnity compensation

(a)  Rate adjustment

Effective on December 1, 2014, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall increase, in accordance with subsection (c), the dollar amounts in effect on November 30, 2014, for the payment of disability compensation and dependency and indemnity compensation under the provisions specified in subsection (b).

(b)  Amounts To be increased

The dollar amounts to be increased pursuant to subsection (a) are the following:

(1)  Wartime disability compensation

Each of the dollar amounts under section 1114 of title 38, United States Code.

(2)  Additional compensation for dependents

Each of the dollar amounts under section 1115(1) of such title.

(3)  Clothing allowance

The dollar amount under section 1162 of such title.

(4)  Dependency and indemnity compensation to surviving spouse

Each of the dollar amounts under subsections (a) through (d) of section 1311 of such title.

(5)  Dependency and indemnity compensation to children

Each of the dollar amounts under sections 1313(a) and 1314 of such title.

(c)  Determination of increase

Each dollar amount described in subsection (b) shall be increased by the same percentage as the percentage by which benefit amounts payable under title II of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 401 et seq.) are increased effective December 1, 2014, as a result of a determination under section 215(i) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 415(i)).

(d)  Special rule

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may adjust administratively, consistent with the increases made under subsection (a), the rates of disability compensation payable to persons under section 10 of Public Law 85–857 (72 Stat. 1263) who have not received compensation under chapter 11 of title 38, United States Code.

(e)  Publication of adjusted rates

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall publish in the Federal Register the amounts specified in subsection (b), as increased under subsection (a), not later than the date on which the matters specified in section 215(i)(2)(D) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 415(i)(2)(D)) are required to be published by reason of a determination made under section 215(i) of such Act during fiscal year 2015.

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