New bill would adjust veterans' benefits
WASHINGTON, D.C. - If you're a veteran on disability, inflation is the enemy, but one lawmaker is trying to do something about that.
And he's doing it by introducing the Veterans Compensation Cost of Living Adjustment Act of 2018.
Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-CT, said, "This measure is about basic fairness to veterans."
Senator Blumenthal wants veterans collecting disability benefits to be compensated fairly as the cost of living rises.
As a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, he introduced the bipartisan legislation to increase disability benefits veterans receive.
"And with inflation and rising costs, veterans deserve a fair shake," Blumenthal said.
Blumenthal says this legislation is about making sure veterans receive what they have earned.
"And what we have promised them, and that we leave no veteran behind," Blumenthal said.
The American Legion says the legislation makes it easier for veterans to maintain their standard of living.
It can also go to survivors of a member of the military who died from service related injuries.
Larry Lohmann, assistant of American Legion Legislative Division, said, "It's not like a windfall or something for the veteran where they get lining their pockets. It just keeps them up literally being able to buy that gallon of milk or that loaf of bread."
Lohman says the cost of living adjustments are the same as social security benefits.
"It depends on what you're currently being paid from the VA. But they'll see the same adjustment which a social security recipient would receive which keeps up with the cost of living," Lohmann said.
Lohmannn says the American Legion is satisfied with the adjustment that would keep veterans' disability benefits in line with other benefits across the board.
The bill would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to make the increase by December 1, 2018. Every member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee co-sponsored this bill.