Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  The Veterans Disability Compensation Automatic COLA Act (S. 3359), introduced by Senator John Thune, was added today as an amendment by Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) to the Claims Processing Improvement Act of 2010 (S. 3517). If passed into law, this legislation would provide automatic cost-of-living adjustments to benefits each year for those who have been disabled in military service to their country and survivors of those who have given their life in military service to our country. Currently, Congress must enact the benefit each year to account for inflation.

“This is a step in the right direction for our disabled veterans,” said Thune. “Veterans’ benefits should be free from political rhetoric and the uncertainty of the legislative process in Washington. This measure gives our disabled veterans, who have already given so much, peace of mind in knowing their benefits will keep pace with inflation.”

The amendment also provides for an annual automatic increase for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) for eligible survivors of certain deceased veterans who had service-connected injuries. This measure is supported by both the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the American Veterans (AMVETS).

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee passed S. 3517 today and it now awaits action by the full Senate. In addition to Senator Burr, the bill has the bipartisan support of Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME).

As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Thune believes we must do everything we can to ensure that veterans’ disability benefits reflect the changing financial needs our veterans face over time.