Disabled Vets, Survivors to Get 1.5% COLA

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The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Wednesday that veterans receiving disability compensation will get a 1.5 percent cost of living increase starting with their Jan. 1, 2014, payment.

"We're pleased there will be another cost-of-living increase for veterans, their families and their survivors," VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said in a statement. "The increase expresses in a tangible way our nation's gratitude for the sacrifices made by our service-disabled and wartime veterans."

The increase matches the cost of living adjustment announced in late October for military retirees, federal civilian retirees, and Social Security recipients.

VA disability increases are passed separately by Congress, though the amount is tied to the increase in Social Security. Last year, the increase was 1.7 percent.

Shinseki said that payments starting in January will not be rounded down to the nearest dollar. The VA had been required by law to round down, he said. Now, veterans and survivors will get the additional cents included in their monthly benefit payment.

Beginning in January, veterans without dependents will receive compensation ranging from $130.94 for a 10 percent disability to $2,858.24 for those 100 percent disabled.

For Veterans without dependents, the new compensation rates will range from $130.94 monthly for a disability rated at 10 percent to $2,858.24 monthly for 100 percent. 

In fiscal year 2013, VA provided over $59 billion in compensation benefits to nearly 4 million veterans and survivors, and over $5 billion in pension benefits to more than 515,000 vets and survivors, according to the department.

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