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Eligible vets to receive 3.6% COLA next year

Nov. 2, 2011 - 06:29PM   |   Last Updated: Nov. 2, 2011 - 06:29PM  |  
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Congress acted Wednesday to make sure veterans don't miss out on the 3.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment that is already coming Dec. 1 for Social Security recipients and military retirees.

By voice vote and little debate, the House gave final passage to S 894, a bill authorizing the Veterans Affairs Department to make a 3.6 percent hike in veterans' disability compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation for survivors and pensions for low-income veterans. This will be the first increase in those payments since Dec. 1, 2008.

About 2.9 million people will be affected by the bill. The Senate passed the bill earlier this year, so the measure now goes to President Obama for his signature.

Social Security, military and federal civilian retired pay and other federal entitlements are automatically tied to the Consumer Price Index, a measurement of the cost of goods and services, but veterans' benefits are adjusted only if Congress acts.

Increases take effect Dec. 1 but will first appear in January checks.

There were no COLAs in 2009 and 2010 because consumer prices were flat.

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