Millions Receive Cost-Of-Living Increases for VA Benefits
Peake: Disabled Veterans Receive Earned Increase
Reprinted by permission of the Department of Veterans Affairs
WASHINGTON – Millions of veterans and eligible family members will see their disability compensation, pension, and survivors' benefits increased as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides an annual cost-of-living increase for key benefits.
“This increase ensures that those veterans who have earned this benefit for incurring a disability in defense of our country receive payments that keep pace with today’s cost of living,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake. “VA is committed to the needs of our veterans and their families. We owe America’s defenders no less.”
A recent law signed by President Bush provides a 2.3 percent increase in disability compensation and survivors' benefits. Eligible veterans and family members will see this increase starting in their January 2008 checks.
Under the veterans’ disability compensation program, tax-free payments will generally range from $117 to $2,527 per month depending on the degree of disability. Special payments up to $7,232 per month apply to the most severely injured veterans.
Pension disability benefits will also be increased by the same percentage and effective on the same date. The maximum annual rate for permanently and totally disabled veterans or veterans over age 65 can range from $11,181 to $18,654, based on household income and whether veterans are in need of help with activities for daily living.
This increase also applies to survivors of veterans who died in service or from a service-connected disability. Dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) survivors’ benefit payments can range from $1,091 to $2,499 per month.
Survivors of wartime veterans receiving death pension are also entitled to an increase. The maximum annual payment rate for a surviving spouse can range from $7,498 to $11,985. Benefits under this program are intended to bring an eligible spouse’s income to a level established by law.
Under each benefit program, additional allowances may be payable for helpless, minor or school age children.
For more information about VA benefits and services, go to VA’s website at www.va.gov or call 1-800-827-1000.