With the final quarter of 2023 underway, the VA has recently announced its VA benefits COLA increase for 2024.
The yearly COLA or cost-of-living adjustment is highly anticipated by veterans depending on VA disability benefits as it usually means more money in their pocket every month.
Of course, there are things to know about the 2024 increase and COLA increases in general, as they are different every year.
These pointers should help those receiving VA benefits understand COLA increases better so they know what to expect.
Is There A COLA Increase to VA Benefits Every Year?
While there usually is a cost-of-living adjustment to VA disability benefit amounts each year, it is important that veterans understand this is not a guarantee.
There is no documented law that states there is to be a COLA increase in VA benefits every year.
Each year, Congress must pass a new bill to increase benefits the following year and the President must sign it into law.
Since there is rarely any argument for giving disabled veterans a cost-of-living increase, COLA increases typically pass without issue; however, it is possible for a year to pass without one.
How Are COLA Increases to VA Disability Benefits Calculated?
There is no set dollar amount for COLA VA disability benefits increases each year.
Instead, the amount to be approved by Congress is connected to the Consumer Price Index.
Based on the amount that people are paying for goods and services at the time of the decision and financial projections for the following year, Congress will determine what percentage increase to pass for this vital cost-of-living adjustment.
A rising CPI usually indicates there is inflation, which frequently causes a higher COLA VA benefits increase to be approved.
When the CPI is lower, COLA increases may be smaller.
What Is Known About the 2024 COLA Increase to VA Benefits?
The 2024 COLA increase for VA disability benefits was determined to be 3.2% on October 12, 2023.
Veterans can expect to see the increase in their benefits pay starting in January 2024.
The amount is considerably smaller than the 2023 COLA increase, which was 8.7%, largely due to the degree of inflation that was happening at the end of 2022 and into 2023.
With inflation and the Consumer Price Index currently more stable than it was a year ago, Congress has approved a lower COLA increase.
Since these payments are made as a percentage of the VA benefit amount a veteran is currently receiving, they need to refer to this 2024 VA Disability Rates Table to see the exact amount they receive.
For a quick estimate of what increase a veteran can expect, a veteran can simply multiply their current VA disability benefit amount by .032 and then add the total to the amount of their current pay.
Watch for COLA Increases in VA Benefits Starting In January 2024
With the new year only a few weeks away, veterans receiving VA disability benefits can look forward to another yearly COLA increase soon.
The COLA adjustment for VA benefits in 2024 will not be as significant as it was this past year, but the good news is that Congress has once again approved an increase to provide disabled veterans with more living expenses money.
Anyone with questions about their COLA increase or does not see it in their pay in January should contact a VA disability claims expert who can help them resolve their issue.
Questions About VA Disability Benefits in Texas?
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