Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The 2014 COLA Bill Adds to Disability Benefits

If you think your veterans disability benefits aren’t enough to meet your needs, then here’s some good news for you: President Obama recently signed a COLA bill that would add to them.

About the cost-of-living adjustment

The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is an adjustment in benefits that generally occurs once a year. Since 1975, COLA has been in full effect, and from then on, Social Security beneficiaries have received an annual increase in the benefits they receive based on the percentage increase in the consumer price index. COLAs are in place to ensure Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are not affected by inflation.

Qualifying for COLA

Two factors determine the application of COLA to a veteran’s benefits: his date of entry into the armed forces and his date of retirement. If you came into the service on or after Sep. 8, 1980, then became eligible for retirement pay on or after Jan. 1, 1996, your COLA will be decreased during your first calendar year of retirement. COLA increases will only be applied to subsequent years.

Questions about COLA

COLA greatly benefits a veteran’s federal withholding tax, monthly gross pay, annuities, and Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) premiums. That’s why it pays to know more about it. For more information about COLA and other Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, consult a knowledgeable disability benefits lawyer.
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