Disabled veterans and other beneficiaries would receive a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) equivalent of that given to Social Security recipients and other federal beneficiaries next year, under a measure that passed the House May 28.
The figure is yet to be determined. Early indicators suggest that the severe impact the Coronavirus pandemic has had on the U.S. economy could lead to a significantly lower COLA than this year’s 1.6 percent.
Annual COLAs are based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a measurement of change in prices of a market basket of consumer goods, produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Early BLS projections point to a CPI below .1 percent. Rep. Elaine G. Luria, D-Virginia, sponsored the bill, H.R. 6168.
The House also approved two other bills:
* S. 3414 would authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs to undertake major medical facility projects during fiscal year 2020, which ends Sept. 30. The measure also places spending limits for each project. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, sponsored the bill. He chairs the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
* S. 3084 would modify the limitation on pay for certain VA officers and employees. Salaries for these people would be capped at $197,300 per year, up from $160,100. Sen. Moran sponsored the Senate bill; Reps. Gil Cisneros, D-California, and Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, sponsored the House version of the bill, H.R. 6528.