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Legislative Updates

‘American Heroes COLA Act of 2015’ passes in house

On Feb. 9, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 677, the “American Heroes Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) Act of 2015,” which would require annual COLAs to be made automatically whenever there is an increase in benefits under the Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) of the Social Security Act.

The quick-moving H.R. 677, which was passed by voice vote, was introduced on Feb. 3 by Reps. Ralph Abraham (R-LA) and Dina Titus (D-NV).

Under current law, the change requires Congress to act each year to make the cost-of-living adjustment. H.R. 677 states that, whenever there is an increase in Social Security’s OASDI benefit,

the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall increase by the same percentage the amounts payable as veterans' disability compensation, additional compensation for dependents, the clothing allowance for certain disabled adult children, and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children.

Calling H.R. 677 “a bill that’s been a long time coming,” Abraham noted that “veterans have earned—and deserve—the right not to be dependent on the whims of Congress to see that their basic needs are met.”

The bill is expected to be considered by the Senate next.

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