For the past two years, the veterans disability compensation rates have increased with the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) announced by the Social Security Administration. The 2018 increase was 2% and the 2019 increase was 2.8%. This followed several years of no or minimal growth in the benefits amounts.
While the 2020 veterans disability compensation rates have yet to be announced, it seems likely there will be an increase as the latest data shows the COLA standing at approximately 1.44% above the inflation index. While this would be a smaller increase than the last two years, any increase is good news for someone seeking benefits.
Anyone who was injured or became ill while serving in the military is potentially eligible to receive VA compensation benefits. There is a process to determine what injury or illness is service-connected and vetting that out ahead of time is key. Getting an attorney involved early in your veterans benefits process is key to ultimately receiving benefits.
Will Veterans Disability Compensation Benefits Increase in 2020?
There are multiple factors pointing to a potential COLA increase in 2020 for those receiving veterans benefits. Some of these include current events by the current administration. The factors include:
- An increase in the CPI-W by 1.44 percentage points in June above the official 2018 CPI-W of 2018.
- Rising oil and gas prices due to the announcement of not renewing waivers that allow countries to buy Iranian oil without facing U.S. sanctions. Gas prices factor greatly into the COLA amounts.
- Chinese tariffs which have been bounced back and forth could lift the price of goods in the United States, which also factors into the COLA number.
Other economic factors point to a possible freeze in veterans disability compensation rates in 2020. These include the following factors:
- Economic growth appears to be slowing in 2019, which could lead to a freeze in COLA and other adjustments.
- Gas prices have fluctuated, so any drops could mean that they don’t contribute to an increase, but in fact contributes to a flattened rate.
- The CPI-W spiked early in 2019, which historically could mean a flattened rate in the rest of the year, indicating a possible freeze in benefits.
Whether the 2020 veterans disability compensation rates come out at 1.44%, above, below or flat, it will still be important for injured veterans to get the benefits they deserve. At Tabak Law, we have a long history of assisting veterans with their disability claims. Give us a call risk-free at 844-432-0114.