Did you hear? VA benefits will be increasing next year. Learn about the official VA benefits Cost-of-Living Adjustment increase for 2024. We’ll talk about what the cost-of-living adjustment or COLA is, how much it will be, and more. Tabak Law is your source for VA benefits news and information.
How Much Will VA Benefits Increase in 2024?
The official COLA percentage is 3.2%. This means whatever benefit you were getting, assuming nothing else changes, it will go up by 3.2%. To calculate this, you can simply take out your calculator or more likely the calculator app on your phone, multiply your current benefits by 1.032, and that will be your approximate new benefit.
Another way to get a rough estimate is to add $3.20 to your benefit for every $100 of benefit you get. For example, a $1,000 benefit would see a $32 increase. This means if you have a disability rating of 10%, you will see your rating increase from $165.92 in 2023 to $171.23 in 2024. At the other end of the spectrum, for a single veteran (no dependents) with a disability rating of 100% the benefit amount will go from $3,621.95 to $3,737.85 in 2024.
This increase will happen automatically in January of 2024. You should get a letter likely sometime in December that will reflect your new benefit amount.
Will VA Benefits Go Up Every Year?
You may be used to hearing about the government budget for all sorts of programs going up or down at the whim of Congress and other political forces, but the COLA actually operates very differently.
First introduced back in 1975, the COLA was not built to be subject to political forces. Instead, it was an automatic increase based on economic numbers from the 3rd quarter of the previous year. This means 2024’s upcoming increase was based on the third quarter numbers from a consumer price index in 2023, hence why the increase was announced in October shortly after those numbers were tabulated.
This does not mean that the COLA will always increase benefits. Inflation doesn’t always happen every year. When deflation occurs though, instead of the COLA percentage going below 0% it bottoms out at 0%. This has actually happened 3 times since the COLA was instituted. Once in 2010 and again in 2011, and then a third time 5 years later in 2016.
Have VA Benefits Always Had a COLA?
Though the COLA was established back in 1975, it was made for Social Security programs including Social Security Retirement, Social Security Disability Insurance, and Supplemental Security Income.
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This is the first time that the COLA will apply to VA benefits as the Veterans Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Act of 2023 was passed with bipartisan support and signed into law this year, and the COLA increase is set to apply in January of 2024.
Need Help Getting the VA Benefits that You Deserve?
If you need help getting VA benefits, then you need to reach out to Tabak Law. We take no payment unless we win. Our legal team has years of experience working veterans’ benefits cases and we are ready to help you! Reach out to us today for a free case review!
Introduced back in 1975, the COLA Nothing posted on this website is intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. Blog postings and site content are available for general education purposes only.