Congresswoman Dina Titus of Nevada’s First District today praised House passage of her bill, the Pay As You Rate Act, and the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2015, introduced by Ranking Member Titus and Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA), Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.
The Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2015 (HR 675) provides an increase in the rates of veterans’ disability compensation, compensation for dependents, clothing allowance, and compensation for surviving spouses and children based on the Consumer Price Index Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Currently, veterans’ benefit increases rely upon Congress to pass legislation authorizing the increase. Earlier this year, Titus and Abraham introduced HR 677, the American Heroes COLA Act of 2015 to authorize the Secretary of the VA to automatically increase veterans’ benefits yearly at the rate of the CPI-W.
“COLA increases are critical to protecting the financial security of our disabled veterans and their families. While I’m pleased the House voted today to provide veterans the COLA increase they need and deserve for FY2016, it’s time to ensure veterans receive their full compensation payments each year, in a timely fashion, removed from the political whims of Capitol Hill,” said Titus. “By permanently adjusting benefits to include cost of living increases, we are providing critical peace of mind to those who have bravely served this country.”
The Pay as You Rate Act (HR 1414) expedites the benefit claims process for veterans by requiring the Veterans Administration to pay benefits to veterans as individual components of their claims are reviewed, rather than at the completion of the entire claim. The VA currently only pays veterans when their entire claim has been reviewed and processed. Text of the Pay As You Rate Act was included in HR 675, which passed the House today.
“Despite the national progress that has been made to decrease the backlog, veterans in District One and across the country continue to wait far too long for the benefits they earned serving in our Armed Services,” said Titus. “The Pay As You Rate Act is a common sense approach that will allow veterans to receive at least some of the benefits they earned in a timely manner, easing the VA’s backlog and providing tens of thousands of veteran families much needed financial support.”