Burr Applauds Passage of Bill to Increase Benefits for Wounded Veterans and Their Families

U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, today applauded the passage of S. 2617, the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2008, a bill he cosponsored, which will increase the rate of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans. The bill passed the Senate today and moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

"The men and women who have suffered service-related injuries while serving our nation and their survivors deserve to be compensated at a rate that reflects the current cost-of-living," Burr said. "There is no group of Americans to whom we owe more than our nation's veterans who were injured in service to their country. One of my top priorities as Ranking Member is to ensure that they receive the assistance and care they have earned through their brave service."

The Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to increase benefits by the same percentage as the cost-of-living (COLA) adjustment provided to Social Security recipients and VA pension beneficiaries. That increase is expected to be 2.8% and would result in an $857 million boost in benefits to veterans and their survivors in 2009.

VA estimates that it will provide disability compensation to over 3 million veterans with service-connected disabilities in 2009. This bill will help those veterans keep up with the cost-of-living by increasing the benefits they receive as a result of their service to our nation. This increase will take effect on December 1, 2008.