09.26.08

Burr Lauds Increased Benefits for Wounded Veterans

President Bush signs legislation increasing rate of benefits

U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, today applauded President Bush's signing of S. 2617, the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2008, into law. Senator Burr was an original cosponsor of this law which will increase the rate of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and for surviving family members of certain disabled veterans.

"The men and women who have suffered service-related injuries while serving our nation deserve to be compensated at a rate that reflects the current cost-of-living," Burr said. "We owe our nation's veterans a huge debt of gratitude and 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.