Disabled Veterans, Retirees To Get Largest Benefit Boost in Decades

October 19, 2021Hannah Ray Lambert

World War II veteran James A. Stark attends the Airborne Honor Ceremony, June 4, 2019, in Picauville, France. US Army photo by Yvonne Najera.

Veterans’ benefit payments will increase by 5.9% for 2022, now that the Social Security Administration has announced the new cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA.

The change will impact all disabled veterans, with the amount of increase they can expect tied to their disability means. A veteran with a 10% disability rating will likely see his disability checks increase by about $8.50 per month, while a single veteran with no dependents and a 100% disability rating will get an additional $185.64 per month in 2022.

Military retirees can expect an additional $59 for every $1000 in benefits they receive each month.

The 5.9% increase is the biggest COLA boost in about 40 years. Previous raises have averaged around 1.4% per year for the past decade.

The Social Security Administration announced the increase Wednesday, Oct. 13. It will take effect in January 2022 for more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries. 

The payout will begin a little sooner for veterans, taking effect Dec. 1. Veterans’ COLA applies to disability compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation, clothing allowances, and other kinds of VA assistance.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is legally required to apply the COLA to veterans’ benefits payments, and military retirement benefits have traditionally followed suit. High inflation fueled by the coronavirus pandemic was the driving force behind the unusually large COLA. Prices jumped 5.3% in 2021, with gasoline and food prices being of particular concern for Social Security recipients.

Read Next: VA Clears Path to Benefits for LGBT Members Discharged Under DADT

Hannah Ray Lambert
Hannah Ray Lambert

Hannah Ray Lambert is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die who previously covered everything from murder trials to high school trap shooting teams. She spent several months getting tear gassed during the 2020-2021 civil unrest in Portland, Oregon. When she’s not working, Hannah enjoys hiking, reading, and talking about authors and books on her podcast Between Lewis and Lovecraft.

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