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June 15, 2023

President Biden Signs King Bill to Increase Benefits for Veterans, Military Families

Cost-of-living adjustment will help approximately 30,000 Maine veterans keep up with rising costs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee (SVAC), today celebrated the signing into law of his bipartisan legislation to increase benefits for 30,000 Maine veterans and their families. As Maine people work to keep up with higher prices, the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Act of 2023 ensures that the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) disability compensation, surviving family member payments, and clothing allowances receive the same annual cost-of-living adjustment as Social Security.

The bill came to President Joe Biden’s desk after it unanimously passed the Senate in March. It is Senator King’s first SVAC bill to be signed into law.

“As everyday costs for Maine veterans grow, we have a responsibility to make sure their benefits are keeping pace,” said Senator King. “This bipartisan benefit increase is an essential step to help ensure those who served aren’t struggling with their basic household budgets. I’m grateful that President Biden and my colleagues across Congress understood the importance of this bill and the obligation we all share to support our veterans. When Maine veterans open their benefits check next January, they’ll see that America has their back.”

Unlike Social Security, the VA’s benefits programs do not receive an automatic annual cost-of-living increase. The Veterans’ COLA Act of 2023 will provide that same cost-of-living increase, determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics on December 1, 2023, for the following VA benefit programs:

  • Disability compensation for veterans with a rating of 10% or higher.
  • Special Benefit Allowance.
    • Includes payments to eligible veterans who receive an automobile allowance, a clothing allowance, or a Medal of Honor pension.
  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) for surviving spouses, DIC for surviving children, and supplemental DIC for surviving children.
    • DIC is the rate of compensation paid to survivors of service members who die in the line of duty, or veterans who die from service-related injuries or diseases. DIC is a monthly benefit.

As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Senator King has worked to ensure America’s veterans receive their earned benefits and that the VA is properly implementing various programs, such as the such as the PACT Act, the State Veterans Homes Domiciliary Care Flexibility Act, and the John Scott Hannon Act. Senator King hopes to help improve the Department’s capacity to help veterans by investing in its workforce, facilities, and other modernization efforts.


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