Veterans with the highest ratings will see an almost $100 bump in disability pay each month starting in 2019, the largest increase since 2012.
That 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), which kicks in Jan. 1, was made official Monday by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Military retirement, other VA disability benefits, Social Security and federal civilian retirement will see that same increase.
For veterans with a 10 percent disability rating, that bump brings monthly compensation from $136.24 to $140.05 each month, while a veteran entitled to 100 percent disability will go from $2,973.86 to $3,057.13 monthly.
Veterans with a 30 percent disability ranking or higher are entitled to greater amounts if they have dependents. A 100 percent-disabled veteran with spouse and two children will see their monthly payment increase to $3,437.10. Veterans can also get increased payments if they have a child over 18 attending school, or if they have a disabled spouse.
Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) will also see a 2.8 percent raise in 2019. SMC is paid in addition to regular disability compensation to a veteran who suffered the loss or loss of use of specific organs or extremities as a result of their service.
Like most federal benefits, disability compensation rate increases are tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures a broad sampling of the cost of consumer goods and expenses.
The CPI is compared to the previous year's numbers. If there is an increase, a cost-of-living adjustment is made. If there is no increase, there is no COLA.
In 2018, the COLA was 2.0 percent; in 2017, retirees saw a 0.3 percent increase. There was no increase at all in 2016. The last time COLA increased by more than 2.8 percent was 2012, when compensation rates got a 3.6 percent hike.
Federal benefits have been calculated this way since 1975.
GREENBELT, Md. (Reuters) - A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant accused of amassing a cache of weapons and plotting to attack Democratic politicians and journalists was ordered held for two weeks on Thursday while federal prosecutors consider charging him with more crimes.
An undated image of Hoda Muthana provided by her attorney, Hassan Shibly. (Associated Press)
Attorneys for the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America have filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr and President Donald Trump asking the court to recognize the citizenship of an Alabama woman who left the U.S. to join ISIS and allow she and her young son to return to the United States.
U.S. soldiers surveil the area during a combined joint patrol in Manbij, Syria, November 1, 2018. Picture taken November 1, 2018. (U.S. Army/Zoe Garbarino/Handout via Reuters)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will leave "a small peacekeeping group" of 200 American troops in Syria for a period of time after a U.S. pullout, the White House said on Thursday, as President Donald Trump pulled back from a complete withdrawal.
Construction crews staged material needed for the Santa Teresa Border Wall Replacement project near the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol/Mani Albrecht)
With a legal fight challenge mounting from state governments over the Trump administration's use of a national emergency to construct at the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has kicked his push for the barrier into high gear.
On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted a time-lapse video of wall construction in New Mexico; the next day, he proclaimed that "THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW"
But there's a big problem: The footage, which was filmed more than five months ago on Sep. 18, 2018, isn't really new wall construction at all, and certainly not part of the ongoing construction of "the wall" that Trump has been haggling with Congress over.
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton
A group comprised of former U.S. military veterans and security contractors who were detained in Haiti on weapons charges has been brought back to the United States and arrested upon landing, The Miami-Herald reported.
The men — five Americans, two Serbs, and one Haitian — were stopped at a Port-au-Prince police checkpoint on Sunday while riding in two vehicles without license plates, according to police. When questioned, the heavily-armed men allegedly told police they were on a "government mission" before being taken into custody.