Military retirees and disabled veterans are getting a pay bump in 2020. Here's what you should know

Veterans Benefits

VIDEO: "Veterans Only" Parking spots don't go far enough

Editor's Note: This article by Jim Absher originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Military retirees, those who receive disability or other benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, federal retirees and social security recipients will see a 1.6% increase in their monthly checks for 2020.

The annual Cost Of Living Allowance (COLA) is smaller than the 2.8% increase from last year but in line with the historical increases seen over the last ten years. Each year military retirement pay, Survivor Benefit Plan Annuities, VA Compensation and Pensions, and Social Security benefits are adjusted for the rate of inflation.


Retirement pay increase

As a result of the increase, the average military retirement check for an E-7 with 20 years of service will go up by $38 a month, while an O-5 with the same time in uniform will see a $72 monthly increase.

Retirees who entered military service on or after Aug. 1, 1986 and opted-in for the Career Status Bonus (CSB/Redux retirement plan), have any COLA increases reduced by 1 percent, so they will see a smaller increase in 2020.

The 1.6% increase means that you will get an additional $16 for every $1,000 in government benefits you receive.

VA disability increase

Disabled veterans will also get a bump. The average VA disability check will go up about $2 per month for those with a 10 percent rating, and $49 for those rated at 100 percent.

Other federal retirees and beneficiaries

Military retirees and VA beneficiaries aren't the only ones who benefit from the COLA increase. Civil Service retirees, and Social Security recipients will also see the 1.6% jump in their monthly checks as well.

For Social Security recipients, the monthly increase will mean an extra $12 per month for the average beneficiary.

How you COLA is determined

The Department of Labor determines the annual COLA by measuring the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is a measurement of a broad sampling of the cost of consumer goods and expenses. The CPI is compared to the previous year, if there is an increase there is a COLA. If there is no increase, there is no COLA.

The COLA affects about one in every five Americans, including Social Security recipients, disabled veterans, federal retirees, and retired military members.

Last year, the COLA increase was 2.8%; in 2018, retirees saw a 2.0% increase.

This article originally appeared on Military.com

More articles from Military.com

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

U.S. Army aviation officials have launched an effort to restore full air assault capability to the 101st Airborne Division — a capability the Screaming Eagles have been without since 2015.

Read More Show Less

The U.S. military's withdrawal from northeast Syria is looking more like Dunkirk every day.

On Wednesday, the U.S. military had to call in an airstrike on one of its own ammunition dumps in northern Syria because the cargo trucks required to safely remove the ammo are needed elsewhere to support the withdrawal, Task & Purpose has learned.

Read More Show Less

President Donald Trump belittled his former defense secretary, James Mattis, by characterizing him as the "world's most overrated general," according to a Washington Post report published Wednesday.

The account from numerous officials came during an afternoon closed door meeting with congressional leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Wednesday. In the meeting, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reportedly brought up dissenting views towards the president's decision to withdraw the vast majority of roughly 1,000 U.S. troops stationed in Syria.

Read More Show Less

Retired two-star Navy. Adm. Joe Sestak is the highest ranking — and perhaps, least known — veteran who is trying to clinch the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.

Sestak has decades of military experience, but he is not getting nearly as much media attention as fellow veterans Pete Buttigieg and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). Another veteran, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) has dropped out of the race.

Read More Show Less

After preliminary fitness test scores leaked in September, many have voiced concerns about how women would fare in the new Army Combat Fitness Test.

The scores — which accounted for 11 of the 63 battalions that the ACFT was tested on last year — showed an overall failure rate of 84% for women, and a 70% pass rate for men.

But Army leaders aren't concerned about this in the slightest.

Read More Show Less