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Retired and disabled veterans receiving largest pay raise in decades

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 9:20 PM CDT
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FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX) - As inflation continues to rise, so does the cost of living for many Central Texans, including veterans.

Military retirees and veterans with disabilities are about to see their monthly paychecks go up by nearly 6 percent, the largest annual increase in more than a decade.

The Social Security Administration and the VA say the increase is due to rise of inflation and the cost-of-living allowance, or COLA.

Army Veteran and Social Worker Jeffrey Yarvis says the increase is desperately needed.

“Our increases are generally very low and so, we’re not keeping up with inflation,” he said.

“Even though we may get a bump in benefits, in terms of cost of living, we’re typically losing money year to year because of inflation. Some veterans are teetering on homelessness because they struggle to work on their disability. So, I think this increase will be meaningful.”

Each month, retired military members will see a $59 increase in retirement pension, while those with 100% disability will receive nearly $200 more. Rob Tennant, the department chair of accounting, finance and economics at Texas A&M Central Texas, says veterans should remain cautious.

“Although it’s an improvement, many people receiving these benefits are gonna find themselves still treading water,” he said.

“I don’t see an immediate end to the increasing of inflation going forward this year and into early next year.”

While the future and inflation remain unknown, Yarvis is hopeful this increased financial support will continue.

“I don’t know if 6% brings us to where inflation has taken us the last 10 or 15 years, but I don’t think anybody’s gonna resist it,” he said.

More information on benefits can be found on the VA’s website.

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