Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) November 21, 2017 - Military retirees and persons who are recipients of disability checks and other kinds of pay from the Department of Veterans Affairs will receive a two percent pay increase in their monthly paycheck in 2018. Since 2012, this marks the largest cost of living (COLA) increase, which could be as high as $310 per month for those at the highest level of the retirement pay charts.
Because of the rise in pay, the average military retirement check for an E-7 with 20 years of service will rise by $45 per month. An O-5 who spent the same amount of time in the military will experience an increase in the amount of $85 per month. Disabled veterans will also see an increase. The average disability check will rise by about $3 per month for those who have a 10 percent rating. And it will rise by $58 for those with a 100 percent rating.
Florida veterans attorney David W. Magann says, “It is only fitting that military retirees and recipients of VA disability should benefit from an increase in their pay as a result of a rise in COLA.”
Furthermore, beneficiaries of Survivor Benefit Planning and those who receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) will see an increase in payments. Moreover, civil service retirees will have a two percent hike in their checks. Those who receive Social Security will see an extra $25 per month.
This year marks the largest COLA increase in years. There is a COLA increase every year in the majority of government payments. The increase is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which makes certain that payments keep pace with inflation.
The reason for the surge in COLA this year is the dramatic rise in the cost of gasoline because of Hurricane Harvey. Following Hurricane Harvey, the price of gasoline rose considerably by about 15 percent. According to the government, gasoline comprises approximately four percent of the average monthly spending in a household.
The COLA impacts benefits for over 70 million residents in the United States, including those who receive Social Security, disabled veterans, federal retirees and retired military members. That is approximately 20 percent of Americans.
Last year, COLA rose by 0.3 percent, and in 2015, there was no change in the payments for retirees. However, Congress has not yet determined the pay raise that troops currently serving in the military will receive in 2018. The Senate passed a proposal that requires a 2.1 percent increase, as does a recommendation by the White House. The House passed a measure that would yield a 2.3 percent increase for troops. Legislators have begun negotiations on the proposed plans.
David W. Magann, P.A.
156 W. Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Call: (813) 657-9175
4012 Gunn Highway #165
Tampa, Florida 33618