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Veteran Affairs

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Alexis Gillfillan

on 14 April 2014

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Transcript of Veteran Affairs

Became Law November 21,2013
17 congress personnel support it
Activity of Bill
Cosponsors of the Bill
Who the Bill Affects
Sen. Burr, Richard
Sen. Rockefeller, John D., IV
Sen. Murray, Patty
Sen. Brown, Sherrod
Sen. Tester, Jon
Sen. Begich, Mark
Sen. Blumenthal, Richard
Sen. Hirono, Mazie K.
Sen. Isakson, Johnny
Sen. Johanns, Mike
Sen. Moran, Jerry
Sen. Boozman, John
Sen. Heller, Dean
Sen. Markey, Edward J.
Sen. Collins, Susan M.
Sen. Murkowski, Lisa
Sen. Landrieu, Mary L.

Men and Women Veterans of all military branches

Discharged and retired military members

Survivors of veterans

Families of Service members

Disabled Veterans
Monday April 14,2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Bill: S. Rept. 113-87- Veteran’s Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2013
similarities and differences
Related Bills

provide for annual cost-of-living adjustments to be made automatically by law each year in the rates of disability compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for survivors of certain service-connected disabled veterans.
Passed by House May 21, 2013
Pending for Pass by Senate and Sign by President
Veteran Affairs
Introduced by: Senator Sanders, Bernard from Vermont
Introduced May 8, 2013
Key points of Bill
Became Public Law No: 113-52.
Signed by President.
Presented to President.
Passed/agreed to in House: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by voice vote.(text: CR H6971)
Passed/agreed to in Senate: Passed Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent.(consideration: CR S7581; text as passed Senate: CR S7581)
Committee on Veterans' Affairs. Reported by Senator Sanders under authority of the order of the Senate of 08/01/2013 without amendment. With written report No. 113-87.
Introduced in Senate

Why the bill is important


Linda received your email and is sending it to Congressman Bill Foster.
This is a Federal issue.
Thank you.

Chief of Staff for
Linda Chapa LaVia, State Representative

Ms. Alexis Gillfillan
393 California Ave
Aurora, IL 60506-2326

Dear Ms. Gillfillan:

Thank you for contacting me about veteran’s retirement benefits. I appreciate your active participation in our legislative process. Your involvement helps me more effectively represent you and the Eleventh District of Illinois.

I agree with you, which is why I voted for and cosponsored legislation to restore the military retiree cost of living adjustment (COLA). I appreciate our veterans for the sacrifices they have made to defend the freedoms and prosperity we enjoy. We owe them a great deal, and when they return home from service it is our responsibility to ensure they are compensated fairly. I will do all I can to help those who served to protect us.

Each year, military retirees have their pension adjusted through a COLA to reflect changes in the consumer price index (CPI). If the CPI is 2.1 percent, the COLA adjustment for the following year is 2.1 percent. The Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2014, also known as the Ryan-Murray budget deal, included a provision that would have reduced the annual COLA increase for military retirees under the age of 62. Under this provision, if the CPI is 2.1 percent, military retirees under 62 would have received an increase of 1.1 percent.

On February 11th, 2014, I voted for S.25, a bill to reverse the COLA cut to military retiree pensions. The bill passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 326-90, was subsequently passed by the Senate, and signed into law by President Obama. Please know that when I have the opportunity to vote on veterans benefits in the future, I will continue to keep your thoughts in mind.

I apologize for the delay in responding to your concerns. It is my policy to respond to every one of the thousands of emails, faxes and letters I receive each month. Hearing from the people I serve is vital to doing my job right. Thank you again for taking the time to share your concerns and I hope you keep in touch with me on this or any other issue you feel important. To stay informed of my work, or to sign up for my electronic newsletters, please visit my website at http://foster.house.gov. It is an honor to represent you.

Bill Foster
Member of Congress
Ms. Alexis Gillfillan
393 California
Aurora, IL 60506-2326

Dear Ms. Gillfillan:

Thank you for contacting me about disabled veterans’ compensation. I appreciate hearing from you.

For each of the past ten years, with my support, Congress has passed a cost-of-living adjustment for disabled veterans. The Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to increase the rates of veterans' disability compensation, provide additional compensation for dependents, and provide dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children.

The Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2012 (H.R. 4114) passed the Senate. The measure became effective on November 27, 2012, for payments in January, 2013.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have called for great personal risk and sacrifice by American soldiers and their families. Like you, I believe that our veterans deserve the utmost respect and gratitude for their service.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please feel free to keep in touch.

Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator

Responses from Representatives
Why This is Important to know as a Social Worker
Personal Connection
July 24, 2013 the Committee voted to report this bill favorably to the Senate
Effective December 1, 2013
Increased rates of compensation for
veterans and for survivors
Helps veterans with service-related
Required the Secretary of Veterans Affairs
to increase compensation by the same
% as the cost-of-living adjustment provided
to Social Security recipients and VA
pension beneficiaries

H.R. 570: American Heroes COLA Act:
H.R. 569: Veteran's Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2013
increases the rates of veterans' disability compensation, additional compensation for dependents, the clothing allowance, and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children.
Last action: 4/25/13-Committee consideration
Advocacy Letter to Representatives
The Honorable Bill Foster
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Representative Foster:

The legislation addressing the bill S. Rept. 113-87- Veteran’s Compensation Cost- of- living Adjustment Act of 2013 is of paramount interest to us because we are a group of college students interested in the advocacy of veterans. This issue directly impacts Veterans of the armed forces.

We are primarily concerned about the continued support of this ever important bill. This is of vital importance because it adjusts the rate of compensation for service-related injuries. It enables service men and woman to achieve a standard of living required to meet basic needs. As indicated in this bill, the percentage of Americans receiving this compensation has grown significantly since we have entered into "the war on terrorism." As these men and woman perform heroic acts of courage, elected officials must also shoulder the burden of strife and become heroic. Supporting this bill allows the people of this great nation the opportunity to play a role in showing these men and woman we care.

Although we have read reports of your position in the newspapers, we realize this may not fully represent your viewpoint. Therefore, we will look forward to your reply expressing your opinions, and your current stance on the issue.

Thank you for your consideration of our viewpoint on this matter. We believe it is an important issue, and would like to see the legislation continued and supported to ensure effective veteran services for the students involved.
David L. Martin
SFC, US Army (Ret)

Alexis Gillfillan, Kristina Sheldon and Diana Schwartz
Aurora University
347 S. Gladstone Ave.
Aurora, Illinois
(815) 830-1242

Affects the service-connected disability compensation program (ch. 11 of title 38,U.S.C)
provides monthly cash benefits
provides compensation to 4,210,582 beneficiaries
may be sole financial support for veterans and their families

Dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC)
entitles survivors of deceased service members or veterans financial compensation
eligible for DIC includes surviving spouses, unmarried children under the age of 18 and children 18 to 22 still enrolled in school
Bill passed through the House and Senate unanimously, therefore we did not find any opposing groups
This bill is important to know as social workers because:
Veterans are a big population in our country that we may encounter in our career
Recent veterans coming home that will need financial assistance from being away for long periods of time
As social workers, we need to know of all the resources that are readily available for veterans
We can address issues that veterans face upon return appropriately when we know all of the facts and bills that are in place to help them
Veterans can be reassured that they will receive compensation and we can address and focus on their trauma more effectively
S. Rept. 113-87 increased the rates of compensation for veterans and survivors and helped those veterans with service related disabilities

It affects men and women of all ages including the veteran and his/her family

Important to know for social workers because we may work with this population

We must know of all resources that are available

We all most likely know at least 1 veteran and this bill is huge for them

All military personnel complete out-processing with the VA.
Done at separation and retirement.
Have to turn in all medical documents at time of discharge.
Must have additional copies to submit to VA
Process for compensation extremely emotional and can be very traumatic.
I waited for nearly a year before applying for fear of reliving many events
Have one year after discharge to file claim
The Economics of this Bill
Disability Compensation--2009 Rates
Full transcript