Statement by Assistant to the President for Press Relations Fitzwater on the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 1987


December 31, 1987


The President today signed H.R. 2945, the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 1987. This legislation will provide, as proposed by the administration, a 4.2-percent cost-of-living increase in the monthly benefit checks of over 2.2 million veterans with service-connected disabilities and their dependents and to about 310,000 surviving spouses and children of veterans whose deaths were service-connected. The 4.2-percent increase is the same as the percentage increase that Social Security beneficiaries and veterans pensioners will receive.


The increase is effective December 1 and payable at the beginning of January. However, the substantial lead time required to make computer system changes will result in March payments being the first to reflect the increase. The March payment will also include a lump sum adjustment for the January and February payments.


The administration earlier this year submitted to the Congress a legislative proposal to make the cost-of-living adjustment automatic for veterans' compensation programs. This would place compensation recipients on par with veterans' pension and Social Security recipients, who will see the 4.2-percent increase in their January payments. Enactment of the administration's legislative proposal will assure a similar delay will not occur again.


Note: H.R. 2945, approved December 31, was assigned Public Law No. 100 - 227.