Dell Technologies

Largest Increase in 7 Years For VA Disability Compensation

Share this Article:
Share Article on Facebook Share Article on Linked In Share Article on Twitter

By Debbie Gregory.

The VA Disability Compensation Rates will increase 2.8 percent in 2019. This is the largest increase since 2012. These increases are tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures a broad sampling of the cost of consumer goods and expenses. The CPI is compared to the previous year’s numbers. If there is an increase, a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is made. If there is no increase, there is no COLA. The COLA affects about one of every five Americans, including Social Security recipients, disabled veterans, federal retirees and retired military members. In 2018, the COLA was 2.0 percent; in 2017, retirees saw a 0.3 percent increase. There was no increase at all in 2016; the last time COLA increased by more than 2.8 percent was 2012, when compensation rates got a 3.6 percent hike.

The VA has strange computation rules that make working out the exact rates impossible. Therefore, the final amounts are not yet available but we can approximate the 2019 benefits based on the cost of living increase. These benefits are paid the first of each month for the prior month. Below is an unofficial approximation of the increases for various levels of VA Disability just for the Veteran and not including spouses or dependents:

10 percent – $140.05
20 percent – $276.84
30 percent – $428.83
40 percent – $617.73
50 percent – $879.36
60 percent – $1,113.86
70 percent – $1,403.71
80 percent – $1,631.69
90 percent – $1,833.62
100 percent – $3,057.13

We are grateful to every Veteran who served and sacrificed.

By Debbie Gregory.

In an effort to make sure the Veterans Administration transition to electronic health records (EHR) stays on track, Congress has tasked a new subcommittee to oversee the 10 year, $10 billion-plus project awarded to Missouri-based Cerner.

The Subcommittee on Technology Modernization will be headed up by Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), a former Navy Reserve supply officer and Afghanistan veteran.

“Service members and veterans deserve a seamless, lifetime medical record and an electronic health record system that supports the highest quality care,” Banks said. “However, I have no illusions about the challenge confronting VA in this monumental undertaking.”

Back in June, House Committee Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN) and ranking member Tim Walz (D-MN) had announced that the new subcommittee would supervise the Department of Veterans Affairs‘ tech projects such as the Electronic Health Record Modernization program.

Cerner CEO Zane Burke told lawmakers that the annual maintenance and operating cost of the electronic health record system his company would provide would be lower than that of the existing system, which is about $1 billion.

In addition to Roe and Walz, Reps. Conor Lamb (D-PA), Jack Bergman (R-MI), Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Scott Peters D-CA) round out  the subcommittee.

Committee members noted that the electronic interchange of health records between VA and the Defense Department is needed to provide quality and timely healthcare for service members and veterans.

“For millions of veterans across the country, their first interaction with VA will be the simple act of booking an appointment,” Walz said. “Unfortunately, even something as straightforward as that can be a struggle due to VA’s antiquated information technology systems.”

The VA said the newly formed Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization, which will be led by Genevieve Morris, deputy national coordinator for the Department of Health and Human Services, “will manage the preparation, deployment and maintenance of VA’s new electronic health care record system and the health information technology (IT) tools dependent upon it.”