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Senator Bernie Sanders Worried About Veterans Disability

Posted on Nov 15, 2013

Senator Bernie Sanders openly expressed his deep worry over the estimates of the cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security disability recipients will be one of the smallest in years.

According to an estimate by the Associated Press, the increase of only 1.5 percent in disability income will mean only a $17 per month raise. This is one of the smallest increases in history. With the poverty levels of seniors increasing at a rapid pace, Senator Bernie Sanders has deep concerns over the minimal increase in benefits, particularly when it comes to veterans and federal retirees.

After the end of a recent government shutdown, many Republicans and some Democrats believe it is time to revise how inflation is calculated. Their proposal includes using a so-called chained consumer price index (CPI). However, using this would also lower benefits for disabled veterans and federal retirees.

Senator Sanders commented that he finds it incomprehensible that anyone would view the 1.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment as overly generous. He went on to say that enacting this chained CPI would lower the cost-of-living adjustments even more. As a result, Senator Sanders says that he believes this to be an attack on seniors, disabled veterans, and others with disabilities.

More specifically, Senator Sanders believes a chained CPI is unreasonable because it fails to take into account the cost of health care, prescription drugs, heating fuel, and other factors that increase living costs. Enacting this type of cost-of-living adjustment would mean a $120 billion cut in disability benefits over the next decade.

As Social Security disability lawyers, we understand the impact a lower cost-of-living adjustment can have on the lives of people with disabilities. The largest cuts in benefits would directly impact permanently disabled veterans and younger disability recipients.


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John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney of Keefe Disability Law