Annual COLA Increase for Veterans Could Face Delays, Make Sure You Have Your DD214 to Show Eligibility

At the end of May, the House of Representatives passed a bill (H.R. 6168) that would provide a 2021 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for veterans with service-connected disabilities and their families.

Provided it passes in the Senate, the bill, more commonly called the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2020, will increase veteran benefits by the same percentage as applied by the Social Security Administration (SSA), and the adjustments will go into effect on December 1 of this year.

However, delays are possible because of COVID-19.

In addition to bringing many businesses to a halt, the recent pandemic has also delayed actions on Capitol Hill. While in recent years the veteran compensation bill has sailed through passage in the House and Senate to be signed by the president, this year it risks taking a back seat to more pressing legislation related to public health and safety.

Still, Representative Elaine Luria, co-sponsor of the bill and a retired Navy commander, has asked the Senate to take swift action.

“During this public health emergency, it is more important now than ever to provide this cost-of-living adjustment to disabled veterans who depend on their benefits to pay for necessities,” Luria said in a recent statement. “I urge my Senate colleagues to quickly pass this economic relief and pay raise for our veterans.”

Still, Representative Elaine Luria, co-sponsor of the bill and a retired Navy commander, has asked the Senate to take swift action.

“During this public health emergency, it is more important now than ever to provide this cost-of-living adjustment to disabled veterans who depend on their benefits to pay for necessities,” Luria said in a recent statement. “I urge my Senate colleagues to quickly pass this economic relief and pay raise for our veterans.”

You will need your DD214 to show proof of service and honorable discharge.

As with other veteran benefits, you will need to provide both proof of service and proof of honorable (or anything other than dishonorable) discharge to show eligibility. The simplest way to do this is to provide a copy of your DD Form 214, or Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.

You should have received your DD214 upon discharge from the U.S. Military, but if you didn’t, or if it’s been lost or damaged over the years, you will need to order a copy. Because many of the necessary government agencies are currently closed due to COVID-19, working with an expedited service like DD214Direct will ensure your request is fast-tracked as soon as those agencies reopen for business.

Veteran-owned DD214Direct helps you get the documents you need, when you need them.

Our cutting-edge technology platform and keen knowledge of government protocol and procedure allow us to deliver your documents faster than you could get them on your own. First, we digitize both your request and the returned documents, using electronic signatures to avoid extra time with the postal service. We also integrate email and fax throughout our entire process, while many agencies do not.

To further expedite the process, our team ensures your initial request is filled out properly the first time and includes the necessary supporting documentation so that it doesn’t bounce back. In addition, we break up multiple requests (DD214, OMPF, etc.) so that each piece is handled separately and one does not delay the other.

Once your request is processed, DD214Direct becomes your personal advocate, working directly with the agency that holds your records (currently there are about 75 independent agencies) and immediately responding to any agency issues on your behalf. In many cases, DD214Direct is able to advance your request to a higher-priority workflow. Finally, we have team members at many locations to drop off and pick up documents.

Much like paying a small fee to have your taxes done by a professional, DD214Direct provides the service and convenience you’ve been hoping for, plus we make it a lot easier. Once we locate your DD214, we can email you a copy immediately—a service not offered by the government. And tracking your request through us is simple, so you never have to worry about long hold times and inconclusive answers.

Ready to get started? Click here to begin the order process.

Written By:

DD214Direct.com

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