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March 22, 2024

The VA COLA Increase 2024  

Last updated on April 2, 2024

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2024 is here and with it comes an increase to your VA disability benefits

This increase is due to what’s called the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA). This is an adjustment calculated by the Social Security Administration (SSA) every year that is based on inflation. 


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VA Cola Increase 2024

The VA COLA increase for 2024 is 3.2%. This means your monthly VA disability compensation will increase by 3.2% in 2024, as well as other cash benefits. 

Veterans Guaranteed Cost-of-Living Allowance Adjustment

The COLA is designed to make sure the benefits paid out by government agencies keep pace with the cost of living. The percentage inflation in a year and the COLA are usually the same. If inflation is 4%, then the COLA will likely be 4% as well. 

The SSA announced the 3.2% increase in October of 2023; it was finalized in December 2023 and went into effect in January 2024. 


2024 VA Disability Compensation Pay Charts (with VA COLA Raise)

Below, you can view the 2024 VA disability compensation pay charts. Each number includes the 3.2% COLA for VA disability raise:

2024 VA Disability Pay Chart
2024 VA Disability Pay Chart

Other VA Disability Benefits Impacted by the VA COLA Raise

These VA benefits available to disabled veterans will also see a 3.2% increase: 


How the Cost-of-Living Adjustment is Calculated

The Social Security Administration calculates their cost-of-living adjustment by comparing the year-over-year change in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). 

The CPI-W is a basket of over 200 goods and services tracked by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 

Each year, the SSA looks at the average CPI-W for July, August, and September, as reported by the BLS, and compares it to the previous year’s average. The difference between the two is the cost-of-living adjustment. 

However, the COLA will never go down. If inflation is zero or negative, then the COLA will simply be zero. 

Previous Cost-of-Living Adjustments

You may remember that 2023’s cost of living adjustment was a whopping 8.7%! This was the biggest COLA increase since 1981, which saw a COLA of 11.2%. 


COLA Increases by Year

The chart below shows historic cost-of-living adjustments by year and percentage, including the COLA increase for VA disability 2024: 

1975 2001 3.5 
1976 6.4 2002 2.6 
1977 5.9 2003 1.4 
1978 6.5 2004 2.1 
1979 9.9 2005 2.7 
1980 14.3 2006 4.1 
1981 11.2 2007 3.3 
1982 7.4 2008 2.3 
1984* 3.5 2009 5.8 
1985 3.5 2010 
1986 3.1 2011 
1987 1.3 2012 3.6 
1988 4.2 2013 1.7 
1989 2014 1.5 
1990 4.7 2015 1.7 
1991 5.4 2016 
1992 3.7 2017 0.3 
1993 2018 
1994 2.6 2019 2.8 
1995 2.8 2020 1.6 
1996 2.6 2021 1.3 
1997 2.9 2022 5.9 
1998 2.1 2023 8.7 
1999 1.3 2024 3.2 
2000 2.5 — — 

These historical figures are important because the cost-of-living adjustment is cumulative in nature. Each year’s COLA is added on top of the previous year’s.  

This means that if the SSA retroactively changed the COLA from 2005, it would impact the amount you receive in VA disability compensation today. 

Retroactively changing a COLA can happen, but it’s rare. The only instance occurred in 1999 when the original COLA was 2.4% but was later increased to 2.5%. 

COLA for VA Disability 2024 Summary

The COLA increase for VA disability 2024 is 3.2%.

The 2024 COLA increase is lower than last year in 2023 when the cost-of-living adjustment was 8.7%—the biggest COLA increase since 1981.

Speaking of INCREASE—Do You Deserve a HIGHER VA Disability Rating?


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Phot of Clay Hutson

Clay Huston

Clay Huston is a former U.S. Army Reserves Blackhawk Pilot and officer. Clay enlisted in the Army in 2013 and was commissioned as a 2LT in 2017 after earning a business degree from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.

Since separating from the military, Clay has pursued a career as a writer. He also runs the nonprofit, which fundraises for Children’s Homes in Mexico.

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