All right, we are back from a great holiday and ready for the (hopefully) wonderful changes that will be coming to Military Disability in 2015.
First and foremost, Congress increased the rates given for VA Disability and Special Monthly Compensation by 1.7%. The increase is based on the Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) that reflect the rate of inflation throughout the nation. This year’s rate is higher than last year’s 1.5% increase, but this is the third year in a row where the increase has been less than 2%.
The increased rates went into effect December 1, 2014. The new amounts can be found on our VA Disability Chart and Special Monthly Compensation Rates pages. The increases are automatic, and you should have already seen them in your December checks. If not, contact your local VA office.
Another change that will be happening during 2015 is the rewriting of the VASRD that is to be released in stages throughout the year. The powers that be are currently rewriting the entire VASRD to 1.) update it to reflect more modern medical language, terminologies, and accepted practices and 2.) try to make it more accurate and fair. Hopefully that will indeed be the case.
The first of these rewrites was released in August 2014 and updated the Mental Disorders section of the VASRD. The remainder of the rewrites are expected to be released one section at a time throughout 2015.
It is impossible at this stage for us to say exactly when the rewrites will be completed and how they will change the VASRD. Each section could be handled completely differently, and until Congress releases the official version, it’s all just speculation. We will, however, make sure to get the information to you as soon as it is available.
May 2015 be a good year for us all, especially for our deserving disabled veterans.