Late last year the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced a record increase to its compensation benefits for veterans. Effective January 2023, several VA financial benefits will increase by 8.7%.
This is the highest adjustment to VA benefits in three decades. In response to inflation and the rising cost of living, this increase is an incredibly important step toward supporting the 5 million veterans receiving VA benefits.
Since many mesothelioma veterans receive each of the benefits increasing by 8.7%, mesothelioma veterans may have more access to life-extending mesothelioma treatments. Learn about each benefit updating in 2023 below.
VA Disability Compensation
VA disability benefits are provided to veterans who were injured or have developed serious illnesses from their service, including mesothelioma or post-traumatic stress disorder.
The amount paid under this benefit varies for each veteran and is determined by the VA’s disability ranking. Severe illnesses, including mesothelioma, that keep veterans from working are often set at a 100% disability ranking.
Veterans who received disability compensation in 2022 can expect the 8.7% compensation increase in their first 2023 payment. The increase will reflect in dollars paid and not on their disability ranking.
VA Dependency Indemnity Compensation
Surviving family members of veterans who passed away from mesothelioma that developed after military asbestos exposure are not alone. Surviving loved ones may qualify for Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC).
This monthly benefit will be adjusted by an 8.7% increase for all recipients. Additionally, the PACT Act passed in August 2022 may have increased the number of people eligible for DIC benefits.
VA Special Benefit Allowances
Special benefit allowances are given to veterans in need of special vehicles or clothing due to an injury during their service. These allowances also include the Medal of Honor pension.
While special benefits tend to be one payment or small monthly allowances, they will still reflect the 8.7% cost of living adjustment throughout 2023.
Social Security and Supplemental Security Income
The Social Security Administration provides a number of benefits for Americans at retirement age or experiencing disabilities that keep them from working. These benefits will increase by 8.7% as well.
“Medicare premiums are going down and Social Security benefits are going up in 2023, which will give seniors more peace of mind and breathing room,” said Social Security Administration Acting Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi when announcing the adjustment in October 2022.
The administration estimates that 70 million Americans will see an average increase of $140 in their monthly benefit payments.
Helping Veterans Access Benefits After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis
More than 1,000 veterans are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year. After tremendous sacrifices, while serving their country, many veterans still face mental and physical battles at home. Thankfully, mesothelioma veterans benefits are here to ease the burden.
Many veterans who receive both VA benefits and Social Security benefits may have even more financial stability in 2023, and mesothelioma veterans may have more flexibility when choosing the best mesothelioma treatment options.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, our team at Mesothelioma Veterans Center is here for you. Our VA-accredited attorneys can help you compile the information you need to submit a VA benefits claim and gain the financial assistance you need.
Call us at (877) 450-8973 to see how we can help you.