Some in Washington are pushing a budget proposal that, by cutting benefits, would unfairly hurt retired and disabled veterans. Called the "chained CPI," the proposal would change the yearly cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for veterans and Social Security benefits. Veterans' benefits would be $19 billion less over 10 years; Social Security benefits would be $127 billion less.
The benefit cut would start now and grow over time, making it increasingly hard for veterans. Veterans who sacrificed for our country deserve better than harmful cuts to their hard-earned benefits.
Washington should address our nation's budget challenges in responsible ways, not by cutting benefits for America's veterans.
Here are the top five reasons why the chained CPI would hurt veterans.
1. It’s a benefit cut. The chained CPI is a significant benefit cut, not a "technical change," as some in Washington would like you to believe. With almost 1.5 million veterans living below the poverty level, every dollar cut has a huge impact.
2. Cuts would get deeper every year. The chained CPI would cut benefits more with every passing year, costing veterans thousands of dollars over their lifetimes. The highest cuts would come at the time when veterans are older and rely on benefits the most.
3. The chained CPI is less accurate for retired and disabled veterans. The chained CPI assumes that when the cost of something you normally buy goes up, you will substitute a lower-cost item. This theory falls short because many older and disabled veterans spend much of their money on basic goods such as heath care — and their costs rise faster than inflation and don't have lower-cost substitutes.
4. Disabled veterans would face deeper cuts. Disabled veterans will see a greater share of these cuts because they rely on these benefits starting at a younger age and for longer periods than others. Under the chained CPI, a 30-year-old veteran with severe disabilities would have veterans benefits reduced annually by $1,425 at age 45, $2,341 at 55 and $3,231 at 65.
5. Older veterans would be hurt twice. Because the chained CPI would cut both Social Security and veterans benefits, veterans would be hurt twice by the cut. A veteran who's 65 today would have veterans benefits reduced annually by $1,029 and Social Security benefits by $1,422 at 95, when benefits are needed the most.
Also of Interest
- The chained CPI explained
- 5 reasons the chained CPI is bad for Social Security
- Join AARP: Savings, resources and news coverage
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