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112th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
2d Session 112-486
VETERANS' COMPENSATION COST-OF-LIVING ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 2012
May 18, 2012.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Miller of Florida, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 4114]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred
the bill (H.R. 4114) to increase, effective as of December 1,
2012, the rates of compensation for veterans with service-
connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and
indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled
veterans, and for other purposes, having considered the same,
report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that
the bill do pass.
Purpose and Summary.............................................. 2
Background and Need for Legislation.............................. 2
Subcommittee Consideration....................................... 3
Committee Consideration.......................................... 3
Committee Votes.................................................. 3
Committee Oversight Findings..................................... 3
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............ 3
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures 4
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits............................. 4
Committee Cost Estimate.......................................... 4
Congressional Budget Office Estimate............................. 4
Federal Mandates Statement....................................... 5
Advisory Committee Statement..................................... 5
Constitutional Authority Statement............................... 5
Applicability to Legislative Branch.............................. 5
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation................... 5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported............. 6
Purpose and Summary
H.R. 4114 was introduced on February 29, 2012, by
Representative Jon Runyan of New Jersey. H.R. 4114 would
increase, effective as of December 1, 2012, the rates of
compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities
and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the
survivors of certain disabled veterans.
Background and Need for Legislation
H.R. 4114 would increase, effective December 1, 2012, the
rates of compensation for service-connected disabilities and
the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) for
surviving spouses and children of veterans who die of service-
connected causes, as well as the additional amounts for
dependents and survivors, and clothing allowances for certain
veterans. Congress has provided annual increases in these rates
for every Fiscal Year since 1976.
The Committee is following its longstanding practice of
setting the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) by reference to
the yet-to-be-determined Social Security increase. At the time
of the filing of this report, the increase is expected to be
1.3 percent, but it may be higher or lower depending on changes
in the Consumer Price Index.
The basic purpose of the disability compensation program is
to provide relief from the impaired earning capacity of
veterans disabled as the result of their military service. The
amount of compensation payable varies according to the degree
of disability. This amount in turn is required by law to
represent, to the extent practicable, the average impairment in
earning capacity in civilian occupations resulting from such
disability or combination of disabilities.
To be eligible to receive disability compensation, a
veteran must have a disability incurred or aggravated during
military service, which is not the result of willful
misconduct, and have been discharged under other than
dishonorable conditions. The responsibility for determining a
veteran's entitlement to service-connection for a disability
rests with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Surviving spouses and dependent children of veterans who
died of disabilities determined by VA to be service-connected
(including veterans who died while on active duty) or who had a
service-connected disability rated at 100 percent for certain
periods of time prior to death are entitled to receive monthly
DIC benefits. Additional amounts are paid to survivors who are
housebound, in need of aid and attendance, or who have minor
children. The purpose of DIC benefits authorized under chapter
13 of title 38, United States Code, is to provide partial
compensation to the appropriate survivors for the loss in
financial support due to the service-connected death. Income
and need are not factors in determining a surviving spouse's or
child's entitlement because the Nation, in part, assumes the
legal and moral obligation of the veteran to support the spouse
On March 29, 2012, the Subcommittee on Disability
Assistance and Memorial Affairs conducted a legislative hearing
on various bills introduced during the 112th Congress,
including H.R. 4114. The following witnesses testified:
The Honorable Frank Guinta, U.S. House of Representatives;
The Honorable Barney Frank, U.S. House of Representatives; The
Honorable Mike McIntyre, U.S. House of Representatives; The
Honorable Joe Donnelly, U.S. House of Representatives; Colonel
Thomas Moe, Director, Ohio Department of Veterans Services;
Captain Wilbur Jones, Chairman, World War II Wilmington Home
Front Heritage Coalition; Daniel Bendetson; Michael Bendetson;
The Honorable Max Cleland, Secretary, the American Battle
Monuments Commission; Thomas Murphy, Director of Compensation
Services, Veterans Benefits Administration, accompanied by
Richard Hipolit, Assistant General Counsel, Department of
Veterans Affairs; The Honorable Bruce E. Kasold, Chief Judge,
United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; Raymond C.
Kelley, Director, National Legislative Services, Veterans of
Foreign Wars of the United States; Ms. Verna Jones, Director of
the National Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission,
The American Legion.
On April 18, 2012, the Subcommittee on Disability
Assistance and Memorial Affairs met in an open markup session
and ordered favorably forwarded to the full Committee H.R.
4114, by voice vote.
On April 27, 2012, the full Committee met in an open markup
session, a quorum being present and ordered reported favorably
to the House of Representatives H.R. 4114, by voice vote.
Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes
on the motion to report the legislation and amendments thereto.
There were no record votes taken on amendments or in connection
with ordering H.R. 4114 reported to the House. A motion by Ms.
Corrine Brown of Florida to order H.R. 4114 reported favorably
to the House of Representatives was agreed to by voice vote.
Committee Oversight Findings
In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives
In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance
goals and objectives are reflected in the descriptive portions
of this report.
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures
In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules
of the House of Representatives, the Committee adopts as its
own the estimate of new budget authority, entitlement
authority, or tax expenditures or revenues contained in the
cost estimate prepared by the Director of the Congressional
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional
Budget Act of 1974.
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits
H.R. 4114 does not contain any Congressional earmarks,
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in
clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House of
Committee Cost Estimate
The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate on H.R.
4114, prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget
Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate
Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the
House of Representatives, the following is the cost estimate
for H.R. 4114, provided by the Congressional Budget Office
pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, May 9, 2012.
Hon. Jeff Miller,
Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4114, the
Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2012.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Dwayne M.
Douglag W. Elmendorf.
H.R. 4114--Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2012
H.R. 4114 would increase the amounts paid to veterans for
disability compensation and to their survivors for dependency
and indemnity compensation by the same cost-of-living
adjustment (COLA) payable to Social Security recipients. The
increase would take effect on December 1, 2012, and the
resulting adjustment would be rounded to the next lower dollar.
The COLA that would be authorized by this bill is assumed
in CBO's baseline, consistent with section 257 of the Balanced
Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act, and savings from
rounding it down were achieved by the Balanced Budget Act of
1997 (Public Law 105-33) as extended by the Veterans Benefits
Act of 2003 (Public Law 108-183).
Because the COLA is assumed in CBO's baseline, the COLA
provision would have no budgetary effect relative to the
baseline. Relative to current law, CBO estimates that enacting
this bill would increase spending for those programs by $686
million in fiscal year 2013. (The annualized cost would be
about $915 million in subsequent years.) This estimate assumes
that the COLA effective on December 1, 2012, would be 1.3
H.R. 4114 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal
Enacting H.R. 4114 would not affect direct spending or
revenues relative to CBO's baseline projections; therefore,
pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Dwayne M.
Wright. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
Federal Mandates Statement
The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal
mandates regarding H.R. 4114, prepared by the Director of the
Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 423 of the
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
Advisory Committee Statement
No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b)
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act would be created by H.R.
Statement of Constitutional Authority
Pursuant to Article I, section 8 of the United States
Constitution, the reported bill is authorized by Congress'
power to ``provide for the common Defense and general Welfare
of the United States.''
Applicability to Legislative Branch
The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public
services or accommodations within the meaning of section
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation
Section 1. Short title
This section would provide the short title of H.R. 4114 as
the ``Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of
Section 2(a) authorizes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs
to increase, effective December 1, 2012, the dollar amounts in
effect for the payment of disability compensation and
dependency and indemnity compensation.
Section 2(b) specifies the amounts to be increased.
Section 2(b)(1) increases the Wartime Disability
Compensation, under section 1114 of title 38, United States
Section 2(b)(2) increases the Additional Compensation for
Dependents, under section 1115(1) of title 38, United States
Section 2(b)(3) increases the Clothing Allowance, under
section 1162 of title 38, United States Code.
Section 2(b)(4) increases the Dependency and Indemnity
Compensation to Surviving Spouses, under section 1311 of title
38, United States Code.
Section 2(b)(5) increases the Dependency and Indemnity
Compensation to Children, under section 1313(a) and 1314 of
title 38, United States Code.
Section 2(c) addresses how increases shall be determined.
Section 2(c)(1) specifies that each amount shall be
increased by the same percentage by which benefits are
increased under title II of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C.
401 et seq.).
Section 2(c)(2) rounds down to the next lower dollar amount
all compensation and DIC benefits, when the amount is not a
whole dollar amount.
Section 2(d) provides a special rule authorizing the
Secretary of Veterans Affairs to adjust administratively,
consistent with the increases made under subsection (a), the
rates of disability compensation payable to persons within the
purview of section 10 of Public Law 85-857, who are not in
receipt of compensation payable pursuant to chapter 11 of title
38, United States Code.
Section 3. Would require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs
to publish in the Federal Register the amounts specified in
subsection 2(b), as increased pursuant to that section.
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported
In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is
proposed is shown in roman):
TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE
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PART II--GENERAL BENEFITS
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