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ug 363. Automatic cost-of-living increases for disability compensation

“(a) The rates payable under sections 314 (except the $47 rate in subsection (k)), and 315 of this title, shall be increased by such percentage as the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare shall certify in the Federal Register for social security recipients às a cost-of-living increase under section 215 of the Social Security Act, effective the same date as the latter increase.

"(b) Where a rate so determined involves a fraction of a dollar, the amount payable shall be fixed at the nearest dollar, with fifty cents being increased to the next higher dollar.

"(c) The Administrator shall adjust administratively, consistent with the increases authorized by this section, 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 this title."

(b) The analysis of such chapter 11 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following: "§ 363. Automatic cost-of-living increases for disability compensation.”

SEC. 4. Section 411 of title 38, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

“(a) Dependency and indemnity compensation shall be paid to a widow, based on the pay grade of her deceased husband, at monthly rates set forth in the following table:

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" If the veteran served as sergeant major of the Army, senior enlisted advisor of the Navy, chief mastor sergeant of the Air Force, or sergeant major of the Marine Corps, at the applicable time designated by sec. 402 of this title, the widow's rate shall be $308.

“ If the veteran served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chief of Staff of the Army, Chief of Naval Operations, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, or Commandant of the Marino Corps, at the applicable time designated by sec. 402 of this title, the widow's rate shall be $573.

“(b) If there is a widow with one or more children below the age of eighteen of a deceased veteran, the dependency and indemnity compensation paid monthly to the widow shall be increased by $25 for each such child.

"(c) The monthly rate of dependency and indemnity compensation payable to a widow shall be increased by $63 if she is (1) a patient in a nursing home or (2) helpless or blind, or so nearly helpless or blind as to need or require the regular .aid and attendance of another person.”

SEC. 5. Section 413 of title 38, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

"Whenever there is no widow of a deceased veteran, entitled to dependency and indemnity compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation shall be paid in equal shares to the children of the deceased veteran at the following: monthly rates:

“(i) One child, $105.
(2) Two children, $152.
“(3) Three children, $196.

"14) More than three children, $196, plus $39 for each child in excess of three.” SEC. 3. (a) Subsection (a) of section 414 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by striking out "$55” and inserting in lieu thereof “$63”.

(b) Subsection (b) of section 414 of such title is amended by striking out "$92” and inserting in lieu thereof “$105”.

(c) Subsection (c) of sestion 414 of such title is amended by striking out "$47" and inserting in lieu thereof “$54”.

SEC. 6. (a) Chapter 13 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end of subchapter II thereof the following new section: **8418. Automatic. cost-of-living increases in dependency and indemnity com

pensation “(a) The rates of dependency and indemnity compensation payable under sections 411, 413, 414, and 415 of this chapter shall be increased by such percentage as the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare shall certify in the Federal Register for social security recipients as a cost-of-living increase under section 215, of the Social Security Act, effective the same date as the latter increase.

(b) Where a rate so determined involves a fraction of a dollar, the amount payable shall be fixed at the nearest dollar, with fifty cents being increased to the next higher dollar."

(b) The analysis of such chapter 13 is amended by adding at the end of subchapter II thereof the following: "'& 418. Automatic cost-of-living increases in dependency and indemnity compensation."

Sec. 7. This Act shall take effect as of March 1, 1974.

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[No. 117]
COMMITTEE ON VETERANS' AFFAIRS, U.S. SENATE

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT,
OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET,

Washington, D.C., April 2, 1974.
Hon. VANCE HARTKE,
Chairman, Committee on Veterans Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This is in response to your request of March 11, 1974 for the views of this Office on S. 3072, a bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to liberalize the provisions relating to payment of dependency and indemnity compensation, and for other purposes.

On March 12, 1974 draft legislation was submitted to the President of the Senate by the Administrator of Veterans Affairs to provide for a 12-percent increase in veterans compensation benefits and a 14-percent increase for recipients of dependents and indemnity compensation (DIC) benefits. The draft bill would also provide for an automatic adjustment in these benefits to protect against future increases in the cost of living.

In testimony before your Committee, also on March 12, 1974, the Veterans' Administration stated its reasons for recommending enactment of the Administration's proposal in lieu of S. 3072.

We concur with the views expressed by the VA in its testimony and in its letter transmitting the Administration's draft bill to the Congress. Accordingly, we recommend enactment of the Administration's proposal in lieu of S. 3072. Enactment of the Administration's proposal would be in accord with the program of the President. Sincerely,

WILFRED H. ROMMEL, Assistant Director for Legislative Reference.

[No. 100]

COMMITTEE ON VETERANS AFFAIRS, U.S. SENATE

VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION,
OFFICE OF THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS,

Washington, D.C., March 12, 1974.
Hon. GERALD R. FORD,
President of the Senate, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: There is transmitted herewith a draft of a bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to increase rates of disability compensation and dependency and indemnity compensation, and to provide for automatic adjustment thereof commensurate with future increases in the cost of living, and for other purposes. We request that the measure be referred to the appropriate committee and urge its prompt enactment.

In a letter to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs on March 4, 1974, the President suggested a cooperative effort with the Congress to improve the benefits received by disabled veterans and their survivors. He stated that we should assure that the value of the benefits they receive from veterans programs keeps pace with the cost of living and we should take the necessary steps to assure that Veterans' Administration compensation to service-disabled veterans provides full compensation for impaired earning ability. Specifically, he advised in part:

As a first step, the Administrator shortly will be sending
the following proposals for consideration of the Congress:
-Increases in benefits paid to all recipients of veterans

compensation and dependents and indemnity com-
pensation (DIC). The objective is to lift all benefits by
the amount of the increase in cost of living since in-
creases for these programs were last enacted in August
and January of 1972 respectively. This would be ac-
complished by a 12-percent increase for veterans
compensation and a 14-percent for DIC. I propose that
these increases be made effective March i. The total
cost of both increases will be $432 million in the first
full year following enactment.
- Protection of compensation and DIC benefits in the

future. An automatic adjustment in benefits is needed to
recognize future increases in the cost of living, as meas-
ured by the Consumer Price Index. This feature would
resemble that which I have proposed already for

protection of VA pension recipients. The enclosed bill embodies the foregoing proposals of the President. It would, effective March 1, 1974, (1) increase by 12 per centum the rates of disability compensation payable to veterans and their dependents, except the $47 special statutory rate for veterans set forth in 38 U.S.C. 314(k); (2) increase by 14 per centum the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation payable to widows and children; and (3) provide an automatic cost-of-living adjustment in benefits for all recipients of dependency and indemnity compensation and disability compensation benefits.

It is estimated that the cost of the measure for the first year would be $432 million, decreasing gradually to $430 million in the fifth year. The estimate does not reflect, of course, the fiscal year aspect of the automatic adjustment feature.

Advice has been received from the Office of Management and Budget that enactment of this legislative proposal would be in accord with the program of the President. Sincerely,

DONALD E. JOHNSON,

Administrator. Enclosure.

A BILL Țo amend title 38, United States Code, to increase rates of disability compensation and dependency and indemnity compensation, and to provide for automatic adjustment thereof commensurate with future increases in the cost of living, and for other purposes

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembled, That (a) section 314 of title 38, United States Code, is amended

(1) by striking out “$28” in subsection" (a) and inserting in lieu thereof “$31";

(2) by striking out."$51" in subsection (b). and inserting in lieu thereof “$57;

(3) by striking out “$77” in subsectiòn (C) and inserting in lieu thereof “$86";

(4) by striking out “$106” in subsection (d) and inserting in lieu thereof "$119”;

(5) by striking out “$149" in subsection (e) and inserting in lieu thereof “$167";

(6) by striking out “$179” in subsection (f) and inserting in lieu thereof “$200";

(7) by striking out "$212” in subsection (g) and inserting in lieu thereof “$237'';

(8) by striking out “$245” in subsection (h) and inserting in lieu thereof “$274”;

(9) by striking out “$275” in subsection (i) and inserting in lieu thereof "$308”;

(10) by striking out “$495" in subsection (j) and inserting in lieu thereof "$554”;

(11) by striking out “$616" and "'$862” in subsection (k) and inserting in lieu thereof “$690” and “$965”, respectively;

(12) by striking out "$616” in subsection (1) and inserting in lieu thereof “$690”;

(13) by striking out “$678” in subsection (m) and inserting in lieu thereof $759”;

(14) by striking out “$770” in subsection (n) and inserting in lieu thereof "$862”;

(15) by striking out “$862” in subsections (o) and (p) and inserting in lieu thereof ($965”;

(16) by striking out “$370” in subsection (r) and inserting in lieu thereof “$414”; and

(17) by striking out "$554” in subsection (s) and inserting in lieu thereof “$620”. (b) The Administrator of Veterans' Affairs may adjust administratively, consistent with the increases authorized by this section, 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.

32-022 0.74 3

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