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COLA Increase Returns in 2012

The last 2 years have been especially tough on seniors, especially those on fixed incomes.  That’s because there has been no cost of living increase since 2009 so Social Security benefits for millions of Americans have remained the same.  Next year, however, the government has announced a 3.6% cost of living adjustment (COLA).  This means seniors and the disabled will see a little more in their checks beginning in January.   But the COLA can be beneficial to more than just Social Security recipients.

I have spoken and written often about a wonderful benefit available to many of our elder law clients, specifically wartime veterans and their widowed spouses.  It is a non-service connected pension, commonly referred to as the Aid and Attendance benefit.  It provides a monthly pension to seniors needing increased long term care and is a real life saver for people receiving care at home, in an assisted living facility or a nursing home setting.  The 3.6% COLA applies to this program as well.

 In real dollar terms that means, for example, that in the case of a married couple, the maximum pension of $1949 per month increases to $2019 per month.  For the widowed spouse of a veteran it jumps from $1056 to $1094 and for a single veteran from $1644 to $1701.  And keep in mind that this pension is income tax free.

 Take our VA Quiz to see if you just may qualify.  Email us at and we’ll send you the 4 easy questions you can answer in seconds, that could get you as much as $24,000 a year of additional income.