COLUMBIA, S.C. — United States veterans are expected to get the largest pay increase in 40 years. This increase is an adjustment for the current cost of living during record-breaking inflation rates.
That increase is likely to show up on paychecks as soon as the end of this year. The increase could be an estimated 8.7 percent, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The final percentage won't be decided until October. An increase that large could mean $130 or more each month.
Lavelle Frost, a Gulf War veteran, said the increase could be life-changing.
“Most of us are on a set income, you know, and our income doesn’t increase but the economy does increase, gas price, food prices, clothing everything," Frost said.
According to Ed Lundeen with Lexington County VA, this increase will impact two streams of income for retirees and their spouses.
“This will impact in two ways, the social security increase and the veteran affairs increase. That’s big,” Lundeen said.
Lundeen says it's a well-deserved change. “To be honest, these Americans, in our opinion in this office, deserve this increase. I wish it could be more," Lundeen said.
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Frost said he's just grateful a change is on the way.
“I believe so, yes, absolutely anything we can get is a plus," Frost said.
A final decision on exactly how big the increase will be is expected next month, and it is expected to go into effect as soon as December.