Legislative Action on Nolan Vets Bill

March 2, 2004

Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan to provide annual adjustments to the blind veterans annuity has been reported from the Assembly’s Veterans Committee.

The bill (A.9598) is designed to provide for regular adjustments to the blinded veterans annuity in accordance with the federal veterans benefit increases so that recipients of this benefit will not see a decrease in the value of their benefit.

"This annuity was recently increased through legislation I previously sponsored, but had not been increased for several decades, thus diminishing the value of this important benefit. Presently, this veterans benefit is set at a fixed amount in law and will lose value again as it is not indexed for inflation. Action by the legislature would be required each time an increase was desired," said Nolan.

"This bill would allow for the recipients of this benefit to receive an annual increase so that the value of the benefit would remain the same and not decrease in real dollars over time. The annual increase would be based on increases provided for federal veterans’ benefits in the previous year," said Nolan.

The increase would be calculated using the percentage adjustment used by the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs in the previous year. This annual adjustment would be a minimum of 1% and a maximum of 4% per year.

"This bill now goes to the Ways & Means Committee for review and I am hopeful that it will pass the full Assembly soon," said Nolan.