PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Not only are disabled veterans in Hampton Roads dealing with the well-documented inadequacies at the VA Hospital, but they are also dealing with a more expensive trip just to get there.

After 20 years in the Coast Guard, Mickey Sanders has a 90% disability.

“With the gas prices, as you can see, but we just have to… kind of adjust and monitor the spending a little bit,” said Sanders as he pumped gas into a shiny black Chevrolet Silverado.

A bill, introduced by 2nd District Congresswoman Elaine Luria, is making its way through Congress to address the high cost of gas, and just about everything else.

A year ago disabled veterans received a 5.9% cost of living adjustment.

“With this legislation, we will make sure that these veterans and their families get the benefits they deserve,” said Luria.

Last month inflation soared to the highest rate since 1981. As the COLA, or cost of living adjustment, legislation makes its way to President Biden’s desk, how much more veterans will receive in 2022 will be determined after the Consumer Price Index data from the third quarter is released.

“It will be a big boost to help people keep up as costs are rising. I hear from everybody about the gas prices and everything so this will help veterans keep up with the current economic climate,” said Luria, who served in the United States Navy for 20 years.

Elaine Luria
In this July 15, 2021, photo, Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., left, speaks to a Naval officer after a ceremony marking full operation of the NATO’s Joint force Command aboard the USS Kearsarge at Naval Station Norfolk, in Norfolk, Va. Republicans and Democrats have something in common when it comes to recruiting candidates they hope will deliver majorities in Congress after the 2022 election, and that’s military veterans.(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

After topping off the gas tank in his Silverado, Sanders remains optimistic the political climate won’t get in the way.

“Hopefully, they will get this bill done within a reasonable amount of time. I have faith in Congress so hopefully they will get it done,” said Sanders.

The COLA will also apply to benefits paid to survivors and families of service members who died in the line of duty or suffer from a service-related injury or disease.