I would like to share with you some details about the new Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) announcement of the new system of life-long financial support for veterans who become ill or injured while in service to Canada. This new benefit follows the $6.2 billion of new funds allocated in Budgets 2016 and 2017 for veterans to improve services, and creates new programs to support veterans and their families.
The proposed Pension for Life package is a holistic combination of benefits that will provide recognition, income support, and stability to Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and Veterans who are living with a disability due to service-related injuries or illnesses.
Built upon three pillars, Pension for Life reintroduces a life-long monthly pain and suffering payments as an option; implements a new recognition benefit and consolidates six of seven existing income-related financial benefits simplifying the process for veterans.
The Pain and Suffering Compensation portion is a monthly, lifelong, tax-free payment that recognizes pain and suffering experienced by Veterans and CAF members with a disability due to a service-related illness and/or injury. The choice between monthly and lump sum options give Veterans and members the flexibility to decide what works best for them and their families.
The Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation portion delivers further recognition for those with severe and permanent impairment. This is also delivered monthly and tax-free for those veterans struggling to re-establish themselves because of their serious illness and/or injury post-service.
Lastly, the Income Replacement Benefit delivers income-replacement support and loss of career progression potential for those Veterans who need it. This monthly benefit is designed to provide support to veterans who are experiencing barriers to re-establishment primarily resulting from service. This benefit is available to both veterans and their families, for life, should they need it.
All told, the possible combination and range of new and augmented benefits for today’s individual veterans are greater than at any time in our country’s history.
I know the system can be a source of frustration for many, and wait times for some benefits are too long. With the right balance and effective mix of financial compensation, benefits and well-being support services – delivered in a simpler fashion – more resources at VAC will be devoted to the delivery of these programs versus administration.
This benefit will also be calculated retroactively for those ill and/or injured veterans who were compensated under the New Veterans Charter since 2006.
FactSheet: Introducing Pension for Life
FactSheet: Disability Assessments
FactSheet: Post Service Well-Being
FactSheet: Improving Service Delivery
FactSheet: Income Replacement Benefit
FactSheet: Pain and Suffering Compensation
FactSheet: Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation