Career Impact Allowance and Diminished Earning Capacity

  • The Career Impact Allowance (CIA), formally known as the Permanent Impairment Allowance (PIA) is a taxable, monthly benefit—payable for life. The allowance is provided when your earnings capacity has been limited because of a service-related illness or injury.
  • On April 1, 2017, the Career Impact Allowance introduced a new individual assessment as one of the factors that will be considered as part of the assignment of grade level. This change will increase access to higher CIA grade levels for some Veterans. This new assessment will look at years left to serve (at time of release) and degree of earning capacity.
  • Veterans may qualify for the Career Impact Allowance if they have:
    • a severe and permanent impairment caused by military service for which they have received a disability benefit, and
    • a VAC-approved application for rehabilitation services.
  • Veterans may also qualify for the Career Impact Allowance if they have an impairment caused by military service such as loss of limb(s), a severe and permanent psychiatric condition or a permanent need for assistance with most (at least 4) of the Activities of daily living.
  • Activities of daily living include:
    • Mobility (considered 1 ADL):
      • Transfers - changing the position of the body independently (e.g. positioning the body from lying to sitting; sitting to standing; lying on the back to lying on the side, etc.)
      • Ambulation - moving the body from one point in space to another (e.g. climbing stairs, walking, etc.)
    • Self-care (6 ADLs):
      • Feeding – eating and drinking of prepared foods (e.g. cutting up food, buttering bread, etc.)
      • Washing- washing of face, trunk, extremities and hair.
      • Dressing – means putting on and taking off all pieces of indoor and outdoor clothing.
      • Grooming/Foot Care/Personal Care – brushing of hair and teeth, shaving and make-up application; skin and nail care; cleansing and personal care associated with toileting.
      • Toileting – continence of bowel and bladder; using toilet facilities.
      • Taking medication – preparing and self-administering medication.
  • Grade one is the highest level of compensation. It is for Veterans with the most severe physical, functional and/or mental impairment—for example, those who have quadriplegia or require total care and supervision.
  • Grade two is for Veterans with impairments such as a single or double limb amputation, or who require recurrent hospitalization for a psychiatric condition. Grade three is for Veterans with impairments such as those requiring chronic use of medication, or psychiatric care for depressive and anxiety symptoms.
  • Diminished Earnings Capacity, formally known as totally and permanently incapacitated, means that a Veteran is unable to earn at least 66.7% due to their eligible health problem(s).
  • Veterans who receive the Career Impact Allowance, and who are deemed to have diminished earning capacity, are also eligible for the career impact allowance supplement.
  • This supplement is a taxable, monthly amount, in addition to the regular Career Impact Allowance monthly amount, payable for life.
  • Veterans who do not qualify for the Career Impact Allowance may still qualify for other related benefits and services available through Veterans Affairs Canada including, the Earnings Loss Benefit.
  • For a full list of available benefits, please visit veterans.gc.ca/eng/services/resources/benefits/allbenefits
  • Veterans can find more information about the application by contacting the Department at 1-866-522-2122 or through My VAC account.
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