Critical Injury Benefit

The Critical Injury Benefit is a tax-free lump-sum award to address the immediate impacts of the most severe and traumatic service-related injuries or diseases sustained by Canadian Armed Forces members.

Eligibility details

Canadian Armed Forces members or Veterans may be eligible if they experienced a severe and traumatic injury or acute disease which:

  • was service-related;
  • was the result of a sudden and single incident occurring on or after April 1, 2006; and
  • immediately caused a severe impairment and interference in quality of life.

Severe impairment and interference in quality of life

For the purposes of the Critical Injury Benefit, at least one of the following must apply to you:

Amputation
  • Immediately sustained an amputation at or above the wrist or ankle
Conditions that lasted less than 12 consecutive weeks
  • Immediately admitted to intensive care for at least five consecutive days
  • Immediately hospitalized for acute or rehabilitative inpatient care and received complex treatment
Conditions that lasted 12 consecutive weeks or more
  • Immediately hospitalized for acute or rehabilitative inpatient care
  • Immediate blindness in both eyes
  • Immediate paralysis of one or more limbs
  • Immediate loss of control of kidneys, bladder or bowel
Conditions that lasted 16 consecutive weeks or more
  • Required immediate assistance of at least one person for three or more of the following activities: eating, bathing, walking, toileting or transferring (e.g. from bed to chair)

Before you start

First time applying for a VAC benefit

You must confirm your identity with one piece of current and valid ID.

Acceptable documents include:

  • Driver’s licence (provincial)
  • Provincial health care card (excluding Alberta and Manitoba)
  • Certificate of Indian Status or Secure Certificate of Indian Status
  • Vital statistics documents: birth certificate, marriage certificate
  • Employee identification card (federal, provincial or municipal)
  • Canadian passport
  • Other provincial identification card
  • Other federal identification card

Proof of identity is also needed for any spouse, common-law partner and/or eligible dependent child who may also benefit from the program.

If you are applying in person, you can take the original of an acceptable document listed above and VAC staff will photocopy it for your file.

If you are applying by mail, please photocopy one of these acceptable documents and attach that to your application. Please write the Veteran’s service number on the photocopy. Do not send original documents to VAC.

If you are applying through My VAC Account, you can scan one of the acceptable documents and there is an option to upload supporting documents with your application.

We encourage you to speak with a financial advisor to help you determine how to manage the money you receive. Veterans Affairs Canada can pay up to $500 to cover the costs related to getting this financial advice.

Apply now

Other ways to apply

Online:
If you are registered for My VAC Account, you can apply online now. You can also track the status of your application through My VAC Account. If you aren’t registered, why wait? Register today.
By phone:
866-522-2122
In person:
Find an office
By mail:
Veterans Affairs Canada
PO Box 6000
Matane, QC
G4W 0E4

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