Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Allied Veteran?
From Canada’s perspective, an Allied Veteran is a Veteran who served with the forces of any nation allied with Canada during the First World War, the Second World War or the Korean War.
What are Allied countries?
Allied countries fought alongside Canada during the First World War, Second World War or Korean War.
What do these changes mean for Allied Veterans and their family members?
Effective January 1, 2010, low-income Allied Veterans of the Second World War and the Korean War who live in Canada may have access to War Veterans Allowance and associated assistance and health benefits. These benefits include the Assistance Fund, funeral and burial assistance, treatment benefits, the Veterans Independence Program and long-term care. Family members may also receive benefits.
What does the War Veterans Allowance and associated assistance and health benefits include?
- War Veterans Allowance — If a person’s income is below a certain amount, WVA is a guaranteed monthly income to meet basic needs.
- Assistance Fund — Financial assistance in times of emergency that affect health and/or safety.
- Funeral and Burial — Financial assistance to ensure a dignified funeral and burial for Veterans.
- Treatment Benefits — Coverage ranging from hearing aids to prescription drugs to dental and vision care.
- Veterans Independence Program — A home-care program that includes personal care services, access to nutritious meals, housekeeping, grounds maintenance and other services.
- Long-Term Care — Care in a facility for those who are no longer able to stay at home.
Family members may also receive the War Veterans Allowance, the Assistance Fund and housekeeping and/or grounds maintenance to help them remain in their own homes.
What are the eligibility criteria?
To qualify for these benefits, Allied Veterans must be low-income, and:
- have served with Allied Forces in the Second World War or Korean War; and
- lived in Canada prior to enlisting, or moved to Canada after the war and have lived here for at least 10 years; and
- live in Canada now.
Eligibility for each benefit is based on a variety of factors, such as income and the nature and extent of health conditions. Family members may also be eligible.
How was the ten years post-war residency requirement determined?
The ten year requirement was in place prior to 1995, and is consistent with the standard residency requirement under Canada’s Old Age Security Act with respect to individuals who moved to Canada from another country. The ten years don’t have to be consecutive.
Who is considered a family member?
For the most part, the family member will be a spouse/survivor, but it may also include common-law partner, dependent children or orphans.
How many Allied Veterans are currently receiving benefits?
About 3,200 Allied Veterans who moved to Canada after the Second World War currently receive benefits/services. Statistics are not currently available on Allied Veterans who lived in Canada before the Second World War as they are served through existing programs and services provided to Canadian Veterans.
How many Allied Veterans are expected to be eligible as a result of these changes?
About 3,600 Allied Veterans and up to 1,000 family members may be eligible.
Do other Allied countries provide benefits to Canadian Veterans living in their country?
Several countries provide limited benefits to Canadian Veterans, however, Australia is the only country known to provide benefits similar to Canada’s programs.
Allied Veterans in Australia can receive a service pension, which provides a regular income for people with limited means. Allied Veterans can also receive an Orange Card (Pharmaceutical Benefits Card), which provides them with access to pharmaceutical benefits for any health condition provided they have qualifying service from the First and Second World War, are aged 70 years or over, and have been a resident in Australia for 10 years or more. Allied Veterans who have service-related injuries or other specific conditions may receive health care for that specific injury or condition. With respect to home care and support services, Allied Veterans are only eligible for respite care where it relates to their accepted disabilities.
Many Canadians might assume that Allied Veterans receive benefits from their home countries. If those countries don’t provide benefits, why should Canada?
Many of these men and women are Canadian residents and have been for decades. After the Second World War, the Government attempted to attract immigrants to increase the number of skilled workers. Incentives included eligibility for the War Veterans Allowance and a promise that they would be treated similarly to Canadian Veterans.
How many Allied Veterans does VAC estimate live in Canada?
As of March 2009, VAC estimates there are approximately 28,000 Allied Veterans living in Canada who moved here after the war and have lived here for at least 10 years. This includes the 3,200 post-war Allied Veterans who are currently receiving benefits. This does not include Allied Veterans who lived here before the Second World War and who are receiving benefits.
VAC requires confirmation of service from the country in which these Veterans served. Won’t this significantly delay the time it takes to get benefits?
We already have protocols and contacts in place with a number of Allied countries in order to confirm that an applicant is a Veteran of the Second World War. We hope to make similar arrangements for Allied Veterans of the Korean War. Where potential clients already have these records, providing these would help speed up the process.
What is VAC doing to inform Allied Veterans and their families know that they can apply for benefits?
We have issued a national news release, provided information to members of Parliament to share with constituents and submitted articles to seniors’ publications. We have also published the information in Salute! (VAC’s client newsletter) and the information is available on our Web site.
How do I apply?
You may now apply by calling 1-866-522-2122 (service in English), 1-866-522-2022 (service in French) 1-800-465-7735 (TTY/ATS), or you can download a copy of the War Veterans Allowance application kit and instructions from the VAC Web site.
What documents am I going to need to apply for War Veterans Allowance?
The most important documents you will need to apply for War Veterans Allowance are a copy of your 2007 and 2008 income tax returns and confirmation of your military service. If you cannot provide confirmation of your military service, VAC staff can help you get this.
How long will it take for me to receive my War Veterans Allowance application kit?
You should receive your application kit in the mail about ten days after you request it.
How long will it take to process my War Veterans Allowance application?
Applications are being processed as quickly as possible. Once we receive all of your information (including your confirmation of service), we will advise you in writing of our decision within four weeks.
Will I be reimbursed for expenses since October 14, 2008?
If you apply by December 31, 2010 and are approved, you may be reimbursed for certain expenses you had since October 14, 2008. Every case is unique and only when your case is reviewed can we say for certain what expenses you can have reimbursed or covered.
If you apply after December 31, 2010, you may receive payments effective the day you applied.
I already paid for [wheelchair, etc.], is this covered?
Only when you apply and your particular case is reviewed, can we say for certain what expenses you can have reimbursed or covered. You should save your receipts just in case.
My Veteran spouse would have been eligible, but he/she passed away before October 14, 2008. Am I eligible?
No. A family member is eligible if it is determined that the Veteran would have qualified. To qualify, the Veteran must have been alive and eligible on/after October 14, 2008. That’s the date this government was in a position to act.
My grandfather/grandmother/father/mother, who was a Veteran, would have been eligible, but he/she passed away on or after October 14, 2008. Am I eligible?
There are some cases where a dependent of a Veteran who passed away may be eligible. Only when you apply and your particular case is reviewed, can we say for certain what benefits you may receive.
I was a member of a resistance group. Am I eligible?
No. To be eligible, you must have formal military service and have served in a theatre of actual war during the Second World War or Korean War.
I am an Allied Veteran and am currently receiving benefits under the War Veterans Allowance program. Will I be affected by this change?
No. You will not be affected by this change. There are no new benefits provided under this initiative to those clients who were already in receipt or “grandfathered” and continued to receive benefits despite previous changes.
Did you find what you were looking for?
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