Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation

An illness or injury can have an impact on your ability to adjust to life after service. If you have received a disability benefit, you may also qualify for the Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation—a tax-free, monthly benefit — payable for life.

About this program

The Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation is a tax-free, monthly benefit. It provides recognition and compensation for any severe and permanent disability, related to your service, which creates a barrier to your life after service.

Every applicant for this benefit receives an individual assessment. If a barrier is identified, the assessment will assign a grade-level which is based on the extent and severity of your impairment.

Do you qualify?

You should apply for the Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation if you have a service-related injury or illness, for which you have a received a VAC disability benefit, that is:

  • permanent and severe, and
  • creating a barrier to your successful re-establishment in civilian life.

Note: If you already receive the Exceptional Incapacity Allowance, you are not eligible for this benefit.

How to apply

Note: If you are currently in receipt of the Career Impact Allowance we will automatically move you over to the Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation. You will move over at the same Grade Level (1, 2 or 3) and will be paid the corresponding, non-taxable Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation monthly amount.

Apply online

Apply online through My VAC Account. Applying is easier with a guided form. Sign in or register for My VAC Account.

My VAC Account

Mail or in person

Download the application form. Then, drop it off at a VAC office or CAF Transition Centre. You can also mail your completed form directly to the address listed on the form.

Go to form

Get help with your application

The staff at any VAC office or CAF Transition Centre can assist you, or call us at 1-866-522-2122.

Additional information

Find out more


Through an individual assessment, we will assign you one of three grade-levels based on the extent and seriousness of your impairment. Grade one refers to the most serious conditions.

The assessment examines how independent you are by looking at such things as your mobility, your need for assistance with activities of daily living (such as bathing and dressing), and other factors affecting your daily life.

See the current rates for this program

If you receive this benefit, it will be paid for the duration of your life. This would only change if your health improved to an extent where you no longer had any barriers caused by your impairment(s).

The Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation cannot be paid to the survivor or other dependents of the Veteran.

Related programs

Disability Benefits: Financial payments for Veterans who have a service-related disability or injury.

Critical Injury Benefit: A one-time payment that recognizes the immediate impact of the most severe and traumatic service-related injuries or diseases.

Rehabilitation services: Services to improve your health and adjust to life after service.

Clothing Allowance: Monthly payments if you need new or special clothing due to your health issues.

Treatment Benefits: Coverage for medical and health related services.

Caregiver Recognition Benefit: Monthly payments for an informal caregiver who provides you with daily personal care support.

Disability tax credit (DTC)

The DTC helps reduce the income tax that people with physical or mental impairments, or their supporting family members, may have to pay. It aims to offset some of the costs related to the impairment. Learn more about this non-refundable tax credit available through the Canada Revenue Agency.

Frequently asked questions

What is the monthly Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation based on?

The benefit recognizes that severe and permanent impairments may create barriers to establishing themselves in post-service life. The monthly amount payable is based on the extent of the Veteran's permanent and severe impairment. It takes into consideration such things as a Veterans' mobility, requirements for supervision and the need for assistance with activities of daily living (such as bathing and dressing).

It will be payable at three grade levels with $1500/month being the highest and $500/month the lowest.

What is the difference between CIA and APSC?

Taxability: The Career Impact Allowance (CIA) is taxable because it compensates for lost employment potential and career progression opportunities. The Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation (APSC), on the other hand, will be non-taxable because it compensates for the extent to which permanent and severe impairments cause barriers to re-establishment.

Eligibility: The eligibility for the two programs is similar in many ways:

  • they are only payable to Veterans;
  • the Veteran must have a disability benefit; and
  • the Veteran must have a permanent and severe impairment.

The key eligibility difference between the two benefits is that under CIA, a Veteran must have an approved rehabilitation plan in order to receive the CIA. Under APSC, a Veteran must only have a barrier to re-establishment to qualify, they do not have to have an approved rehabilitation plan.

Grade Levels: Both benefits have three grade levels. The key difference on which grade is paid is that the CIA considers medical impairment as well as earnings capacity. APSC will only consider medical impairment. The APSC has no equivalent to the CIA Supplement.