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Expanding access to the Permanent Impairment Allowance

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  • The Government of Canada is fulfilling its commitment to expand access to the Permanent Impairment Allowance (PIA). Proposed changes build on improvements made in 2015 to broaden PIA eligibility and also align with recommendations made by the Veterans Ombudsman and the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs.

  • The Permanent Impairment Allowance is a monthly allowance paid to Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Veterans who have a permanent and severe impairment resulting from a service-related injury or illness that has affected their employment potential and career advancement. It is payable at three different grade levels (rates).

  • A number of factors are considered when assessing the grade level of a Veteran eligible for the PIA. The proposed changes would introduce an individual functional capacity assessment which would measure the impact a service-related impairment has on a Veteran’s career advancement opportunities, and consider years of service, to determine Permanent Impairment Allowance grade level. The changes would ensure Veterans are more appropriately compensated for the specific impact on their careers. No Veteran will receive less money as a result of this assessment.

  • Upon implementation on April 1, 2017, the program name would also be changed to “Career Impact Allowance” (from Permanent Impairment Allowance) to better reflect the intent of the program, which is to compensate for loss of employment potential and career advancement opportunities.

  • The proposed changes deliver directly on the mandate commitments of the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence. They are among the first steps in working to improve benefits and services offered to Canadian Armed Forces members, Veterans and their families. The Government has directed Veterans Affairs Canada to develop options for lifelong pensions through a comprehensive review of the New Veterans Charter. The Government remains committed to consulting with Veterans, stakeholders and the Canadian public as this work progresses.

Example of a Veteran who could benefit from this change:

Kimberly is a Veteran who released after four years in the military. She meets the eligibility requirements for the Permanent Impairment Allowance (PIA) due to a service-related injury. Based on the current method of assigning grade levels, Kimberly has been assigned a grade three PIA. With the new individual assessment, which would take into account Kimberly’s assessed earning capacity and the fact that her military career was cut short and therefore she lost military career advancement opportunities, she would receive additional funds.

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