Allied Veterans - World War II (War Veterans Allowance Program)

Issuing Authority: Director General, Policy and Research
Effective Date: July 13, 2012
Document ID: 1206

Care has been taken to ensure these policies accurately reflect the acts and regulations. Should any inconsistencies be found, the acts and regulations will prevail.

Purpose

This policy provides guidance on determining if an individual served with an Allied Force during World War II and, therefore, may be considered to satisfy the war service requirements set out in section 37 of the War Veterans Allowance Act.

Policy

Allied Countries

  1. For the purpose of determining eligibility for benefits from Veterans Affairs Canada, the following countries were allies of His Majesty during World War II:

    Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Syria, The Netherlands, Turkey, United Kingdom, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela and Yugoslavia.
  2. For the purpose of administering the War Veterans Allowance Act, World War II is deemed to have commenced on September 1, 1939, and to have terminated:
    1. in respect of service in connection with operations in the European and Mediterranean theatres of war, on May 8, 1945; and
    2. in respect of service in connection with operations in the Pacific theatre of war, on August 15, 1945.

Allied Veteran Defined

  1. A World War II Allied Veteran is a person who meets the requirements described in subsection 37(4) or (4.1) of the War Veterans Allowance Act, namely:
    1. any former member of: any of His Majesty’s forces, who:
      1. served in a theatre of actual war (see paragraph 5) during World War II, or
      2. is in receipt of a pension for disability under the Pension Act in respect of service during World War II, or
      3. has accepted a commuted pension in respect of service described in paragraph (ii), or
      4. is, after death, declared to have been eligible for, or awarded, a pension described in paragraph (ii) above.
      Or
    2. any of the Forces, other than resistance groups, of any of His Majesty’s allies who was domiciled in Canada at the time when he or she joined that Force or at any time while a member of that Force, who:
      1. served in a theatre of actual war (see paragraph 5) during World War II,
      2. is in receipt of a pension for disability under the Pension Act in respect of service during World War II,
      3. has accepted a commuted pension in respect of service described in paragraph (d), or
      4. is, after death, declared to have been eligible for, or awarded, a pension described in paragraph ii) above.
  2. An allied veteran is also any former member of any of His Majesty’s forces, or of any of the Forces, other than resistance groups, of any of His Majesty’s allies in World War II, who served during that war, who resided in Canada for a total period of at least 10 years beginning on or after August 15, 1945, who has been honourably discharged or has been permitted honourably to resign or retire from one of those Forces and who
    1. served in a theatre of actual war during that war;
    2. is in receipt of a pension for an injury or disease incurred or aggravated during service in any such force during that war or is declared to have been eligible for, or awarded, such a pension subsequent to their death, or
    3. has accepted a commuted pension.

Qualifying War Service

  1. “Theatre of war” is defined as follows: “With respect to a former member of His Majesty’s forces other than His Majesty’s Canadian forces, or of any of the forces of His Majesty’s Allies or powers associated with His majesty in World War II, such places, zones or areas as the Board may prescribe.”
  2. The “Board” refers to the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal with exclusive jurisdiction to prescribe geographic areas that constitute a “theatre of actual war” for the purpose of administering the War Veterans Allowance Act.  Over the course of its existence, the Board (and its predecessors) prescribed the following areas as  theatres of actual war during World War II, both for members of His Majesty’s forces, and the forces of His Majesty’s Allies, who served on or after the date on which their respective countries declared war.
    1. The continent of Europe (including the British Isles), the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (as described during the time of the Second World War), Egypt, Cyrenaica, Lybia, Tripolitania, Iraq, Persia, Palestine, Sinai, Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria;
    2. and outside the territorial waters of all countries
      1. from 1 September 1939 to 31 May 1940: on the Atlantic Ocean including UK waters and the North Sea, the Baltic, the Arctic Ocean between Greenland and longitude 70 degrees East and that part of the Indian Ocean lying south of 15 degrees South and West of 55 degrees East;
      2. from 1 June 1940 to 8 May 1945: anywhere at sea; and
      3. from 9 May 1940 to 15 August 1945: the Pacific Ocean including the South China Sea, the Bay of Bengal as far south as the equator, and that part of the Indian Ocean lying east of longitude 110 degrees East, and including the southward offshore waters of the Sunda Islands, to include, in all cases, the gulfs, bays and inlets of the waters referred to.
      4. from 8 December 1941 to 15 August 1945: the whole of Ceylon, the part of Australia north of latitude 21 South, the Philippines and New Guinea, and the Netherlands East Indies;
      5. from 1 December 1941 to 15 August 1945: all of Burma, and all of Hong Kong;
      6. from 1 September 1939 to 8 May 1945: the whole of Cyprus.

War Service Verification

  1. An applicant’s claimed war service must be formally verified by contacting the appropriate official of the applicable allied country and requesting confirmation of the claimed military service.  Pertinent information includes dates of enlistment and discharge, as well as the geographic locations where the applicant served to confirm service in a theatre of actual war.
  2. An applicant who did not serve in a theatre of actual war must provide evidence of receipt of a pension for an injury or disease incurred or aggravated during service as a former member of an allied force during World War II in order to satisfy the war service requirements of the War Veterans Allowance Act.  In the case of a survivor, confirmation that, subsequent to the Allied Veteran’s death, the Allied Veteran was awarded or declared eligible for a pension is also acceptable.
  3. The Department has interpreted “any former member” and “His Majesty’s Forces” to be based on formal military service in the “armed forces” (i.e. army, navy or air force).  This interpretation is based on the intention and interpretation of relevant provisions of the War Veterans Allowance Act, and jurisprudence.
  4. Information on whom to contact to verify war service is found within this document under the details provided for each Allied country.

    NOTE: Any issue not addressed by this policy or questions regarding qualifying service should be referred to the Program Policy Directorate at Head Office.

Resistance Service

  1. Effective March 2, 1992, a definition of “resistance group” service was added to the WVA Act. This broad and comprehensive definition reads as follows:“resistance group” means any force that was raised during World War I or World War II, as delimited by subsection 37(10) of the WVA Act, in a country after it was occupied by an enemy of His Majesty in that War and that operated against that enemy;”
  2. This definition, coupled with other related provisions, has the effect of barring new applicants from receiving benefits, if their war service was performed as a member of a war time resistance group or movement. This change was deemed necessary since this group then, as now, was never intended to receive the benefit in the first place.

Service as a Member of Belgian Armed Forces

  1. The following service will be recognized for former members of the Belgian Armed Forces:
    1. service with the Belgian Armed Forces raised in Belgium from May 10, 1940, (the date Belgium was invaded by Germany) to May 27, 1940 (the day prior to the date Belgium was occupied by Germany); or
    2. service with the Belgian forces raised outside Belgium from May 28, 1940, to May 8, 1945.
  2. Service with the Belgian Armed Forces raised in Belgium from May 28, 1940, (the date of Belgium’s occupation) until May 8, 1945, (the date World War II terminated in the European theatre) is deemed resistance service and, as such, is not considered qualifying service for WVA purposes.
  3. Confirmation of War Service
    To obtain confirmation of qualifying service in the Belgian Forces, contact:

    Ondersectie Notariaat
    t.a.v. Adjudant
    Kwartier Koningin Astrid
    Bruynstraat 1
    1120 BRUSSEL
    BELGIUM

Service as a Member of British Forces

  1. The following service will be recognized for former members of the British Forces:
    1. as a former member of the Royal Army, the Royal Navy (including those British merchant seamen who signed a T124 Agreement—see paragraph 17), or the Royal Air Force between September 1, 1939, (the day Poland was invaded by Germany) and August 15, 1945, (the day World War II terminated in the Pacific theatre).
  2. For purposes of establishing service eligibility as a former member of the Royal Navy, a decision was made by the former War Veterans Allowance Board, in May, 1979, that former British merchant seamen are deemed to be members of the Royal Navy if they served under the auspices of a T124 Agreement.  This Agreement was an enlistment-like document in which the individual committed to serve under several restrictions, including:
    1. serving on a vessel that flew the White Ensign;
    2. wearing a naval uniform;
    3. being subject to the Naval Discipline Act; and,
    4. serving for the duration of the war on any ship the Admiralty chose.
  3. United Kingdom officials have confirmed that only those individuals who signed a T124 Agreement are considered Royal Navy Veterans and, as such, eligible for benefits under their War Pensions (Naval Auxiliary Personnel) Scheme. Others with similar war service are considered merchant seamen.
  4. Allied Veteran status may be granted to British merchant seamen who served with the Royal Navy as Naval Auxiliary Personnel. If a T124 Agreement cannot be produced, other evidence from the Government of the United Kingdom (i.e. confirmation the individual is recognized under the War Pensions Naval Auxiliary Personnel Scheme) would be acceptable verification of service for the War Veterans Allowance
  5. Confirmation of War Service

To obtain confirmation of qualifying service in the British Forces, contact: Veterans Affairs Officer


Veterans Affairs Officer
Veterans Affairs Canada
Canadian High Commission
Macdonald House
1 Grosvenor Square
London W1K 4AB
Tel: 44(0)20 7258 6334
Fax: 44(0)20 7258 6645

Service as a Member of French Armed Forces

  1. The following service will be recognized for former members of the French Armed Forces:
    1. service with the French Armed Forces raised in France from September 1, 1939, (the date World War II is deemed to have commenced) to June 21, 1940, ( the day prior to the date France was occupied by Germany); or
    2. service with the French Armed Forces raised outside France from June 22, 1940, (the date France was occupied by Germany) to May 8, 1945 (the date World War II terminated in the European theatre).
  2. Any service with the French Forces raised in France as of June 22, 1940, (the date of France’s surrender) up to May 8, 1945, (the date World War II terminated in the European Theatre) is deemed resistance service and, as such, is not considered qualifying service for WVA purposes.
  3. Confirmation of War Service
    To obtain confirmation of qualifying service in the French Forces, contact:

    Defence Attaché
    Embassy of France
    42 Sussex Drive
    Ottawa, ON K1M 2C9
    Telephone: (613) 562-3780
    Facsimile:  (613) 562-3785

Service as a Member of Greek Armed Forces

  1. The following service will be recognized for former members of the Greek Armed Forces:
    1. service with Greek Armed Forces raised in Greece from October 28, 1940, (the date Greece declared war on Italy) up to May 30, 1941, (the date prior to Greece’s occupation by Germany); or
    2. service with the Greek Armed Forces raised outside Greece from May 31, 1941, to May 8, 1945, the date World War II terminated in the European Theatre.
  2. Any service with the Greek Forces raised in Greece as of May 31, 1941, (the date Greece was fully occupied by the enemy) up to May 8, 1945, (the date World War II terminated in the European Theatre) is deemed resistance service and, as such, is not considered qualifying service for WVA purposes.
  3. Confirmation of War Service
    Head Office maintains service verification information for a significant number of Greek Allied Veterans. Therefore, the first step to verify this type of service is for the Benefit Analyst to consult with the WVA Program Policy Unit at Head Office. If the information is not available from that source, the Benefit Analyst should proceed to refer the case to the Greek Embassy. If it is necessary to approach the Embassy, contact:

    Consular Officer
    Embassy of Greece
    80 MacLaren St
    Ottawa, ON K2P 0K6
    Telephone: (613) 238-6271
    Facsimile:  (613) 238-5676
    Email: embassy@greekembassy.ca

Service as a Member of Phillippine Armed Forces

  1. The following service will be recognized for former members of the Philippine Armed Forces:
    1. service with the Philippine Scouts (who are considered American veterans); or
    2. service with the Philippine Commonwealth Army raised in the Philippines from December 8, 1941 (the date Japan attacked the Philippines) to May 7, 1942 (the day prior to the date the Philippines were occupied by Japan). This date may be extended to May 25, 1942, for those who are considered to have retained Philippine Commonwealth Army status until that date.
  2. Any service with the Philippine Commonwealth Army raised in the Philippines during the period of the Japanese occupation, i.e. from May 8, 1942 or May 25, 1942, if applicable, to August 15, 1945, (the date World War II terminated in the Pacific Theatre), is deemed resistance service and, as such, is not considered qualifying service for WVA purposes.
  3. Confirmation of War Service
    To obtain confirmation of qualifying service in the Philippine Forces for Philippine Scouts, contact:

    Military Records Specialist
    VAM&ROC
    215 North Main Street
    White River Jct VT 05009-0001

    Telephone: (802) 295-9363

    For all service information other than Philippine Scouts contact:

    Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, Veteran Records & Management Division,Records Section

    Telephone: (+632) 709-4106; 911-6001 local 5565
    or Email: support@pvao.mil.ph

Service as a Member of Polish Armed Forces

  1. The following service will be recognized for former members of the Polish Forces:
    1. service with the Polish Armed Forces raised in Poland from September 1, 1939, (the        date Poland was invaded by Germany and the date of commencement of World War II) up to September 27, 1939, (the day prior to the date Poland was occupied by Germany and the Soviet Union); or
    2. service with the Polish forces raised outside Poland from September 28, 1939, to May 8, 1945, (the date World War II terminated in the European Theatre).
  2. Service with the Polish Forces raised in Poland from September 28, 1939, (the date of Poland’s surrender) up to May 8, 1945 (the date World War II terminated in the European Theatre), is deemed resistance service and, as such, is not considered qualifying service for WVA purposes.
  3. Confirmation of War Service
    To obtain confirmation of qualifying service in the Polish Armed Forces contact:

    Cetralne Archiwum Wojskowe (Central Military Archive)
    ul. Czerwonych Beretow b. 124
    00-910 Warszawa
    Telephone: (+48) 22 681-4637

    To obtain confirmation of qualifying service in the Polish Armed Forces under British Command, contact:

    Ministry of Defence
    APC Polish Enquiries
    Building 28B RAF Northolt
    West End Road Ruslip
    Middlesex, GB
    HA4 6NG
    Telephone: 44 20 8833 8603
    Facsimile: 44 20 8833 8866

Service as a Member of Russian Armed Forces

  1. The following service will be recognized for former members of the Russian Armed Forces:
    1. Service with the Russian forces in the European theatre, from June 22, 1941, (the date Russia declared war on Germany) to May 8, 1945, (the date World War II terminated in the European theatre); or
    2. service with the Russian forces in the Pacific theatre from August 8, 1945, (the date Russia declared war on Japan) to August 15, 1945, (the date World War II terminated in the Pacific theatre).

Service with Russian Forces Prior to June 22, 1941

  1. Prior to June 22, 1941, Russia was not a member of the Axis, the alliance of countries that opposed the Allies during World War II, or was it at war against the Allies.  Therefore, service with the Russian forces prior to June 22, 1941, does not constitute service with the enemy, and has no bearing in terms of any determination of eligibility for War Veterans Allowance purposes.
  2. Confirmation of War Service
    To obtain confirmation of qualifying service in the Russian Armed Forces, contact:

    103 132
    Russia, Moscow
    Ulitsa, Il'inka, 12
    Federal Archive Service of the Russian Federation
    A copy of the request should also be sent to:

    Embassy of the Russian Federation in Canada
    285 Charlotte Street
    Ottawa, ON K1N 8L5
    Telephone: (613) 235-4341
    Facsimile:  (613) 236-6342

Service as a Member of Yugoslavian Armed Forces

  1. The following service will be recognized for former members of the Yugoslavian Armed Forces:
    1. Service with the Yugoslavian Armed Forces raised in Yugoslavia from April 6, 1941, (the date the country declared war against Germany and Italy) and April 16, 1941, (the day prior to the date Yugoslavia was occupied by Germany); or
    2. Service with the Yugoslavian Armed Forces raised outside Yugoslavia from April 17, 1941 (the date Yugoslavia was occupied by Germany) to May 8, 1945, (the date World War II terminated in the European theatre).
  2. Any service with the Yugoslavian Forces during the period of its occupation, i.e. from April 17, 1941, to May 8, 1945, (the date World War II terminated in the European theatre), is deemed resistance service and, as such, is not considered qualifying service for WVA purposes.
  3. Confirmation of War Service
    To obtain confirmation of qualifying service in the Yugoslavian Armed Forces, contact:

    Embassy of Serbia and Montenegro
    17 Blackburn Ave
    Ottawa, ON K1N 8A2
    Telephone: (613) 233-6289

Service as a Member of India’s Armed Forces

  1. The following service will be recognized for former members of India’s Armed Forces:
    1. service with India’s Armed Forces from September 3, 1941, (the date India declared war on Germany) to May 8, 1945, in a theatre of actual war in the European theatre; and to August 15, 1945, in a theatre of actual war in the Pacific theatre.
  2. India, itself, is not considered a theatre of actual war for WVA purposes. Therefore, only those former members of India’s Armed Forces who ventured into areas designated as a theatre of actual war may qualify for WVA benefits.
  3. Confirmation of War Service
    To obtain confirmation of qualifying service in India’s Armed Forces, contact: Attaché

    High Commission for the Republic of India
    10 Springfield Rd
    Otttawa, ON K1M 1C9
    Telephone: (613) 744-3751
    Facsimile:  (613) 744-0913

Service as a Member of Norway’s Armed Forces

  1. The following service will be recognized for former members of Norway’s Armed Forces:
    1. Service with the Norwegian Armed Forces raised in Norway between April 8, 1940, (the date Norway     was invaded by Germany) and June 10, 1940, (the day prior to the date Norway came under full occupation by Germany); or
    2. Service with the Norwegian Armed Forces raised outside Norway from June 11, 1940 (the date Norway came under full occupation by Germany) to May 8, 1945 (the date World War II terminated in the European Theatre).
  2. Any service with the Norwegian Armed Forces during the period of its occupation, i.e. from June 10, 1940, to May 8, 1945, (the date World War II terminated in the European theatre), is deemed resistance service and, as such, is not considered qualifying service for WVA purposes.
  3. Confirmation of War Service
    To obtain confirmation of qualifying service in Norway’s Armed Forces, contact:

    Royal Norwegian Embassy
    150 Metcalfe Street
    Suite 1300
    Ottawa, ON K2P 1P1
    Telephone: (613) 238-6571
    Facsimile:  (613) 238-2765
    E-mail: emb.ottawa@mfa.no

Service as a Member of Netherlands’ Armed Forces

  1. The following service will be recognized for former members of Netherlands’ Armed Forces:
    1. Service with the Netherlands Armed Forces raised in the Netherlands between May 10, 1940, (the date the Netherlands was invaded by Germany) and May 18, 1940, (the day prior to the date the Netherlands came under full occupation by Germany); or
    2. Service with the Netherlands Armed Forces raised outside the Netherlands from May 19, 1940, to May 8, 1945 (the date World War II terminated in the European theatre).
  2. Any service with the Netherlands Armed Forces during the period of its occupation, i.e. from May 19, 1940, to May 8, 1945, (the date World War II terminated in the European theatre), is deemed resistance service and, as such, is not considered qualifying service for WVA purposes.
  3. Confirmation or War Service
    To obtain confirmation of qualifying service in the Netherlands Armed Forces, contact:

    Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
    Constitution Square Building
    Suite 2020 - 350 Albert Street
    Ottawa, ON K1R 1A4
    Telephone: (613) 237-5031
    Facsimile: (613) 237-6471
    E-mail: ott@minbuza.nl 

Service as a Member of United States’ Armed Forces

  1. The following service will be recognized for former members of United States’ Armed Forces:
    1. Service with the United States’ Armed Forces between December 7, 1941, (the date Japan attacked the United States) and August 15, 1945, (the day World War II terminated in the Pacific theatre).
  2. The continental United States is not considered a theatre of actual war for WVA purposes. Therefore, only those former members of the United States Armed Forces who ventured into areas designated as a theatre of actual war may qualify for WVA benefits.
  3. Confirmation of War Service

    VA Regional Office (21)
    Attn:  Military Records Specialist
    215 North Main Street
    White River Jct VT 05009
    Telephone: (802) 296-5177
    Facsimile:  (802) 291-6299

Service as a Member of South African Armed Forces

  1. The following service will be recognized for former members of South African Armed Forces:
    1. Service with the South African Armed Forces from September 6, 1939, (the date South Africa declared war on Germany) to May 8, 1945, in a theatre of actual war in the European theatre, and to August 15, 1945, in a theatre of actual war in the Pacific theatre.
  2. South Africa, itself, is not considered a theatre of actual war for WVA purposes. Therefore, only those former members of the South African Armed Forces who ventured into areas designated as a theatre of actual war may qualify for WVA benefits.
  3. Confirmation of War Service
    To obtain confirmation of qualifying service with the South African Armed Forces, contact:

    South African High Commission
    15 Sussex Drive
    Otttawa, ON K1M 1M8
    Telephone: (613) 744-0330
    Facsimile:  (613) 741-1639

References

War Veterans Allowance Act, Section 37

Pension Act

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