Canadian Forces Income Support Benefit - Application and Effective Date

Issuing Authority: Director General, Policy and Research
Effective Date: April 1, 2019
Document ID: 1243

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 direction in respect to applications and the effective date of the Canadian Forces Income Support (CFIS) Benefit.

Policy

General

  1. For Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) to determine an individual’s eligibility for the CFIS benefit, a Veteran, survivor, or orphan must submit an application to VAC.
  2. Applications for the CFIS benefit will be in writing and be accompanied by:
    1. the Veteran’s, survivor’s or orphan’s statement of income and, if applicable, his/her spouse’s or common- law partner’s statement of income;
    2. a declaration attesting to the truth of the information provided;
    3. in the case of a survivor’s or orphan’s application, if the information is currently unavailable to the Department (e.g., not on file),
      1. a copy of the Veteran’s or Canadian Force (CF) member’s death certificate; and,
      2. medical reports or other records that document the CF member’s or Veteran’s injury or disease, diagnosis and cause of death; and,
    4. any other information or documents requested by the Department in order to determine eligibility to the CFIS benefit.
  3. The date of when an “application is made” is either the date stamp by Canada Post, or, if the application was received other than via the postal system, VAC’s date stamp of receipt.
  4. Information regarding the importance of timeliness of filing an initial, or subsequent, CFIS application will be available to prospective recipients as part of general VAC literature available from the district offices; the VAC Internet site; etc. This information is also referenced as part of the CFIS application guide.
  5. In circumstances where an applicant fails to apply within a prescribed time period, the Department may accept the application, if there are reasonable grounds as to why the application was delayed (e.g., serious illness or injury of applicant or family member) as per section 76(3) of the Veterans Well-being Act.
  6. When an application is not made within the prescribed time, the application will be declined and redress rights given (see policy, Review of Part 1, Part 1.1, Part 2 and Part 3.1 Decisions under the Veterans Well-being Act).
  7. CFIS recipients are required to regularly provide information relevant to determining his/her ongoing entitlement to the benefit (for example, supply income information including that of a spouse or common-law partner, if applicable). Where the recipient fails to provide the required information in a timely manner, the CFIS benefit may be suspended, and, possibly, cancelled. (see policy, CFIS – Suspension and Cancellation)

Application: Veteran

  1. A Veteran’s initial application must be made within 6-months following the last day of the month that the Veteran was last entitled to an Earnings Loss (EL) benefit or the Income Replacement Benefit (IRB).
  2. The Department will advise the Veteran that once eligibility for the CFIS benefit has ended, the Veteran is entitled to submit a subsequent application within 6 months after the last month in which he/she was entitled to receive a CFIS payment. If an application is submitted within this 6-month time period, the Department will accept the application to determine the Veteran’s continued eligibility for the CFIS benefit (see policy, CFIS – Eligibility).
  3. If ELB and IRB has ended for those who do not have immediate work, information about the CFIS benefit will be provided. General information dealing with the importance of timeliness of filing an initial or subsequent CFIS application will be restated as part of the CFIS application guide. In addition, prospective clients will be advised of this fact as part of general VAC literature available at the district offices; the VAC Internet site; etc.
  4. When a Veteran exceeds the 6-month application filing time period and no exceptional reasons exist for the delay, it will be necessary for him/her to establish that a new mental or physical problem is now creating a barrier to re-establishment and, with that, he/she is successful in accessing the VAC rehabilitation program. If so, the broader process takes over - i.e. the Veteran will first qualify for IRB, and, at the conclusion of this entitlement, the possibility of applying for the CFIS benefit can be considered.

Application: Survivor

  1. There is no prescribed time limit upon which an application must be submitted from a survivor if:
    1. the member or Veteran died of a service-related injury or disease, or of a non service-related injury or disease which was aggravated by service; and,
    2. on the day the CFIS application is approved, the member or Veteran, if alive, would be at least 65 years of age.
  2. In circumstances where the Veteran died of a non service-related injury or disease, the survivor’s initial application must be made within six months following the last day of the month in which the Veteran died.
  3. Allowing for the possibility that a subsequent application may become necessary, survivors will also be advised of the rules surrounding the timeliness factor. The time period for filing a subsequent application also entails a 6-month period, which follows the last day of the last month in which the CFIS payment ceases to be made. If, within this 6-month time period, the survivor’s income is reduced, such that the CFIS benefit can be paid, the subsequent application will be approved.

Application: Orphan

  1. There is no prescribed time limit for an orphan to apply for the CFIS Benefit.
  2. An orphan of a Veteran, who died of a service-related injury or disease or of a non service-related injury or disease which was aggravated by service, is eligible to receive the CFIS benefit if on the day the CFIS application is approved, the member or Veteran, if alive, would be at least 65 years of age.  

Effective Date

  1. In respect to a Veteran or a survivor of a Veteran who died of a non service-related death, once eligibility for the CFIS benefits has been established (see policy – CFIS Eligibility), the benefit will be payable as of the first day of the month in which eligibility was determined or in which the benefit continues to be payable.
  2. If the Veteran or survivor under paragraph 17 makes an initial application within the 6-month time period but fails to provide an essential piece of information (e.g. income), the application may proceed with no change in the original effective month provided that the information is provided without excessive delay (i.e. does not extend into several months). If the delay is considered excessive, the survivor will be asked to provide reasons why the delay occurred (e.g., circumstances beyond the survivor’s control), before a decision on acceptance of the original effective date can be made.  If no acceptable reason for the delay exists, the effective date will be the month the information is received.
  3. In respect to a survivor of a Veteran who died of a service related-death and/or in respect to any orphan, once an initial application has been made and once eligibility for the CFIS benefit has been established (see policy – CFIS Eligibility), the effective date of the CFIS benefit will be the later of either:
    1. the first day of the month after the month in which the member or Veteran died; and,
    2. the first day of the month that is one year prior to the month in which the application for the benefit is approved.
  4. Paragraph 19(b) allows for the CFIS benefit to be awarded retroactively for those recipients identified in paragraph 19. However, for survivors and orphans of a Veteran who dies of a service related death, retroactivity can go no further than the date of eligibility for the CFIS benefits. In these instances, CFIS eligibility cannot begin any earlier than the date from when the member or Veteran, if alive, would have turned age 65.
  5. Where the service-related death of the member or Veteran occurred after reaching age 65, the survivor and/or orphan would not be entitled to receive IRB. In this scenario, the CFIS benefit could not be payable any earlier then the month following the month the member or Veteran died. Once the application is approved, the same rules governing retroactivity, as indicated in paragraph 19 apply.
  6. When the CFIS recipient loses eligibility to receive the benefit (e.g., excessive income, no longer meets Canadian residency requirement and/or does not satisfy the Employment and Career Transition Criteria, if required to do so), the respective decision letter will give the reason why no benefit is payable. The decision letter will also speak to what is required in order for a subsequent application to succeed. (See policy, CFIS – Eligibility)
  7. When the CFIS benefit ceases to be payable due to “excess income”, the applicable decision letter will indicate why no benefit is payable for the month in question, and instruct the recipient to advise VAC immediately if his/her income or family situation should change at any time. If the recipient is a Veteran or a survivor of a Veteran who died of a non service related death, he/she must notify the Department within the 6 months after the last day of the month in which the benefit is payable in order to re-establish his/her claim.
  8. If circumstances change, and the recipient later re-qualifies for the CFIS benefit, the only limitation in establishing the effective date is in accordance with the rules set out in paragraphs 17 and 19.

References

Veterans Well-being Act, sections 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 35, and 76

Veterans Well-being Regulations, sections, 30, 31

Canadian Forces Income Supplement – Eligibility

Canadian Forces Income Supplement – Suspension and Cancellation

Review of Part 1, Part 1.1, Part 2 and Part 3.1 Decisions under the Veterans Well-being Act

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