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The New Veterans Charter (NVC) represents the most sweeping change to Veterans’ benefits and services in the past 60 years. The intent of the NVC was to shift the focus from one of disability to one of wellness, and to respond to Canada’s commitment to injured Canadian Forces (CF) members and Veterans. The suite of services and benefits available under the NVC includes a lump-sum disability award, rehabilitation services, financial benefits, health benefits, and career transition assistance.

There are five expected outcomes from Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC’s) modernized programs. The outcomes state that CF members, Veterans and their families:

  1. feel recognized for their contribution;
  2. experience improved health status and functional capacity as a result of access to treatment benefits and rehabilitation services;
  3. actively participate in and integrate into their communities;
  4. actively participate in the civilian workforce (unless totally disabled or retired) as a result of access to employment-related supports in the form of vocational assistance, training and job placement assistance; and
  5. have a level of income adequate to meet basic needs as a result of enhanced employment opportunities provided by job placement assistance, and access to employment enhancement supports such as re-training opportunities as part of vocational rehabilitation.

Table 1 provides a snapshot of participants who were eligible for the various NVC programs from April 1, 2006 until March 31, 2010. It should be noted that the total number of participants is not intended to be the summation of the participants in each program, as individuals can access multiple programs at the same time or various programs separately, based on their needs.

Table 1 – NVC Participants from April 1, 2006 - March 31, 2010
Participants Individuals who received a Disability Award Individuals eligible for the Rehabilitation Program Individuals eligible for Financial Benefits Individuals eligible for Health Benefits Individuals who participated in the Career Transition Services Program* Total Number of NVC Participants
Veterans 18,568 4,106 3,748 960 878 20,907
Survivors / Spouses 386 91 38 14 2 510
Total 18,954 4,197 3,786 974 880 21,417

* Numbers represent participants who applied for the Career Transition Services Program (i.e. career counselling or job finding assistance). This does not include the 2,217 Veterans who attended a workshop.

Still–serving members are eligible for a disability award and components of the Career Transition Services (CTS) Program, but they are not eligible for the Rehabilitation, Financial Benefits or Health Benefits programs. Also, individuals must apply within two years of release from service; there are no individuals actively participating in the Career Transition Services Program who released prior to 2006.

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