Language selection

Summary for the Evaluation of the War Veterans Allowance Program

Audit and Evaluation Division – Veterans Affairs Canada
June 2019

Evaluation Results

1. To what extent does the Program continue to address a demonstrable need, now and in the future?

There is a continued need for the Program. Despite an overall recipient population which continues to decline, the Program does continue to receive an average of one application per day and the Program helps recipients meet basic needs.

2. To what extent does the program align with Government of Canada priorities and with federal roles and responsibilities?

The Program aligns with Government of Canada priorities as well as federal roles and responsibilities. Support for Veterans is part of several key documents including the Minister’s mandate letter and the Departmental Plan.

3. To what extent is the program achieving its outcomes?

Generally speaking, the Program is contributing to the Department achieving its outcomes, such as: Veterans are physically and mentally well, Veterans and their families are financially secure and Veterans are satisfied with the services they receive, by providing financial support to meet basic needs.

Opportunity: There is an opportunity for greater consistency in the collection and use of performance measurement information to help guide decision making.

4. Are there opportunities to improve the efficiency and economy of the program?

The program is delivered by a smaller centralized team. 83% of decisions on applications received during the review period were rendered within the service standard (80% within four weeks).

5. Are there any unintended impacts that have occurred?

The review found that 63% of applications received during the review period received unfavourable decisions. A random sample of these applications revealed that 61% were unfavourable as a result of the applicant having income in excess of the WVA monthly threshold. A further 30% were unfavourable as a result of the Veteran associated with the application having ineligible service periods.

Further analysis revealed that Veterans were an average of $1,117 above the threshold per month while survivors and orphans were an average of $498 per month.

There is an opportunity to share these findings with the Policy Directorate to support future policy renewal.

Recommendation Management Response and Action Plan
There are no recommendations required. Not Applicable

Program Description

  • The War Veterans Allowance Program provides monthly financial assistance to help low income War Service Veterans, qualified civilians and their survivors meet basic needs.
  • A favourable decision also provides eligible recipients with access to other departmental benefits such as Health Care Benefits (Treatment Benefits), Veterans Independence Program, Long-Term Care and the Assistance Fund.
  • As of March 31, 2018, VAC had 1,895 program recipients and total program expenditures of $6.1M.

About the Evaluation

Scope and Methodology:

  • Conducted in accordance with the directive and standards specified in Treasury Board of Canada’s 2016 Policy on Results.
  • Covers the time frame from April 2014 to September 2018.
  • Conducted between January 2019 and May 2019.
  • Multiple lines of evidence were used.

Considerations and Limitation:

  • The Program is a long established program which has evolved over the years to accommodate the needs of War Service Veterans, qualified civilians and their survivors, however, there have been no major changes implemented during the review period.
  • The most recent evaluation, published in March 2014, confirmed that the program is relevant, effective and efficient and no recommendations were required.
  • Administrative costs for this program were less than 0.2% of all VAC program administration costs and therefore, further analysis of administrative costs was not undertaken to the low risk and low materiality of the program.
  • The Evaluation team did not speak directly with individuals accessing the Program. Where available, the evaluation team used existing public opinion research, interviews with key informants and other available sources such as a file review of recent applications with unfavourable decisions.

Evaluation Report

Date modified: