Veterans Emergency Fund

Support you need, when you need it. When the unexpected happens we can get you quick access to funds for urgent needs such as food, shelter or medical expenses.

About this program

The Veterans Emergency Fund (VEF) provides financial support to Veterans, their families or their survivors whose well-being is at risk due to an urgent and unexpected situation.

What is an emergency?

Every situation will be different and unique, which is why applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

The emergency fund covers essentials, such as:

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Rent, mortgage
  • Medical care/expenses
  • Expenses required to maintain safety and shelter.

As this is only temporary financial relief, we will also work with you to identify your long-term needs. Together, we will look for solutions to improve your financial stability.

Do you qualify?

You should apply for this program if you have an urgent financial need, and are:

  • a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF);
  • the spouse/common-law partner of the former member;
  • a survivor of a deceased CAF member or Veteran; or
  • an orphan of a deceased CAF member or Veteran (or the legal guardian if the orphan is under the age of 18).

You must be a Canadian resident to receive this grant.

How to apply

Before you apply

We will need as much information as possible about the financial emergency. You can provide such things as: invoices, quotes, notices, or statements to explain the situation.

If this is your first time applying to a Veterans Affairs Canada program we will need proof of identity, for example a drivers licence.

You can expect a decision within one or two business days of submitting your application. If we approve your application, you will receive payment within that time as well.

Apply online

If you are registered for My VAC Account, you can submit your application for this benefit online. If you aren't registered, you can register now.

Although you can apply through My VAC Account, we will contact you personally before a decision is made. The application process will not be conducted exclusively online.

My VAC Account

Mail or in person

Download the application form. Then, drop it off at a VAC office or CAF Transition Centre. You can also mail your completed application directly to the address listed on the form.

Go to form

Get help with your application

The staff at any VAC office or Transition Centre can assist you, or call us at 1-866-522-2122.

Additional information

Find out more

Watch this video for a quick overview of the Veterans Emergency Fund.

Find information about trust and emergency funds to support Veterans in need.

Related programs

Assistance Fund: if you receive the War Veterans Allowance, you may qualify for this cash grant to help in an emergency.

Canadian Forces Income Support: a tax-free monthly benefit to help low-income Veterans, survivors, and dependent children.

Frequently asked questions

Can I apply for emergency funding if I do not already receive benefits from VAC?

Yes. However, we will need verify your identity to confirm your service history.

If I can't prove my identity because the documents were destroyed as a result of my emergency, can I still apply for and receive funding?

Yes. Our first priority is making sure you have the emergency financial help you need, when you need it. We will find a way to prove your identity and verify your service, if needed.

If my emergency happens outside of VAC office hours, who should I reach out to?

Depending on the nature of your emergency, we may be able to help connect you with emergency services near you. If you require immediate emergency support, please contact a provincial or territorial emergency management organizations (EMOs) near you. The EMO websites contain contact information for government and community organizations that are ready to provide emergency support.

Are there policies for this program?

Yes. Read more about the Veteran Emergency Fund policies.

View all Veterans Emergency Fund FAQs.

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