Disability benefits

Do you have an illness or injury from your service? Disability Benefits are financial recognition for the impact this service-related injury or disease can have on your life.

About this program

A disability benefit is a tax-free, financial payment to support your well-being.

The amount you receive depends on the degree to which your condition is related to your service (entitlement) and the severity of your condition, including its impact on your quality of life (assessment).


Do you qualify?

To qualify for a disability benefit you must be one of the following:

  • Canadian Armed Forces member or Veteran,
  • a current or former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP),
  • Second World War or Korean War Veteran (includes Merchant Navy), or
  • certain civilians who served in the Second World War.

You should apply for a disability benefit if you:

  1. have a diagnosed medical condition or disability; and
  2. are able to show that the condition is related to your service.

If you qualify for a disability benefit, you will receive either a:

  1. Pain and suffering compensation – a life-time monthly benefit or lump sum benefit – the choice is yours.
    View the pain and suffering compensation rates.
  2. or
  3. Disability pension - a life-time monthly benefit. If you have any dependents (e.g. spouse, common-law partner and/or children), your monthly amount will be increased.
    View the disability pension rates.

*A disability pension is provided if you served with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in the Second World War or Korean War. For other CAF service, a disability pension is provided in relation to any application prior to April 1, 2006.


How to apply

If you have a pending application for disability award from Veterans Affairs Canada, you do not need to apply for the Pension for Life benefits. Your application for a disability award will be processed under Pain and Suffering Compensation. The eligibility criteria for the Pain and Suffering Compensation is similar to the current eligibility criteria used for disability award.


Apply online

If you are registered for My VAC Account, you can submit your application for this benefit online. My VAC Account offers a guided web form that makes applying easier. If you aren’t registered, you can register now.

My VAC Account

Mail or in person

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

Go to form

Get help with your application

The staff at any VAC office, CAF Transition Centre or Service Canada office can assist you or call us at 1-866-522-2122. Service Officers with The Royal Canadian Legion or The War Amps of Canada can also assist you with your application, including helping you get all of the information you need to support your application. Their assistance is free of charge.


Additional information

The application package learn more about all of the components that make up an application for a disability benefit.

How we review a claim for a disability benefit learn more about how your disability claim is reviewed by the department and particularly, by the adjudicator – a trained decision-maker for disability claims.

Monthly payment dates – 2019

  • January 30
  • February 27
  • March 28
  • April 29
  • May 30
  • June 27
  • July 30
  • August 29
  • September 27
  • October 30
  • November 28
  • December 23

Reviews and appeals

If you do not agree with the decision made regarding your application for disability benefits, you may request a Departmental review. Learn more about reviews and appeals.

Reassessment

If the disability for which you are receiving VAC benefits worsens and medical evidence can show this change in your condition, you can request a reassessment. If the reassessment confirms that your condition has worsened, your disability benefit, will be adjusted accordingly – unless you are already receiving the maximum amount of the benefit. To request a reassessment, your first step should be to call us or visit your local VAC office.


Tools for Adjudication

Eligibility Entitlement Guidelines – These guidelines are current medical and scientific descriptions of known injuries and diseases related to service.

Table of Disabilities – This table helps the adjudicator assess the level of impairment and the impact that impairment has on your quality of life.


Related programs

Critical injury benefit - A one-time payment that recognizes the immediate impact of the most severe and traumatic service-related injuries or diseases.

Rehabilitation services - Services to improve your health and adjust to life after service.

Clothing allowance - Monthly payments if you need new or special clothing due to your health issues.

Treatment Benefits – Coverage for medical and health related services.

Benefits for survivors – Financial support or compensation for the survivors of a disability pensioner or of a member or Veteran who died in service or as a result of a service-related illness or injury.

Financial advice - If you receive a lump-sum payment more than 5% of the current maximum, we can pay up to $500 for professional advice to help you manage your money effectively.

Additional pain and suffering compensation - Monthly payments in recognition of any severe and permanent disability, related to your military service, which creates a barrier to life after service.

Programs related to a disability pension:

Attendance allowance - Monthly payments for a disability pensioner whose health needs require daily personal care support.

Exceptional incapacity allowance - Monthly payments if your illness or injury impacts your quality of life.


Frequently asked questions

If I apply for the benefit and get declined, can I appeal?

Yes. If you are not satisfied with a decision you may apply in writing for a review. Learn more about your review and appeal options.

How is my request for Disability Benefits decided?

Learn more about how we review a disability benefit claim.

Are there policies for this program?

Yes. Read more about the Disability Benefits policies.

Read more FAQs about the disability benefits program.

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