COVID-19 – Information for Veterans

What Veterans need to know now

Minister's message - 27 March 2020

To our Veterans:

As we all grapple with the realities of COVID-19, I want you to know that Veterans Affairs Canada employees are continuing to work every day to serve you and your families. 

The last few weeks have certainly presented our team with a new set of challenges, but we adapted as quickly as possible to what is, for the time being, our new normal. 

Most of our employees are now working remotely, where they are answering your calls, responding to your secure messages, making decisions on urgent disability claims, and issuing payments. They’re doing this as best they can, and as the days go by, we’ll continue to speed up these processes.

If we can help with anything, please reach out by phone or through your My VAC Account. These are difficult times for everyone, and if you need us, we will do everything we can to provide you with the support you need.

Of course, we’ll continue to update our website and social media channels with the latest information, and I encourage you to check back often. 

And before I close, I just want to remind everyone to please stay at home if you can — it’s important in keeping not just yourself healthy, but in keeping your friends, your family, and your community healthy, as well.

Keep listening to the experts, and keep looking out for each other. We’ll get through this together.

LM

Lawrence MacAulay
Minister of Veterans Affairs & Associate Minister of National Defence


Like all of Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada will be impacted over the coming weeks and months by COVID-19.

At this time, client and visitor access to our area offices is suspended until further notice. The best way to reach us right now is through My VAC Account secure messaging or by calling us at 1-866-522-2122.

Ultimately, we encourage you to stay home and follow the directions of local health authorities. Our staff are available, working remotely, and are prioritizing getting benefits to Veterans in greatest need.

We appreciate your patience, and as more information is available, we will update you here on this page.


  • What’s the best way to reach VAC right now?

    Due to the ongoing declared pandemic of COVID-19, the best way to reach us is by calling us at 1-866-522-2122 and through My VAC Account secure messaging.

    Client and visitor access to our area offices are suspended until further notice. We encourage you to stay home and follow the directions of local health authorities. Our staff are available, working remotely and are prioritizing getting benefits to Veterans in greatest need.

    We thank you for your patience and understanding during these times.

  • Are you still processing applications?

    Yes. VAC employees continue to work remotely and are processing the most urgent applications and files at this time. More details will be available as the situation stabilizes.

  • What mental health resources are available to me during this uncertain time?

    The VAC Assistance Service is a free, 24/7 mental health resource that connects you to psychological support and counselling. You do not have to be receiving VAC benefits to use this service. Call 1-800-268-7708 to speak to a mental health professional right now.

  • In person Service Canada offices are closed to the public. How can I apply for VAC benefits and services?

    If you would like to apply for VAC benefits and services or need assistance completing your application, please call us at 1-866-522-2122 or message us online through My VAC Account Secure Messaging. However, if your inquiry is not urgent, we ask that you consider contacting us at a later time, so we can focus on the most urgent needs.

    If you need more information on changes to Employment Insurance and the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit, please see Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response plan.

  • I am struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Can VAC assist me?

    If you are struggling to meet your needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact us. We will work with you to find ways to best support you and your family.

  • What is VAC doing to inform Veterans?

    Read more:

    For Government of Canada updates visit Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

  • Will I still receive my medications and prescriptions through VAC’s federal licensed sellers?

    Please contact your federal licensed seller of cannabis to find out current operating policies as these companies operate separately from retail cannabis stores.

    If your federal licensed seller is out of cannabis for medical purposes, you may now transfer your medical authorization document from one federal licensed seller to another without getting a new medical authorization document from your health care practitioner, as long as it is still valid. Your new federal licensed seller will contact Medavie Blue Cross to get authorization for direct billing.

    List of federal licensed sellers

    Please note federal licensed sellers are privately-owned enterprises, Veterans Affairs Canada does not have control over cannabis supplies. Health Canada regulates federal licensed sellers. You may contact Health Canada at cannabis@canada.ca if you have concerns regarding the supply of cannabis available.

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