Veterans Affairs Canada is dedicated to helping Veterans and their families be as healthy and independent as possible.
The New Veterans Charter (NVC) is a key component of the Department's efforts to ensure Veterans and their families receive the care and support they need, when they need it. It offers a wide range of programs, services and benefits which continue to evolve with the changing needs of the men and women and families it serves.
The help available through Veterans Affairs Canada includes financial support for Veterans and their families, as well as programs that help injured and ill Veterans to lead more healthy, rewarding and independent lives. Financial support may also be provided to Canadian men and women in uniform who are injured in the line of duty.
The Disability Award is only one part of the financial assistance available to ill and injured Veterans. The intent of the Disability Award is to provide financial support while dealing with the pain and suffering of an injury or illness incurred while serving our country.
The Government of Canada has implemented new flexible payment options for disability awards.
These options are:
a lump-sum payment;
an annual installment over the number of years of a Veteran's choosing; or
a combination of these two payment options.
The Government of Canada continues to make the investments necessary to ensure Veterans receive the services they need and deserve. For example, the Government introduced enhancements to the NVC in 2011 to further strengthen the benefits available to Veterans.
Eligibility for the Permanent Impairment Allowance (PIA) and the Exceptional Incapacity Allowance has also been broadened through the enhancements. Recipients of the
PIA may also be eligible for a new $1,047.53 monthly supplement. With these changes, Canada's severely injured Veterans may be eligible for a minimum of nearly $62,000 a year.
Under the Enhanced New Veterans Charter Act, Regular Force Veterans in receipt of the Earnings Loss benefit are guaranteed a minimum of $42,426 in pre-tax income for as long as they are in the Rehabilitation Program or if they are unable to work to full capacity.
As of October 2012, the Government ended the offset of disability pension when calculating Veterans' Earnings Loss and Canadian Forces Income Support benefits. This is an investment of $177.7 million over five years to put more money in the pockets of Veterans and their families.
The Disability Award is a tax-free payment of up to $298,587.97 (2013 rate), based on the extent of a Veteran's disability. Veterans are encouraged to obtain financial advice to assist them in managing their Disability Award. Veterans Affairs Canada can also cover the cost of such financial advice up to a maximum of $500.
For a small fee, Canadian Armed Forces personnel and Veterans also have unlimited access to financial planning advice through
SISIP Financial Services which will provide unbiased, tailored advice on financial matters, including personal money management.
As of January 1, 2013, the Government changed the Career Transition Services Program to provide $1,000 for eligible Veterans and survivors to get help from experts of their choice to finding civilian employment.
Veterans' families and spouses can access vocational assistance services if their Veteran spouses cannot benefit from vocational rehabilitation. As well, survivors of Veterans who die from a service-related illness or injury may also access vocational assistance services. These services include such things as educational training, career transition services, job search training and help finding a job. Eligible Veterans and survivors can also access individual and family group health benefits through the Public Service Health Care Plan.