Frequently Asked Questions

Transitioning from the military can be an adjustment for you and your family. We're here to help when and where you need us.


Question 1:

What is the New Veterans Charter and how can it help me?


The New Veterans Charter (NVC) was introduced in 2006 to help Veterans and their families make the transition from military to civilian life. The NVC is comprised of a number of services and benefits. These include such things as the disability award, rehabilitation services, financial support, group health insurance, and services that can help you find employment.

Question 2:

Can I apply on-line for these services and benefits?


Yes, you can apply for Disability Benefits and sign up for Career Transition Services Workshops online. Application forms are available from our forms page that you can print out and submit.

Question 3:

How are you helping Canadian Forces members who were injured in Afghanistan?


The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canadian Forces members who have served our country in war and in peacekeeping. Those who can no longer serve in the military due to their injuries will have full access to programs and services tailored to meet their needs. Members who are injured but who are able to remain in the military will receive their health care benefits from the Department of National Defence, but they can immediately qualify for a Disability Award and related benefits.

Question 4:

What are CAF Transition Centres and how can they help me?


Through a network of CAF Transition Centres across the country, we are working with the Department of National Defence to help Canadian Forces members (Regular and Reserve), Veterans and their families. These centres provide a one-stop service where you and your family can access key services to help you, particularly if you have been injured.

Question 5:

What types of support are available for families?


The transition from military to civilian life affects the entire family, which is why our services and benefits (from the Transition Interview through to Rehabilitation) were designed with the entire family in mind. After all, it's not just the Veteran that is impacted by an injury. Read more about our services and benefits...

Question 6:

I have a mental health condition, can you help?


We offer a variety of services and benefits to assist members, Veterans and their families living with operational stress injuries, including access to our network of Operational Stress Injury (OSI) clinics and peer or family support through the Operational Stress Injury Social Support program.

Question 7:

As a Canadian Forces Veteran, can I receive long-term care?


If you need long-term care because of a service-related injury, the Government of Canada will pay the cost of the care provided by a community facility near your family and social support services.

Question 8:

What is the Earnings Loss benefit?


Earnings Loss is an income replacement program that ensures you receive a total pre-tax income of at least $40,000 per year (with the exception of certain reservists). Generally, the Earnings Loss benefit will provide you with 75% of your military salary at release. This monthly benefit is taxable and is paid to you while you are in the rehabilitation or vocational assistance program. It is one of several financial benefits available to CF Veterans.

Question 9:

What is the $1000 supplement to the Permanent Impairment Allowance (PIA)?


The Permanent Impairment Allowance Supplement provides an additional allowance of $1000 per month to Veterans who are in receipt of a Permanent Impairment Allowance and who, due to the level of their disability, are not capable of suitable, gainful employment.

Career Transition Services

Question 10:

What does the Career Transition Services program offer?


Veterans have been very clear, finding a quality job is one of the most important elements to making a successful transition to civilian life. Career Transition Services, provides individual career counselling, and job search assistance.

Question 11:

Will Veterans Affairs Canada provide me with a new job?


Veterans Affairs Canada will not place you in a job, but we will help you develop and build upon your leadership and job skills and experiences from your military career in order to help you find civilian employment.

Question 12:

I am the spouse of a CF Veteran who is no longer able to work. I need to find a job to help support our family; can I apply for Career Transition Services?


Only CF Veterans can qualify for Career Transition Services. However, if your spouse is unable to work due to their disability, and if he/she is eligible for the Rehabilitation Program, you could take their place in the Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance Program. Talk to your spouse's case manager for more information regarding your eligibility or contact us.

Question 13:

I live outside of Canada, do I still qualify?


Yes, you may qualify, if:

  • you are a Veteran, living outside of Canada, who released within the last two years.

Please call us at 1-888-996-2242 to begin your application process. How you access the program will depend on where you are currently living.

Disability Benefits / Disability Award

Question 14:

What is the Disability Award?


The Disability Award is tax-free and paid as a lump-sum to compensate you for the non-economic impacts (e.g. pain and suffering) of a service-related injury or illness.

There are flexible Disability Award payment options from which to choose:

  • a one-time, lump-sum payment,
  • annual payments over the number of years of your choosing, or
  • a combination of lump-sum and annual payments.

Question 15:

Why can I only get a Disability Award and not a monthly pension?


Although both are designed to compensate for any disability you may have from your military service, they have little in common with each other. The monthly disability pension has been replaced with a combination of financial benefits that have been designed to meet your individual needs.

Our Earnings Loss program, for example, provides you with a monthly income of 75 % of your pre-release salary while you are participating in our rehabilitation program or until age 65 if you are not able to work. The Disability Award is paid as a one time, cash award to help you overcome any immediate financial concerns and as an opportunity for you to generate income. It is not taxable and it is not deducted from any other financial benefits you may receive. There are flexible Disability Award payment options from which to choose: a lump-sum payment, annual payments over the number of years of your choosing, or a combination of these two payment options.

Question 16:

How is the amount of a Disability Award determined?


The Disability Award is paid in 5% increments, up to a maximum of 100% loss of ability. The percentage you receive will be determined by the extent of your injury/disability. Neither your rank nor your years of military service have any impact on the amount of compensation.

Question 17:

If I receive a significant compensation through the Disability Award, can I get advice to help me manage it?


Yes. In fact, we encourage you to get a financial expert's advice to help you manage this compensation. Veterans Affairs Canada will cover the cost of that advice up to $500.

Question 18:

What are the flexible payment options for the Disability Award?


There are flexible Disability Award payment options from which to choose:

  • a one-time, lump-sum payment,
  • annual payments over the number of years of your choosing, or
  • a combination of lump-sum and annual payments.


Question 19:

How long will it take to process my application for the Rehabilitation Program?


Our goal is to process applications within four weeks from the date they are received.

Question 20:

What kind of information will I need to provide on my application?


You will need to provide information about yourself, details on your service, and a description of the difficulty you are having in your transition to civilian life.

Question 21:

What types of courses will you cover?


The objective of VAC's Vocational Rehabilitation program is to provide training and education that enhances your existing education or training, skills, and experience so that you can obtain gainful employment as a civilian. The specific courses that VAC can cover through this program depend on your background, personal circumstances and your rehabilitation goals. Your case manager will be able to provide you additional information.

Question 22:

I'm working full time, but I have some medical issues I need help with. Do I have to quit my job to take part in the Rehabilitation Program?


No, you do not have to leave your job to take part in the Rehabilitation Program. The goal of the Rehabilitation Program is to help you successfully transition to civilian life. If you have a service-related health condition that is causing you difficulty within your family, your life in the community or in your workplace activities you may qualify for the Rehabilitation Program. A rehabilitation plan will be put in place that will allow you to continue to work, while you are receiving the treatment you need.

Question 23:

I'm 62 and I have already retired. Can I still participate in the Rehabilitation Program?


Yes you can. The determining factor isn't your age, but only if you have a rehabilitation need related to your military service. In addition to vocational assistance, the Rehabilitation Program provides medical services and assistance to help you overcome your service-related health condition and to participate more fully in your family life and in your community.

Question 24:

Once finished the Rehabilitation program, do I qualify for the Career Transition Services program?


The services provided through the Career Transition Services program are included as part of the rehabilitation program. It will not be necessary for you to register for Career Transition Services after you have completed the Rehabilitation Program.

Did you find what you were looking for?

You can also do a search or contact us at 1-866-522-2122 (toll-free) Monday to Friday, 8:30 to 4:30, local time.

Living outside of Canada?

Monday to Friday, 8:30 to 4:30, EST

United States 1-888-996-2242 (toll-free)
Any other country 00-800-996-22421 (toll-free)

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