Veterans who have been severely and permanently injured in their service to Canada and have lost employment and career advancement opportunities need a stable source of monthly financial support.
Introduced in 2006 and expanded in 2011, the Permanent Impairment Allowance (PIA) and Supplement (PIAS) together provide support ranging from approximately $600 to $2,800 a month in taxable income. This financial benefit is paid to Veterans for the rest of their lives, including after age 65.
Currently, one way to be eligible for PIA is that a Veteran requires the physical assistance of another person to perform most activities of daily living (mobility, feeding, bathing, etc.). This new change will broaden the criteria so that more Veterans are eligible for this financial support each month. Once implemented, more Veterans who have a severe and permanent limitation in mobility or self-care, related to their military service, will receive this benefit. It is expected that approximately 300 additional Veterans who have made a tremendous sacrifice in service to Canada would receive this benefit by 2019-2020.
Veterans Affairs Canada will work with the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman to clarify how loss of earnings is considered within the three different grades of the PIA, with the goal of making the grades easier to understand and more predictable.
John is eligible for VAC’s Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance Program due to a severe service-related back condition, and he has received a disability award. He has severe and constant pain. He is able to perform most of his daily self-care activities himself but very slowly and with the aid of medications. But John has severe and permanent limitations in mobility. He takes a long time to go from sitting to standing and is unable to walk any distance without stopping due to pain. Currently, because John is able to perform most of his daily self-care activities himself (such as dressing and bathing, albeit very slowly and with great difficulty), he does not meet the PIA criteria. However, with this change, John will now be eligible for this benefit.
Canadian Armed Forces Veterans who are injured in service, and are eligible for VAC’s Rehabilitation Program, are also eligible for the Earnings Loss Benefit which guarantees at least 75% of a Veterans’ military salary is paid during their rehabilitation. For Veterans who are not suitably and gainfully employable, the Earnings Loss Benefit will be paid each month until they turns 65. After age 65, Veterans with moderate to severe disabilities will soon benefit from the recently announced Retirement Income Security Benefit. This new benefit will guarantee Veterans a level of income of at least 70% of their pre-65 benefits received from VAC.
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