Government of Canada announces a Pension for Life for Veterans
December 20, 2017 – Ottawa – Veterans Affairs Canada
The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canada’s Veterans and their families. Canada owes an enormous debt of gratitude to the men and women who have served in uniform and it is our responsibility to ensure that they have access to the resources they need.
Today, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence unveiled the Government’s Pension for Life plan. This monthly payment for life will reduce the complexity of support programs available to Veterans and their families. It will provide holistic benefits, including financial stability, for Canada’s Veterans, with a particular focus on those most disabled.
The Pension for Life plan has three key pillars:
- monthly, tax-free financial compensation, with the choice of monthly payments for life, to recognize pain and suffering caused by a service-related disability with a maximum monthly amount of $2,650 for those most severely disabled with barriers to re-establishment;
- income replacement for Veterans who are experiencing barriers returning to work after military service at 90% of their pre-release salary. In some circumstances Veterans may be eligible for an additional 1% career progression factor each year; and,
- services and benefits to help Veterans in a wide-range of areas, including education, employment and physical and mental health.
These new elements represent an additional investment of close to $3.6 billion to support Canada’s Veterans. When combined with well-being programs already announced in previous budgets, the Government of Canada’s investments since 2016 add up to nearly $10 billion. These investments will help Veterans and their families as they transition to civilian life.
“Our Pension for Life plan is a combination of benefits that provide recognition, income support and stability to Veterans and Canadian Armed Forces members who experience a service-related illness or injury. We are addressing concerns made by the Veteran and military communities by allowing those with a service-related injury or illness to determine the best form of compensation that works for them and their families. Combined with initiatives announced in Budget 2016 and Budget 2017, we are delivering a package of benefits, supports and financial security for those who need it.”
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
“Canadian Armed Forces Members and Veterans are highly skilled and must have with the right transitional support to find meaningful and fulfilling employment after the military. Working with the Minister of Veterans Affairs to reduce complexity for Canadian Armed Forces members and Veterans was a commitment to them, and I am pleased that we have made great strides in fulfilling it.”
The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence
The Pension for Life plan includes the: Pain and Suffering Compensation, Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation and Income Replacement Benefit.
These benefits will come into force on April 1, 2019.
When compared to pre-2016 programs, the Pension for Life Change means that for example:
- In 2019, a 25 year old Veteran who is 100% disabled could see her/his monthly support increase by approximately $1,700 when compared to figures before Budget 2016.
- In 2019, a 50 year old Veteran who is 100% disabled could see her/his monthly support increase by approximately $1,700 when compared to figures before Budget 2016.
Veterans will now be able to make the choice of whether to receive a monthly, tax-free pain and suffering compensation for life or cash out their monthly payments for a one-time lump sum.
Six different income support programs will be consolidated into a single financial benefit to simplify and streamline access to VAC services.
Additional changes are also being made to survivor benefits. Support for spouses will move from 50% to 70% of the Veteran’s Income Replacement Benefit.
Veterans Affairs Canada
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
Department of National Defence
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