The Government of Canada is delivering on its commitment to ensure that Veterans and their families are treated with care, compassion and respect. Increasing the financial security of disabled Veterans, is the first foundational step in supporting mental health and well-being.
The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence announced today that, all Veterans with a Disability Award from Veterans Affairs Canada will receive an additional, tax-free, lump sum payment.
As announced in Budget 2016, the maximum Disability Award is increasing from $314,723.89 to $360,000. This measure comes into effect on April 1, 2017.
Intended to recognize the non-economic impacts of a service-related injury or illness such as pain and suffering, the Disability Award is provided on a scale according to the level of disability and is in addition to income support benefits.
For those who have already received a Disability Award, no application is necessary to receive the additional lump sum payment. Veterans who received a Disability Award and are getting monthly program benefits from Veterans Affairs Canada, as well as those who received a Disability Award payment within the last two years will automatically get a letter explaining the amount of their additional lump sum payment by mid-April.
Any Veterans who received a Disability Award more than two years ago and who are not currently receiving monthly program benefits from Veterans Affairs Canada are encouraged to contact the Department immediately to confirm their address and banking information.
If Veterans would like to manage their information online and receive communication regarding their Disability Award increase along with other benefits and services, they can register for My VAC Account at www.veterans.gc.ca/myVACaccount. Through this on-line service, Veterans will be able to provide information, if required, to expedite the additional lump sum payment. VAC will reimburse eligible Veterans for financial advice on how to manage or invest the money.
Budget 2016 also provided funding for Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) Earnings Loss Benefit (ELB) to increase from 75% to 90% of a Veteran’s indexed military salary. This benefit provides financial security by offering income support to Veterans while they are participating in VAC’s Rehabilitation Program or until they reach age 65, whichever comes first. In addition, the enhanced benefit is fully protected against inflation. This means that the existing cap of 2% was removed to keep pace with inflation.
“It is important that we recognize our ill and injured Veterans. Through Budget 2016, we have worked hard to reopen offices, hire more frontline staff and increase financial benefits for Veterans. I am proud today to announce that every Veteran with a disability award will receive an additional lump sum payment. This means approximately $700 million dollars for 67,000 Veterans which will directly support their financial well-being.”
The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
- The maximum Disability Award will be increased from $314,723.89 to $360,000 on April 1, 2017. In addition, Death and Detention Benefit amounts will be increased accordingly. This is consistent with the recommendations made by the Veterans Ombudsman and the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs.
- The maximum Disability Award lump sum amount will be comparable to or greater than similar non-economic compensation amounts payable in Canada under private and public sectors insurance plans, by the Workers’ Compensation Board or as non-pecuniary damages awarded by Canadian courts.
- Any Veterans who received a Disability Award more than two years ago and who are not currently receiving monthly program benefits from Veterans Affairs Canada are encouraged to contact the Department at 1-866-522-2122 (toll-free), Monday to Friday, 8:30 to 4:30, local time to confirm their address and banking information.
- If Veterans do not update their information now, a letter will be mailed the first week of April asking them to complete and return a Verification of Address and Banking Information form.