OTTAWA, April 29, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, today announced that Veterans Affairs Canada is making changes to deliver increased benefits to traditional Veterans. Once in effect, disability benefits paid under the Pension Act will no longer be deducted from War Veterans Allowance (WVA) benefits.
"We are making changes to Veterans' benefits to put more money in the pockets of Veterans and their families, including some who have not been receiving these benefits until now," said Minister Blaney. "These changes demonstrate our Government's ongoing commitment to meet the needs of Veterans and their families."
The change in how the War Veterans Allowance is calculated is expected to help:
- approximately 3,000 Veterans and survivors who may now qualify for monthly WVA benefit payments for the first time, including 700 who are expected to gain access to related benefits (treatment and Veterans Independence Program services) for the first time;
- more than 2,000 Veterans in long-term care who will receive a higher subsidy toward their accommodation and meals fees; and
- 200 Veterans and survivors who will receive increased payments.
"Today's announcement will deliver an additional $95.4 million to Veterans above the $177.7 million we announced in October to end the deduction of Veterans' disability pensions when calculating their Earnings Loss and Canadian Forces Income Support benefits. Together, this amounts to an unprecedented $273.1 million investment in Canada's Veterans," added Minister Blaney. "These changes will help aging Veterans and survivors get access to more financial help, services and benefits that will make a real difference in their lives."
"The Canadian Veterans Advocacy is pleased to note Veterans Affairs Minister Blaney has fulfilled his promise to bring forward legislation that will harmonize the War Veterans Allowance with the recent SISIP court ruling eliminating the claw back on VAC pain and suffering awards," said Michael L. Blais, CD, President and Founder of the Canadian Veterans Advocacy. "These Veterans are, by definition, Canada's most economically vulnerable Veterans and this decision will undoubtedly have a positive impact on their quality of life."
The changes are expected to come into effect in 2013.
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada