Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

June 18, 2009 18:45 ET

Legislative Changes Granting More Support for Allied Veterans and Their Families Receives Royal Assent

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 18, 2009) - Amendments to the War Veterans Allowance Act extending benefits to Allied Veterans received Royal Assent today. Her Excellency the Governor General of Canada assented to a Bill which enables Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) to extend benefits to low-income Allied Veterans of the Second World War and the Korean War. Family members may also receive benefits.

"Thanks to the unanimous support of all parties, these legislative changes have passed extraordinarily quickly," said the Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs. "This is a testament to the significance of these amendments and it allows us to fulfill our Government's promise to do the right thing for Canada's Allied Veterans and their families."

The changes to the legislation provide low-income Allied Veterans of the Second World War, who live in Canada and have for at least ten years, with access to War Veterans Allowance and associated assistance and health benefits. Eligibility will also be expanded to include those who fought for Allied Forces in the Korean War who live in Canada and have for at least ten years.

Although implementation is scheduled for January 2010, eligible Allied Veterans and family members may receive payment for benefits back to October 14, 2008.

For more information, visit: www.vac-acc.gc.ca or call 1-866-890-6813 (service in English), 1-866-890-9437 (service in French), or 1-800-465-7735 (TTY/ATS).


BACKGROUNDER

Legislation That Extends Benefits to Allied Veterans and Their Families Receives Royal Assent

In 1995, the War Veterans Allowance Act was amended so that Allied Veterans who moved to Canada after the Second World War were no longer eligible to apply for benefits (those who had access prior to the amendment continue to receive benefits). Royal Assent has been granted for the changes to legislation extending benefits for these low-income Allied Veterans of the Second World War and Korean War. Family members may also receive benefits.

To qualify for these benefits, these low-income Allied Veterans must:

- have served with Allied forces in the Second World War or Korean War; AND

- have lived in Canada for at least 10 years; OR

- lived in Canada prior to enlisting; AND

- live in Canada now.

Like all Veterans Affairs Canada programs, eligibility for these benefits is based on a variety of factors, including location and duration of military service, income and the nature and extent of health conditions.

Programs under this legislation include:

War Veterans Allowance - Guaranteed monthly income to meet basic needs.

Assistance Fund - Financial assistance in times of emergency that affect health and/or safety.

Funeral and Burial - Financial assistance to ensure a dignified funeral and burial for Veterans.

Treatment Benefits - Coverage ranging from hearing aids to prescription drugs to dental and vision care.

Veterans Independence Program - A home-care program that includes personal care services, access to nutritious meals, housekeeping, grounds maintenance and other services.

Long-Term Care - Care in a facility for those who are no longer able to stay at home.

Family members may also receive the War Veterans Allowance, the Assistance Fund and housekeeping and grounds maintenance to help them remain in their own homes.

While implementation is scheduled for January 2010, eligible Allied Veterans and family members may receive payment for benefits back to October 14, 2008.

For more information, visit www.vac-acc.gc.ca or call 1-866-890-6813 (service in English), 1-866-890-9437 (service in French) or 1-800-465-7735 (TTY/ATS).

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    613-992-7468
    or
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Richard Roik
    Director of Communications
    613-996-4649