Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

June 01, 2009 16:05 ET

Government Introduces Changes to Legislation to Extend Benefits to Allied Veterans and their Families

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 1, 2009) - The Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs, introduced Legislation today to amend the War Veterans Allowance Act to extend benefits to Allied Veterans and their family members.

"Our Government made a promise to support Allied Veterans living in Canada by extending benefits that were removed in 1995. We are proud to be keeping that promise today by amending this legislation," said Minister Thompson. "Our Government has made major improvements to programs, services and benefits for Veterans and their families since 2006. With this new legislation, we are building on our commitment-by giving Allied Veterans more choice, more options, and more hope of living out their lives with respect, comfort, dignity and honour."

Under the proposed legislation, Allied Veterans of the Second World War, who live in Canada and have for at least ten years, will have 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. Family members may also receive benefits. These changes, when enacted, will allow payment of benefits retroactive to October 14, 2008-the day this Government was given a new mandate to act on its pledge to Allied Veterans.

"We want to extend these benefits as soon as possible," added Minister Thompson. "That's why eligible Allied Veterans and their family members may receive payment for benefits back to October 14, 2008."

An Allied Veteran is a Veteran who served with the forces of any nation allied with Canada during the First World War, Second World War or the Korean War.


BACKGROUNDER

Government Introduces Changes to Legislation to Extend Benefits to Allied Veterans and their Families

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). The Government of Canada has introduced legislation to extend benefits for these low-income Allied Veterans of the Second World War. It also proposes that eligibility be expanded to include Allied Veterans of the 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 VAC 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 proposed 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 expected in 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