Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

March 29, 2011 15:07 ET

House of Commons Approves Changes Proposed by the Minister of Veterans Affairs to the New Veterans Charter

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 11, 2011) - The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), today welcomed the House of Commons' swift approval of legislation, which significantly enhances financial support for injured Canadian Forces members and Veterans.

Bill C-55, the Enhanced New Veterans Charter Act, now goes to the Senate for review, and Minister Blackburn said he is hopeful Senate passage of the legislation can be expedited.

"I want to thank all Members of Parliament for supporting these important changes to improve the care and support for our men and women who are seriously injured in the line of duty," said Minister Blackburn. "With this Bill, we are writing a significant new chapter to the New Veterans Charter.

"The changes in this legislation represent an additional $2 billion amount aimed at improving the quality of life for ill and injured Veterans and their families," added Minister Blackburn. "The men and women who step forward to serve Canada deserve their country's full support and the Government of Canada is honoured to be able to provide it on behalf of a grateful nation."

What Bill C-55 does:

Improved monthly benefits

  • By amending regulations for the Earnings Loss benefit, the government will establish a minimum pre-tax income of $40,000 a year for Veterans in rehabilitation or no longer able to be gainfully employed.

  • The legislation also expands eligibility for monthly allowances (worth up to $1,631 per month, for life) for seriously injured Veterans.

  • The Bill introduces an additional $1,000 monthly supplement to help our most seriously injured or ill Veterans who are unable to return to suitable gainful employment.

Flexible options for the Disability Award

  • The legislation creates new payment options for Canadian Forces members and Veterans receiving a disability award. While they will still have the choice of receiving a lump-sum payment, they will also now be able to receive the Disability Award as either an annual payment over any number of years or as a combination of a partial lump-sum payment and annual installments (with interest).

  • Veterans will also retain the right to change their payment option at any time. This includes choosing, at a later date, to receive the balance of their disability award in a final lump-sum payment.

"By offering more payment options for the Disability Award, the Government of Canada is further recognizing that no two soldiers and no two Veterans are exactly alike," said Minister Blackburn. "They need financial choices that meet their individual circumstances."

Minister Blackburn said he also hopes the House of Commons' passage of Bill C-55 will help lay to rest any suggestions that the Disability Award replaced the disability pension.

"The Disability Award did not replace the disability pension," said Minister Blackburn. "The sole intent of the Disability Award is to provide our injured men and women with immediate compensation for their pain and suffering. Ongoing financial support is provided through other monthly benefits such as the Earnings Loss benefit, the Permanent Impairment Allowance and the proposed new $1,000 monthly supplement."

For more information on the Enhanced New Veterans Charter Act, please visit www.veterans.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    613-992-7468

    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Sophie Doucet
    Director of Communications
    613-992-3465
    Cell.: 613-608-3252