Members and Veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have served their country both at home and abroad, assisting Canadians and people overseas in their most dire time of need.
Given the hazardous and stressful conditions under which these men and women work, injuries and illnesses do occur. It’s the mission of Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) to assist both CAF members who are preparing to transition into post-service life as well as Veterans who served in the past.
This year, VAC introduced the Pension for Life suite of benefits, which is designed to improve the quality of life and financial circumstances of injured or ill Veterans. These benefits — depending on an individual’s circumstances — provide services and financial support to help Veterans cope with pain and suffering as well as lost income.
Changes have been made to both streamline existing benefits and to increase payments to Canada’s Veterans. VAC consulted with Veterans and their families and other stakeholders to ensure that their feedback was incorporated into Pension for Life’s design.
In a recent survey, 52 per cent of Veterans reported a successful re-entry into the civilian world, but 32 per cent reported struggling to adjust to everyday life. It’s natural for those who have experienced trauma or life-changing experiences to see the world differently, but it can also mean that these individuals take longer to find their new “normal.” Successful transitions occur when a Veteran enjoys a positive state of well-being that balances physical and mental health with employment, family support and social integration. Financial stability is, of course, critical.
VAC research has shown that the needs of each Veteran are unique and that solutions require flexibility to enhance their quality of life. Pension for Life benefits empower Veterans and their families to assess their personal needs and decide for themselves the type of compensation that works best, both now and into the future.
Pension for Life provides a holistic package that reintroduces lifelong monthly pain and suffering payments, implements a new recognition benefit and consolidates multiple income-related financial benefits.
Here are some of the details.
The Pain and Suffering Compensation is a non-taxable monthly benefit that recognizes pain and suffering caused by a disability resulting from a service-related injury and/or illness. This benefit can be paid out monthly to a maximum of $1,150 per month or in a lump sum if requested.
Should your (or your loved one’s) injuries or illness be of a severe and permanent nature that you have additional difficulty re-establishing to post-service life, the Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation (APSC) will pay out an additional $500-$1,500 per month (non-taxable), depending on the degree of impairment.
Finally, the Income Replacement Benefit (IRB) provides income support (taxable) for Veterans suffering from a health issue due to their service who are facing barriers in transitioning into civilian life. Compensation is dependent on participation in a rehabilitation program.
These income supplements are just the beginning.
The ideal outcome for all current CAF members and Veterans is personal well-being. You can’t put a price tag on holding a satisfying job, knowing that you’re financially secure and being loved and respected by family members, friends and those in the larger community. VAC offers an entire suite of programs and benefits focusing on career transition, coping with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), developing educational and vocational skills, receiving family services counselling and securing affordable housing. Veterans may find these programs useful and enriching in addition to the financial compensation which Pension for Life provides.
Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.