Veterans Ombudsman, Guy Parent, released a report on Tuesday entitled “Fair Compensation to Veterans and their Survivors for Pain and Suffering.” The report calls for improvements to the compensation provided to veterans and their survivors who fall under the New Veterans Charter (NVC).
“While no amount of money can provide full restitution, Veterans who have suffered from an illness or injury due to their service need to be fairly compensated for the impact their disability has on their lives and on the lives of their families. In addition, changes need to be made to the New Veterans Charter so that single Canadian Armed Forces members without dependents can designate a family member to apply for and receive the Death Benefit,” said Parent.
According to the report, though findings indicate that the $360,000 Disability Award is fair when compared to to how other Canadians are compensated under other government programs, some inconsistencies are evident when compared to the Pension Act. Veterans covered under the Pension Act are compensated for non-economic effects of exceptional incapacity but those covered under the NVC are not. Also, the compensation for death under the NVC differs depending on the marital status of the CAF member.
To combat these inconsistencies, Parent has outlined three recommendations in the report: compensation should be provided under the NVC for non-economic effects of exceptional incapacity; the criteria to qualify for compensation for exceptional incapacity should not be based on a specific minimum disability percentage; and the NVC Death Benefit should be accessible to designated family members of single CAF members with no dependent children.
“I sincerely hope that the three recommendations in this report will lead to fair recognition of the sacrifices made by Veterans. Our Veterans and their families deserve no less,” stated Parent.
The report builds on the Ombudsman’s commitment to improve compensation for non-economic loss to veterans in need.
“My work to ensure that Veterans and their families receive the services and benefits that they are entitled to continues. This report highlights what needs to be done to compensate Veterans and their survivors for the pain and suffering they experience as a result of their service to our country. But there is still more to do to ensure that our Veterans are adequately supported economically, and I intend to pursue these priorities in the months and years to come,” stated Parent.