After months of anticipation, the Liberal government unveiled its Pension for Life plan today.
The Pension for Life Plan includes Pain and Suffering Compensation, Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation and Income Replacement Benefit.
More specifically, under the new plan, Veterans will have a choice whether they would like to receive a one-time lump sum or monthly tax-free financial compensation with the choice of monthly payments for life to recognize service related-disability. The maximum mostly amount will be of $2,650 for those most severely disabled.
The plan also provides income replacement for those Veterans who are having difficulty transition to civilian careers after military service at 90 percent of their pre-release salary. In some circumstances, veterans may be eligible for an additional one percent career progression factor each year.
Additionally, more services and benefits have been promised to support veterans in areas of education, employment and physical and mental health.
The new elements part of the Pension for Life plan represent an investment of $3.6 billion.
“Our Pension for Life plan is a combination of benefits that provide recognition, income support, and stability to Veterans and Canadian Armed Forces members who experience a service-related illness or injury. We are addressing concerns made by the Veteran and military communities by allowing those with a service-related injury or illness to determine the best form of compensation that works for them and their families. Combined with initiatives announced in Budget 2016 and Budget 2017, we are delivering a package of benefits, supports and financial security for those who need it,” said Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence.
According to VAC, under the new plan, Veterans who are 100 percent disabled will see their monthly support increase by close to $1,700 in 2019 compared to 2016 figures.
Additionally, changes are being made to survivor benefits. Support for spouses will be increased by 20 percent from 50 percent to 70 percent of the Veteran’s Income Replacement Benefit.
“Canadian Armed Forces Members and Veterans are highly skilled and must have the right transitional support to find meaningful and fulfilling employment after the military. Working with the Minister of Veterans Affairs to reduce complexity for Canadian Armed Forces members and Veterans was a commitment to them, and I am pleased that we have made great strides in fulfilling it,” said Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence.
The new plan is expected to fully rollout by April 1, 2019.
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