Money Matters

New Benefit for CAF Members and Veterans

Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole recently unveiled the proposed new Critical Injury Benefit (CIB).

The benefit will provide a $70,000 tax-free award to support the most severely injured and ill Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and veterans.

“This new benefit will provide immediate recognition and compensation to CAF members and veterans who have made a tremendous personal sacrifice, and will provide them with security and peace of mind following a critical injury or illness,” said Minister O’Toole.

The proposed new CIB is intended to address the impact of the most traumatic service-related injuries or diseases sustained by CAF members and veterans, between the time the injury or disease occurs and the time when their condition becomes medically stable.

The CIB is intended to work alongside the existing benefits and supports delivered by Veterans Affairs Canada for which injured veterans are eligible, and it is separate and apart from disability award payments.

To be eligible CAF members and veterans must have suffered the sudden, severe and traumatic injury or developed an acute disease since April 1, 2006.

The announcement was only one element of the new Support for Veterans and their Families Act introduced in the House of Commons to provide new support for CAF members and veterans, and their families.

“Our government will continue to support Canada’s veterans and ensure the changing nature of the needs of veterans is met with the best possible service,” said Minister O’ Toole.

Along with the CIB, other proposed initiatives in this new legislation include the Retirement Income Security Benefit for moderately to severely disabled veterans and their survivors beginning at age 65, as well as the annual tax-free $7,238 Family Caregiver Relief Benefit for eligible veterans requiring ongoing informal care.

A purpose statement has also been added to the New Veterans Charter recognizing the government’s obligation to CAF members, veterans and their families.

The charter also gives the authority for Veterans Affairs Canada to provide advice and information to CAF members and veterans, and make decisions on applications for benefits and services prior to their release from the military to help them successfully transition to civilian life.

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Vicki L Morrison

Thanks to her husband's military career Vicki reinvented herself as a writer so she could work from home, while taking care of their three kids. A former MFRC executive director Vicki is a passionate advocate for military families who loves telling their stories.

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