OTTAWA, ON, March 9th, 2015 – Today’s announcement by VAC6 to propose changes to the financial benefits for Canada’s most seriously injured Veterans is good but falls short of what the Legion was pushing for from the ACVA Recommendations7.
Recommendation #3 of the ACVA Report stated: “…that Veterans Affairs Canada consider the use of a probable earnings approach in determining the amount of the benefits (Earnings Loss Benefits).”
“The Legion, in participation with the Veterans Consultation Assembly, has been advocating that the Earning Loss Benefit (ELB) must be improved to provide 100% of pre-release income, continue for life and include increases for projected career earnings for a Canadian Armed Forces member,” says Royal Canadian Legion Dominion President Tom Eagles. “It remains unclear whether this Retirement Income Security Benefit (RISB) will be indexed annually, whether it will be retroactive and how it will be adjusted (clawed back) with other sources of income,” adds Eagles.
With this announcement, VAC is proposing to address only one of the 14 ACVA Recommendations and offer compensation of 70% of the financial benefits the seriously injured Veteran was receiving prior to age 65. This is not the same thing as 70% of the probable earnings approach that ACVA recommended nor the position of the Legion and the Veterans Consultation Assembly regarding ELB after age 65.
The Legion also remains concerned that Reservists are not being considered by the government for improvements to the benefits they are entitled to and that the maximum disability award for CAF personnel injured in service have not been increased to be consistent with what is awarded injured civilian workers.
While we commend the government’s efforts today because it does provide more support to our Veterans and their families after age 65; the Legion urges the government to action all of the ACVA recommendations at their earliest opportunity.
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For further information please contact Bruce Poulin at Dominion Command, at (613) 591-3335 ext. 241 or by cell at (613) 292-8760 or firstname.lastname@example.org.