The Royal Canadian Legion provides financial assistance to serving and former Canadian Armed Forces members, RCMP, and their families who are in financial distress. Grants are available for food, heating, clothing, prescription medication, medical appliances and equipment, essential home repairs and emergency shelter or assistance. Smaller comforts can also be provided to Veterans and surviving spouses who are hospitalized.
Assistance to a Veteran cannot be provided over an extended period but can be offered more than once.
Eligibility for assistance
Any Veteran or Veteran’s dependent in need of assistance is eligible to apply for financial aid from the Poppy Trust Fund, including:
- Any person who is serving or who has honourably served in the Canadian Armed Forces or the RCMP, as well as their dependents
- Merchant Navy personnel who have been awarded campaign stars or decorations, as well as their dependents
- Ex-service personnel of Commonwealth countries and their dependents who reside in Canada
- Ex-service personnel of allied countries and their dependents who reside in Canada
The application process includes:
- The completion of the Benevolent Fund Application
- Undergoing a financial means review
- Provide income as well as justification for claimed monthly expenses that are unusual or higher than average, if requested
- Additional information may be required, such as: specialized medical reports; supplier estimates, other possible sources of funding, etc.
Download the Benevolent Fund Application and submit to your local Legion Branch.
Additional details regarding financial processes and other funds are below.
Financial assistance available
The local Branch, the Provincial Commands and Dominion Command all consider applications for a Poppy Trust Fund Grant. The amount of financial assistance the local Branches can provide depends on the results of its Poppy campaign. There is a financial assistance limit of $500 for the Provincial Command and a $1,000 limit for the Dominion Command.
In normal circumstances, Veterans submit their applications for financial assistance to their local Branch. However, if the Veteran’s needs are significant, several funding partners could be required; or when the local Branch level has expended all of its Poppy Trust Funds, the application should be submitted to the Provincial Command and, if necessary, to Dominion Command with appropriate recommendations on required disbursements from various funds.
To speak with us about financial assistance, please contact your local Legion Branch Service Officer, or speak to a Command Service Officer.
There are no residency requirements for ex-members of the Canadian Armed Forces. Ex-service personnel of Allied or Commonwealth Forces must, however, reside in Canada to be eligible for assistance.
Every application for a Poppy Trust Fund Grant is considered on the merits of the Veterans’ circumstances and demonstrated need. The problem giving rise to the Veterans’ need must be beyond the ability of the Veterans’ own resources, and it must be of a sufficiently serious nature to constitute a definite threat to the economic stability of the family.
A grant can only be given if the assistance, on its own or in conjunction with grants from other sources, will provide a complete and immediate solution to the situation, or contribute to a plan offering reasonable assurance of a long-term solution. The recommended solution must be the most basic and cost-effective remedy available.
Payment of grants
As a rule, trust fund grant payments are made by cheque, jointly payable to the Veteran and supplier.
If a Veteran dies after applying for financial assistance, but before a ruling is made and/or a grant is paid out, a grant cannot be awarded. However, if a surviving family member is still in need of financial assistance, they are encouraged to apply for a trust fund grant.
For additional information:
Allied benevolent funds
The Dominion Command acts as a liaison for several United Kingdom Benevolent Funds that exist to provide emergency financial assistance to allied Veterans residing in Canada. Contact Dominion Command Service Bureau for all allied benevolent requests:
Other benevolent funds
- The Royal Canadian Navy Benevolent Fund: Provides assistance to ex-servicemen and women who served in the Royal Canadian Navy, as well as former or serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces who have significant service in operational units of Maritime Command or the RCN including Army and Air Force personnel who used naval or sea element rank designations.
- The Canadian Forces Support Our Troops (SOT) Program: Provides financial assistance to serving and former CF members and their families. Some of these programs include:
- Military Families Fund: Provides emergency support to serving and former military families.
- The Soldier On Fund:
Provides proactive support to seriously injured or ill serving and
former CAF personnel by enabling them to pursue physical activity,
recreation and sport.
- The Hospital Comforts Fund:
Provides support to hospitalized CAF members with access to basic
comforts of home such as newspapers, access to television and internet
and commissary goods.
Poppy Trust Fund bursaries
As part of the Legion’s commitment to Veterans and their families, Legion Branches may grant bursaries through the Poppy Trust Fund to the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Veterans who need financial assistance to pursue a post-secondary education. Learn more.
Contact the Legion for more information
If you require assistance in obtaining benefits or need additional information about Veterans Affairs Canada benefits and other benevolent fund programs, or for more information on the Legion's benevolent assistance, please contact the Legion Service Bureau:
Or contact a Command Service Officer in your area.