Each year we are able to offer financial assistance and a number of other services and programs to Veterans and their families thanks to the money raised during the Poppy Campaign. Through the generous donations of Canadians everywhere, the Poppy Trust Fund continues to help those we acknowledge through Remembrance.
Approximately 18 million poppies are distributed by Legionnaires, Veterans and Cadets across the nation annually. The proceeds are placed in trust to be used for the benevolent support of Veterans and their dependants. Through these Poppy Fund donations, the Legion provides financial assistance to serving and former Canadian Armed Forces members and their families who are in financial distress. Grants are available for food, heating costs, clothing, prescription medication, medical appliances and equipment, essential home repairs and emergency shelter or assistance. Assistance cannot be provided over an extended period but may be offered more than once to an individual. Comforts for veterans and their surviving spouses who are hospitalized and in need may also be provided. These comforts are defined as confectioneries, reading material, flowers, personal toiletry articles, and other items of a similar nature.
Eligibility for assistance
Any veteran or veteran’s dependant in need of assistance is eligible to apply for financial aid from the Poppy Trust Fund. This includes:
- Any person who is serving or who has honourably served in the Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP and their dependents;
- Merchant Navy personnel who have been awarded campaign stars or decorations and their dependants;
- Ex-service personnel of Commonwealth countries and their dependants who are resident in Canada; and
- Ex-service personnel of allied countries and their dependants who are resident in Canada.
There are no residency requirements for ex-members of the Canadian Armed Forces, but ex-service personnel of Allied or Commonwealth Forces must reside in Canada to be eligible for assistance.
A Benevolent Fund Application must be completed and applicants must undergo a financial means test and, if requested, provide income and justification for any claimed monthly expenses which are unusual or higher than average. As well, any additional information considered necessary to process the application must be provided (i.e. specialized medical reports, if applicable; supplier estimates, other possible sources of funding, etc…). Such information greatly assists the Poppy Fund trustees.
Benevolent Fund Application
Financial Assistance Available
All three levels of the Royal Canadian Legion, i.e. the local Branch, the Provincial Command or the Dominion Commands will consider applications for a Poppy Trust Fund Grant. The local Branches have no established funding limits; rather, the amount of financial assistance that they can provide is dependent on the results of its Poppy Campaign efforts. Both the Provincial and Dominion Commands normally limit the amount of financial assistance that they will approve at their respective levels to $500.00 per request for Provincial Commands and $1000.00 for Dominion Command.
Veterans should submit their applications for financial assistance to the local Branch level. However, where the amount of funding needed by the Veteran is significant, requiring several funding partners; 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.
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 made 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 given the Veterans’ need and circumstances.
Payment of Grants
As a rule, approved trust fund grant payments are made by cheque, jointly payable to both the Veteran and supplier.
When a Veteran dies after applying for financial assistance, but before a ruling is made and/or a grant paid out, a grant cannot be awarded. However, if a surviving family member is still in need of financial assistance, he/she should be encouraged to apply for a trust fund grant in his or her own right.
For more information, call Toll Free: 1-877-534-4666.
Allied Benevolent Funds
The Dominion Command of The Royal Canadian Legion also acts as a liaison for several United Kingdom Benevolent Funds that exist to provide emergency financial assistance to Allied Veterans residing in Canada. Please contact Dominion Command Service Bureau for all Allied Benevolent requests through email or toll free 1-877-534-4666.
Other Benevolent Funds
The other funds may also be of assistance.
- The Military Families Fund provides emergency support to still serving and former military families when events related to the conditions of military service disrupt normal family life.
- The Soldier on Fund provides proactive support to seriously injured or ill still 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.
- The Canadian Forces Personnel Assistance Fund (CFPAF) provides assistance to service personnel who were enrolled in the Canadian Army since 1 October 1946 to the present and in the Canadian Armed Forces since 1 February 1968, and to their dependants.
For more information on any of these funds, please visit the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services website.
Enquiries regarding the above funds should be directed to:
National Manager SOT Funds and CFPAF
4210 Labelle Street
Ottawa, ON K1A OK2
1-877-445-6444 (SOT Funds)
The Royal Canadian Navy Benevolent Fund (RCNBF) provides assistance to serving or former servicemen and women who served with the Navy. Additional information is available at their website. Enquiries should be directed to:
The Secretary Treasurer
P.O. 505, Station “B”
Ottawa, ON K1P 5P6
If you require assistance in obtaining VAC disability benefits or need more information about available VAC services and programs or the Legion’s benevolent assistance, or have a friend or family member who needs this help, please call 613-591-3335 or toll-free at 1-877-534-4666 to speak to a Service Officer or email us. Or contact a Command Service Officer in your area.