Legion applauds new VAC initiative to support Veterans
OTTAWA, ON, 1 April 2022 – A new program from Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) means Veterans who need mental health support will get it immediately with no need to wait in the current benefit claims application backlog.
“The decision by Veterans Affairs Canada to provide immediate mental health benefits to eligible Veterans is the right one,” says Bruce Julian, Dominion President. “We are elated to see this change because Veterans will not have to wait for claims processing and will receive timely and critical help when they need it most.”
“Anything to benefit the Veteran community, we’re pleased,” says Ray McInnis, Director of the Legion’s Veterans Services department. He explains that when Veterans apply for mental health support, they will automatically be approved for up to two years of treatment. They will not have to pay out of pocket as they wait for their claim to be processed and then apply for reimbursement, which had been the case until now.
“A Veteran who applies for a mental health condition like a depressive condition or anxiety, confirms their military service, and signs their disability application saying they have a condition, will be eligible for mental health benefits on the date VAC receives the application,” says McInnis.
McInnis indicates this new program would be a good future model for all conditions, including physical ones - though acknowledges there are many more physical health claims, and such a model would require a major financial commitment to enact. “It would be a dream,” he says.
Legion Command Service Officers across the country can help Veterans apply for this immediate benefit, which is now a simple and quick process. Veterans can contact a provincial command service officer, or reach out to a national service officer for help applying: https://legion.ca/support-for-veterans/contact-a-service-officer
About The Royal Canadian Legion
Founded in 1925, the Legion is Canada’s largest Veteran support and community service organization. We are a non-profit organization with a national reach across Canada as well as branches in the U.S. and Europe. With 250,000 members, many of whom volunteer an extraordinary amount of time to their branches, our strength is in our numbers.
Public Relations / Media Inquiries: PublicRelations@Legion.ca