VAC Financial Benefits
Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) offers a wide range of financial benefits and allowances to ill and injured veterans, including serving Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members, RCMP members, and certain civilians. Some of these benefits and allowances may also be available to their families or survivors.
- Earnings Loss (EL) Benefit is a taxable monthly benefit, for eligible CAF veterans, to compensate for loss of income that equals 90% of gross pre-release salary. VAC determines these amounts, minus the sum of the monthly amounts of other income from prescribed sources. ELB can be provided on a temporary basis while participating in a VAC Rehabilitation program, or until age 65, if deemed totally and permanently incapacitated.
- Career Impact Allowance (CIA) (formerly known as Permanent Impairment Allowance) is a taxable monthly benefit, payable for life, for eligible CAF veterans, to compensate for lost career options due to severe and permanent impairment. In addition, a monthly CIA supplement is available for those receiving CIA and who are deemed to have a diminished earning capacity.
- Retirement Income Security Benefit (RISB) is a monthly taxable benefit that provides financial stability after age 65 to those veterans who are receiving the Earnings Loss Benefit due to being totally and permanently incapacitated as a result of their service to Canada. This benefit tops up a veteran’s total annual income to at least 70% of what they received in financial benefits from VAC before age 65 or were eligible for SISIP LTD on or after April 1, 2006. The RISB is also extended to families through continued monthly payments to the veteran’s survivor. Veterans and their survivors will not be required to apply for this benefit. Before turning 65, eligible veteran will be proactively contacted.
- Critical Injury Benefit (CIB) is a tax-free lump-sum award for CAF members and veterans who, since April 2006, experienced a severe and traumatic injury or developed an acute disease caused by a sudden and single event that resulted in an immediate and severe impairment and interference in quality of life. The CIB is intended to address the immediate impacts of the most severe and 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 will be paid directly to the CAF member or veteran and are separate and apart from disability award payments.
- Caregiver Recognition Benefit is a monthly tax-free benefit payable directly to your informal caregiver to recognize the important role a caregiver provides to help with your daily activities. This benefit replaces the Family Caregiver Relief Benefit and is only available to recipients of a disability award. If you have a disability pension or POW compensation of 1% or more, you can apply for Attendance Allowance. Similar to the Caregiver Recognition Benefit, the Attendance Allowance is a significant benefit available when you need help with daily living tasks. Still serving members are not eligible for the Caregiver Relief Benefit.
- Supplementary Retirement Benefit (SRB) is a taxable lump-sum payment payable at age 65 to those who are totally and permanently incapacitated. It is 2% of the total Earnings Loss (EL) benefits that would have been payable to an eligible veteran or survivor without regard to any income offsets. Veterans are encouraged to apply for the EL benefits even if they received other sources of income that raised their total income above the maximum limit of 75% of gross pre-release salary.
- CF Income Support (CFIS) Benefit is a non-taxable monthly benefit, for eligible CAF veterans, available after the veteran has completed Rehabilitation and is no longer in receipt of the Earnings Loss Benefit.
- Death Benefit is a tax-free lump sum paid to a spouse or common-law partner, and/or dependent children if a CAF member is killed while in service. The benefit is also paid if the CAF member is injured while in service and dies within 30 days of injury. Other survivor benefits may be available for service-related deaths that occur more than 30 days after the injury or illness.
- Exceptional Incapacity Allowance is tax-free monthly allowance available for those receiving a Disability Pension including CAF and RCMP veteranswho are deemed exceptionally incapacitated. The amount of the allowance is based on the extent of the pain and loss of enjoyment or shortened life expectancy. You may qualify for an Exceptional Incapacity Allowance if you are in receipt of:
- a Disability Pension for condition(s) that total 98% or more; OR
- a Disability Pension and a Disability Award for conditions that total 98% or more; OR
- a Disability Pension and Prisoner of War compensation that total 98% or more; AND
- you have an exceptional incapacity that is a result of, in whole or in part, the condition(s) for which you are receiving a disability benefit.
- Clothing Allowance is available if a CAF member or veteran has received a disability award due to an amputation, or other disability that causes wear and tear on clothing, or a disability that requires specially made clothing.
- Detention Benefit will be awarded, as a tax-free lump sum to a CAF member or veteran if while serving in the CAF, was detained by an enemy, opposing force or group.
- War Veterans Allowance (WVA) provides monthly financial assistance to help low-income veterans or their survivor meet their basic needs. Eligibility is determined by service in the Second World War or the Korean War and annual income. The amount provided is based on income, marital status and if any dependents. Once you qualify for WVA you may also qualify for:
- Assistance Fund which provides grants of up to $1,000 (per calendar year) to help pay for an emergency situation or an unexpected issue that affects health and / or safety (e.g. replacing a broken refrigerator).
- Health Care Benefits, which includes hearing aids, prescription drugs, dental and vision care etc. If the family income is over the maximum allowed the veteran will not qualify for WVA, but may still qualify for health care benefits.
- Long Term Care
- Veterans Independence Program
- Survivors Pension is payable when a disability pensioner dies and if pensioned at 5% or greater. The survivor will continue to receive (for a period of one year) the same Disability Pensionor Prisoner of War compensation that was being paid to the pensioner. This includes any Attendance Allowance and Exceptional Incapacity Allowance the pensioner was receiving at the time of death. After this one-year period, a survivor’s pension will be automatically paid.
- Commencing one year after the time of death, if the pensioner was receiving a pension of 48% or greater, the survivor is entitled to a full survivor’s pension. If the pensioner was receiving a pension between the 5% and 47% rate, the survivor will receive one-half of the Disability Pension that was paid to the pensioner.
- Surviving spouses or common-law partners who remarry will continue to receive the survivor’s pension. Children and other qualified dependents may also qualify for benefits following a pensioner’s death.
- Education Assistance program (EAP) provides tax-free education benefits to surviving children of a deceased member of the CAF or veteran. The student must be under 25 when beginning a full-time educational program. For specific criteria and when to apply, refer to the EAP website.
For more information on your eligibility and how to apply for the various VAC financial benefits call VAC toll-free at 1-866-522-2122 (English) or 1-866-522-2022 (French) or visit the VAC website http://www.veterans.gc.ca