Government of Canada details enhanced support for Veterans and their families

Budget 2017 addresses financial security, education and family support

DIEPPE, NB, July 6, 2017 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada recognizes that, while in service, Veterans developed skills and assets from first-class military training and experience. That is why it is vital to ensure that measures are in place to help those who have sacrificed so much on our behalf to leverage these assets and achieve their new post-military life goals.

Today, at the Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick, The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, met with Canadian Armed Forces Members and their families to provide details on what's in Budget 2017 to assist Canada's Veterans and their families.

Budget 2017 builds on the foundation that was established in Budget 2016 and is a comprehensive package that will recognize the important role of caregivers, help more families, support mental health and pay for the education and training Veterans need to find the work they want in their post-military lives.

Budget 2017 highlights include the expansion of the Veteran Family Program across all 32 Military Family Resource Centres (MFRCs) in Canada, a new Caregiver Benefit that will put $1000 per month directly in the pockets of those who care for Veterans in their homes, and an Education and Training benefit that will provide for up to $80,000 in financial support for Veterans in achieving their education and future post-military employment goals through college, university or technical education.

As part of today's announcement, Parliamentary Secretary Petitpas Taylor reaffirmed the Government of Canada's mandate commitments to do more for Veterans, provide additional financial benefits tailored to their needs and deliver a higher standard of service and care that ensures a "one Veteran, one standard" approach is upheld.

Quotes

"If education truly is the great equalizer, as I believe it to be, then this new Veterans' Education and Training Benefit will be a real game changer for Canada's Veterans and their families."

The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of the Department of National Defence.

"During their service, Veterans developed skills and assets from first-class military training and experience. We want to help them leverage these assets and achieve their new post-military life goals.'

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Budget 2017 highlights:

  • $133.9 million over six years to create a new Veterans' Education and Training Benefit. This new benefit will provide Veterans with the funding for college, university or a technical education of their choice. Veterans with six years of service may be eligible for up to $40,000 and Veterans with at least 12 years of service may be eligible for up to $80,000 to cover tuition, course materials, and some incidentals and living expenses.

  • Enhancing and simplifying support to Veterans' families and caregivers by replacing the Family Caregiver Relief Benefit with a $1,000 monthly, tax-free benefit paid directly to a Veteran's caregiver.

  • Expanding the Veteran Family Program across all 32 MFRCs. The expansion of the program would result in medically released Veterans and their families having continued and uninterrupted access to all 32 MFRCs across the country, in addition to the other resources that were part of the initial pilot.

  • Redesigning the Career Transition Services (CTS) program which would include an expansion of current eligibilities; the removal of time limits for Veterans, reservists and survivors to access benefits; and simplification or elimination of the application process for participants.

  • $4 million over four years to establish a Veteran Emergency Fund to enable Veterans Affairs Canada to address unique and urgent veteran-specific situations.

  • $13.9 million over four years to establish a Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund. This fund would be used for the development of new and innovative ways to support Veterans and their families by providing financial support to organizations to conduct research and implement initiatives and projects. These organizations can be non-profit, voluntary and in some cases, for-profit as well. 

  • Plans to create a new Centre of Excellence in Veterans' care, specializing in mental health, post-traumatic stress disorder and related issues for Veterans. 

Associated Links

 

SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada

For further information: Sarah McMaster, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649; Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468, vac.media-medias.acc@vac-acc.gc.ca

RELATED LINKS
www.veterans.gc.ca

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