Budget 2016 reaffirms commitment to Veterans
ST. JOHN'S, June 12, 2016 /CNW/ - The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, spoke at the Royal Canadian Legion's 46th Dominion Convention in St. John's today to highlight the Government of Canada's support for Canada's ill and injured Veterans and how Budget 2016 will enhance that support.
To help Veterans and their families as they transition from military to civilian life, Veterans Affairs Canada will build on an existing suite of programs and supports with enhancements to financial benefits, restored access to critical services and more front-line staff.
An increase to the Disability Award to a maximum of $360,000 will mean more money in the pockets of Veterans who suffer from illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of service.
Increasing the Earnings Loss Benefit to 90% of a Veteran's pre-release salary will ensure former members undergoing rehabilitation have the financial support they need.
Expanding access to the Permanent Impairment Allowance by introducing an individualized assessment will ensure Veterans are more appropriately compensated for the impact of a service-related impairment on their career.
Finally, Veterans Affairs Canada will re-open nine offices across the country and hire additional case managers so that each serves no more than 25 individuals. Additionally, a new office will open in Surrey, B.C., and outreach to Veterans in the North will be expanded by working with local partners.
Budget 2016 delivers $5.6B in additional benefits and takes historic steps to treat Veterans with care, compassion and respect.
- The Government of Canada will make it easier for Veterans' families to access the Funeral and Burial Program for a dignified burial. The Department plans to increase the estate exemption from $12,015 to $35,279 and also apply an annual cost of living adjustment to this amount.
- Plans are also underway to expand the scope of the Commemorative Partnership Program to allow funding for the building of new community war memorials and to streamline the application process.
- The new Have Your Say consultation tool, available on the Veterans Affairs Canada website, invites Veterans, stakeholders and Canadians to their provide feedback on Veterans' issues and priorities.
- The Minister of Veterans Affairs remains committed to all items in his mandate letter, including pensions for life.
"The Government of Canada is taking historic steps to ensure Canadian Veterans and their families are treated with care, compassion and respect. Budget 2016 reaffirmed our intent to give back to Veterans and deliver on our promises to restore critical access to services and improve the long-term financial security and independence of disabled Veterans and their families."
The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
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 Canadam, 613-992-7468