The Veteran Affairs Canada (VAC) disability benefits are offered by Veteran Affairs Canada to health support the well-being of those who have served in the armed forces. As of 2021, roughly 19% of veterans are served by Veterans Affairs Canada.
What Is Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) Disability Program?
The Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) disability program operates through the Bureau of Pensions Advocates. It is a tax-free monetary payment that is meant to support the welfare of qualifying veterans. Based on need, the amount beneficiaries receive depends on your entitlement level and your condition’s severity. The more your disability reduces your quality of life, the higher the value of the benefit. This is determined through an assessment performed by VAC.
Who Is Eligible For The VAC Disability Program?
To qualify for this benefit, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Be a member of the Canadian Armed Forces or a veteran thereof
- Be either a former or current Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) member
- Be a veteran of World War II or of the Korean War, including the Merchant Navy
- Be a qualifying civilian who served during World War II
If you fall into one of the above categories, have a diagnosed disability or medical condition, and can prove that your injury originated from your service, then you should apply. To be eligible for the plan, you must meet all of the above criteria.
VAC Disability Payment Dates 2023
As with most government-issued benefits, you can register for direct deposits to receive the payment on the day the benefit gets issued. The VAC disability and pension payment dates for 2023 are as follows:
|Benefit Payment Dates|
Depending on your situation, you can qualify for one of two types of benefits.
Compensation For Pain and Suffering
Compensation for pain and suffering comes in either the form of a lifetime monthly benefit or as a lump sum amount. The choice lies with the beneficiary, with specific amounts as follows:
|Rate of Pain and SufferingCompensation (%)||Disability Extent (%)||Monthly Benefit ($)||Lump Sum Amount ($)|
Disability pension provides a lifetime benefit, paid monthly. It increases depending on how severely your disability impacts your life. The VAC performs an assessment to determine the level that which the issue impacts your ability to function. This determines the class into which you get categorized. Additionally, if the qualifying veteran has any dependents such as children or a spouse, then the amount increases.
|Monthly Benefit ($)||Additional Monthly Payments ($)|
|Class||Single Veteran||With Spouse||One Child||Second Child||Each Additional Child|
If there is exceptional incapacitation, there is an additional allowance issued based on severity. The highest amount is $1,598.45 and the lowest is $532.84 per month. There are other benefits, such as Critical Injury and Death Benefits that address the immediate expenses paid after extreme circumstances.
Check Out These Other Disability Programs
|Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)||Learn More|
|British Columbia Disability Assistance||Learn More|
|Nova Scotia Disability Support Program||Learn More|
|New Brunswick Disability Support Program||Learn More|
|Child Disability Benefit (CDB)||Learn More|
|Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)||Learn More|
How To Apply For The VAC Disability Program?
If you are an eligible veteran and plan to apply for the VAC benefit, there are two main avenues to apply:
- Using your My VAC Account, you can complete an online application. If you don’t yet have an account, you can create a new one using a secure online service. The next step involves verifying your identity using personal information.
- If you have any issues with the online service, you can call the toll-free number or visit Service Canada or Royal Legion and complete the application in person. You can download the forms, fill them out, and mail them in rather than completing an online application.
Additional Veteran Programs You May Qualify For
Regardless of whether you qualify for the VAC disability benefits, there are other Veteran support benefits you may be able to access. These include:
Critical Injury Benefit
The Critial Injury benefit has a cash value of $78,989.83 that gets issued as a lump sum amount. It is entirely tax-free and is designed to address the immediate results of traumatic and severe injuries or diseases that resulted from service.
This service is a part of the Income Replacement Benefit and is meant to supply 90% of your gross, pre-discharge military salary. It is available while you participate in Rehabilitation Services through the VAC. The benefit provides a minimum income of $51,419.23 yearly, before tax.
If you receive a disability benefit for an issue that directly causes extra wear and tear on your clothing, then you can qualify for this benefit. It also applies if you have a service-related disability that causes you to require specialty clothing. There are ten tiers for the benefit, each representing a different level of severity. The highest value of the benefit is $226.41 and the lowest amount is $25.10.
Treatment benefits offer financial benefits and a variety of services to assist veterans in maintaining health. If you qualify, you can get a VAC healthcare card that covers medical out-of-pocket expenses for things like prosthetics and prescriptions. The actual amount of coverage depends on the severity of your issue.
Benefits For Survivors
Financial support is provided for survivors (spouse, children, etc.) of a pensioner receiving disability, a memeber of the armed forced, or a Veteran so died in serving.
If your spouse has passed away, you may qualify for the Allowance For The Survivor benefit.
Veterans have access to various support services to assist with financial management. There are services to assist with money management and financial planning. While there are many services online, you can also contact your local VAC office to receive assistance.
Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation
This tax-free benefit is issued to veterans who incur a permanent, service-induced disability. The extreme severity must pose a barrier to the veteran becoming established as a civilian after service. As with the other benefits, it varies based on how much the disability impacts the veteran. The minimum value is $529.01 monthly while the maximum is $1,587.02 per month.
This benefit is meant to compensate for the price of hiring a caregiver, whether full or part-time, to assist with regular activities. It varies from $319.79 to $1,998.03 per month, based on how severe the disability is. Attendance refers to the amount of time the caregiver spends tending to the needs of the veteran.
Exceptional Incapacity Allowance
A tax-free benefit issued monthly, the exceptional incapacity allowance is for serious injuries or illnesses that drastically impact the veteran’s quality of life. Provided the veteran undergoes ongoing pain, emotional, mental, or physical, the benefit has a value of up to $1,598.45. As with the other benefits, it is based on the severity of the issue.
What Is The VAC VIP Program?
The Veterans Independence Program (VIP) is a benefit that is meant to assist veterans in retaining independence within their homes. It is a tax-free payment that can assist with costs such as landscaping, personal care, transportation, nutritional requirements, and other needs. The program coordinates with various registered service providers and reimburses them directly, requiring no out-of-pocket expenses. If the veteran uses non-registered providers, they can submit receipts for reimbursement. For situations where the veteran is awaiting payment, the VAC processes it along with their regular monthly benefit payments.
VAC Disability Benefit FAQs
Are VAC payments taxable?
Do veterans get paid for life?
What is Pension for Life?
What happens to the veteran’s family if they pass?
Are survivors and surviving dependent children eligible for the Pension for Life?
Whether you are a qualifying veteran or know someone who may benefit from these services, it can help to understand how VAC disability benefits work. The easiest way to access financial assistance is to use the online portal to reach your veteran’s account and apply within the portal. Once you begin the application process, the VAC office guides you through the remainder of the process. By taking advantage of the programs available to you as a veteran, you can claim the benefits you earned while serving your country.