Pension for Life, implemented on April 1, 2019, is a new financial compensation regime that follows a series of incremental changes to the 2006 New Veterans Charter. The Office of the Veterans Ombudsman has monitored the implementation of Pension for Life and conducted a financial analysis, using a number of scenarios, that compares the compensation it offers to that available under previous regimes; namely, the Pension Act and the New Veterans Charter/
Veterans Well-being Act.
This analysis identified a number of key findings:
- No one regime is the most generous in all scenarios.
- Because there are three benefit regimes with different effective dates offering different suites of benefits, Veterans in similar circumstances are not treated equitably. Rather, the benefits they access are determined by the regime under which they apply.
Specifically, the analysis found:
- Most Veterans with lower disability assessments receive more under the Pension Act;
- The New Veterans Charter/Veterans Well-being Act regime was more generous in some scenarios when the Veteran was eligible to receive the Career Impact Allowance (CIA) and CIA Supplement (CIAS) benefits which were discontinued under Pension for Life;
- thus impacting some of Canada’s most seriously ill and injured Veterans who apply under Pension for Life;
- and Pension for Life is more generous than previous regimes in some scenarios, such as when a Veteran with a Diminished Earning Capacity designation releases early in their career.
The report highlights that the Government has never publicly identified the financial benefit outcomes it wishes to achieve for ill and injured Veterans. As a result, three separate financial compensation regimes create complexity and unnecessary inequities. Veterans will continue to feel as though they are being treated unfairly until these outcomes are clearly identified and communicated.
Source: Veterans Ombudsman Canada