Minister O’Toole strengthens benefits for reservists
Increased benefits for part-time Reserve Force Veterans ensure fair treatment for all Veterans
March 23, 2015
The Honourable Erin O’Toole, Minister of Veterans Affairs, and the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, on March 13th, announced part-time Reserve Force Veterans will have the support they deserve, honouring a pledge made by the Government of Canada. The ministers were joined by Member of Parliament Scott Armstrong and the Veterans Ombudsman, Guy Parent.
This announcement focused on the Veterans Affairs Canada’s (VAC) Earnings Loss (EL) Benefit, which provides income support for Veterans with service-related injuries while they are participating in VAC’s Rehabilitation Program or who are unable to be suitably employed.
Currently, part-time Reserve Force Veterans in receipt of the Earnings Loss Benefit are eligible for an annual EL Benefit of $24,300. Through changes aimed at ensuring respect for reservists, beginning in April 2015, all Veterans of the Reserve Force eligible for the EL Benefit will be ensured a minimum annual income of $42,426, which is the current EL Benefit of a basic corporal in the Regular Force. This is a big step forward for those who need it the most, and responds to concerns raised by the Veterans Ombudsman and the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs regarding fair treatment of Canada’s reservists.
Survivors of part-time Reserve Force Veterans who lose their lives as a result of service will also benefit from this change.
- The EL Benefit is a taxable monthly benefit that ensures Veterans’ total income will be at least 75% of their pre-release military salary while they are participating in rehabilitation or unable to be suitably employed.
“Today, we are recognizing the critical role played by the men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves. Reservists served with distinction in Afghanistan and when they deploy, they share the same risks in duty that Regular Force members do. Canadians respect the commitment to juggle civilian employment and military service and today, I am ensuring reservists injured in the service to Canada are treated fairly. Our Government will extend the Earnings Loss Benefit to our Reserve Force Veterans to help the Veterans and their families recover from their injury and make a successful transition to civilian life. I want to thank the Ombudsman and other stakeholders for their work advancing this issue and supporting our CAF Reserves.” The Honourable Erin O’Toole, Minister of Veterans Affairs
“The sacrifices of our Veterans, who have exemplified the highest ideals of duty, courage and loyalty, must never fade. Canada must honour Veterans as they have honoured this country. Today’s announcement provides Canadian Armed Forces reservists and their families the confidence that our Government will provide the compassion, respect, and support they need and deserve.”
The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
“I am pleased that another gap in the New Veterans Charter is about to be closed. Reservists are an important component of our national security and play a critical role in sustaining the Canadian Armed Forces. Since becoming Veterans Ombudsman, I have been advocating for the One Veteran theme so that all Veterans are treated fairly for service-related injuries/illness and death, regardless of when and where they served. Today, we are moving one step closer to that reality and I commend the Minister of Veterans Affairs for this change.” Guy Parent, Canada’s Veterans Ombudsman
“We can never do enough to thank those Canadians who are willing to put their lives in harm’s way in order to defend our freedoms and safety. This announcement highlights our Government’s commitment to doing as much as we can, and to ensuring that all members of the Canadian Armed Forces, whether they be regular members or reservists, will be treated with the same respect and empathy, when they are injured in the line of duty.”
Bruce Stanton, Member of Parliament – Simcoe North
Veterans Affairs Canada is committed to ensuring Veterans are treated with the care, compassion and respect they deserve. Veterans and their families are at the center of everything we do. #Veterancentric
- Backgrounder: Earnings Loss Benefit increases for part-time Reserve Force Veterans
- Backgrounder: Retirement Income Security Benefit
- Mental Health enhancements
- Disability Benefits
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