Six new and two enhanced programs and services announced in Budget 2017 are now available to support Veteran and family well-being
Ottawa – During military service, Canadian Armed Forces members develop incredible skills and assets from their military training and experience. Following service, transitioning to a post-service life provides opportunities and a new mission for Veterans and their families. That is why the Government of Canada offers a wide range of programs and services that support this transition and target all aspects of a Veteran’s well-being.
April 1, 2018, marks an important milestone for eight mandate commitments that will improve supports for Veterans and their families. This comprehensive package recognizes the hard work and sacrifices of Veterans through new and enhanced programs and services that provide direct support to caregivers, helps more families, supports mental health and offers greater education and training benefits that Veterans may need in their post-service lives.
- Education and Training Benefit
- Career Transition Services Program
For many Veterans and their families, a meaningful post-service career is key to their financial security and mental and physical well-being. The new Education and Training Benefit will provide up to $80,000 to help Veterans achieve their educational goals and better position them to be more competitive in the civilian workforce. The enhanced Career Transition Services Program will also help them reach their employment goals by helping them find meaningful careers that best suit their needs and those of their families.
- Veteran Family Program
- Caregiver Recognition Benefit
- Removal of Time Limits—Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance Program
Families are an integral part of Veterans’ transition and well-being. Additional support for families now includes: expanded access to the Veteran Family Program; the Caregiver Recognition Benefit which provides an informal caregiver $1,000 a month, tax-free; and the removal of time limits to access Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance which gives survivors, spouses and common-law partners more flexibility to receive assistance when they need it.
- Veterans Emergency Fund
The Veterans Emergency Fund addresses short-term, emergency financial needs of Veterans and their families. The fund means that front-line offices will be better able to deal with emergency situations more quickly and efficiently, without complicated eligibility requirements and processes.
- Centre of Excellence on PTSD and other related mental health conditions
The Government is also establishing a new virtual Centre of Excellence on PTSD and other related mental health conditions to conduct applied research and share knowledge on effective treatments. This will result in better understanding of the mental health issues that affect Veterans and their families, and in finding more effective treatments, supports and self-help tools to combat these conditions.
- Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund
Finally, the new Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund supports research and innovative initiatives and projects tailored to improve the well-being of Veterans and their families. Veterans Affairs Canada will partner with organizations in the public, private and academic sectors. Improvements to well-being can cover a range of activities—from suicide prevention research, to initiatives that help homeless Veterans, to projects that enable Veterans to make smoother transitions to life after service.
“The new and enhanced programs and services for Veterans and their families are crucial to their success following military service. Support for Veterans is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Being able to focus on education, career training, family support, research and emergency funding are all important pieces that, when put together, create a comprehensive package the improves the lives of Veterans and their families.”
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of the Department of National Defence
“Leaving the Canadian Armed Forces is a major life transition. These new investments make that transition easier for members and their families. The addition of these programs reflects our commitment to care and support for our military members today — and to attract our future recruits.”
The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence
- The six new and two enhanced programs and services total $624 million over six years.
- These changes reaffirm the Government’s ongoing commitment to Veterans and will help ensure that programming continues to meet the increasingly complex and diverse needs of Canada’s Veterans and their families.
- Veterans and their families can register for My VAC Account, visit a Veterans Affairs Canada office or call 1-866-522-2122 toll-free for information on eligibility and how to apply for these new benefits.
- Canadian Armed Forces members are also encouraged to register for My VAC Account as it helps plan for a smoother transition.
- Education and Training Benefit Fact Sheet
- Career Transition Services Fact Sheet
- Caregiver Recognition Benefit Fact Sheet
- Veterans Emergency Fund Fact Sheet
- Veteran Family Program Expansion Fact Sheet
- Centre of Excellence for PTSD and Other Related Mental Health Conditions Fact Sheet
- Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund Fact Sheet
- Removal of Time Limits Fact Sheet
Source: Veterans Affairs Canada