Backgrounder Article from  Veterans Affairs Canada

Archived - Proposed new Critical Injury Benefit for Canadian Armed Forces members and Veterans

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A number of programs and services are currently in place to ensure that the health, rehabilitation and financial needs of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and Veterans are met.

The proposed new Critical Injury Benefit (CIB) would provide a $70,000 tax-free award for CAF members and Veterans who, since April 2006, experienced a severe and traumatic injury or developed an acute disease caused by a sudden and single event which resulted in an immediate and severe impairment and interference in quality of life.

This benefit is in recognition of the immediate stress and hardship a CAF member or Veteran experiences after a traumatic incident. It spans the time between the initial incident and when the CAF member or Veteran becomes medically stable.

The proposed new CIB funds would be paid directly to the CAF member or Veteran and are separate and apart from disability award payments. The Critical Injury Benefit focuses on those who need it the most: Veterans who endure sudden and severe injury or disease while in the line of duty.

Other Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada benefits already cover expenses incurred by family members who are traveling to be with the injured or ill CAF member.

As part of the Department’s continued commitment to Veteran-centric care, and in order to reduce wait times, Veterans Affairs Canada employees will proactively contact Veterans who have experienced a severe service-related injury or disease to discuss this new benefit.

Example of who could benefit from this new payment

Richard is a paratrooper who was involved in a training accident and fell three stories. He sustained a severe concussion, internal injuries and multiple fractures. He had multiple surgeries and needed intensive rehabilitation to regain strength and the ability to walk. Over time, Richard recovered and was deemed medically stable. While he applied for a VAC disability award, he did not receive a payment because he did not have a permanent disability. However, due to the severity of his injuries, he would now be eligible for the proposed new Critical Injury Benefit.

A continuum of care

While recognition for the most severely injured is the focus of today’s announcement, it must be viewed as part of a spectrum of services and supports available to CAF members and Veterans. Benefits and services such as rehabilitation and vocational assistance, and the Health Benefits Program, for example, are designed to help support the needs of ill and injured Veterans.

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