Canadian Veterans Advocacy

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New announcement: Veterans Affairs ends clawback of benefits for 2,500 families

Veterans Affairs ends clawback of benefits for 2,500 families

CBC News
Posted: Oct 10, 2012 9:53 AM ET
Last Updated: Oct 10, 2012 10:42 AM ET

Veterans Affairs is ending clawbacks of two income support benefits, a move the government says will result in more money in the pockets of veterans.

Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney announced Wednesday that effective immediately, veterans will no longer have the amount of their earnings loss benefit and their Canadian Forces Income Support benefit reduced because they're also receiving a disability pension.

The changes will cost the government $177.7 million over the next five years and are expected to affect an estimated 2,500 veterans and families.

"We are working hard to bring real help where and when it's needed most for Canada's heroes," Blaney said in a news release.

He also said the government is working on a similar change so that the war veterans allowance won't be clawed back.

Veterans have been complaining about the clawback of various benefits since a new Veterans Charter was introduced in 2006.

Wednesday's changes also come in the wake of a class-action lawsuit filed against the federal government that veterans successfully won in May.

Long-term disability benefits were being reduced by the amount of the monthly Veterans Affairs disability pension, and the court sided with the veterans who argued that was unfair.

When Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Blaney said they would not appeal the decision, they said they would move to make changes to other benefits so they weren't clawed back either.

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The Canadian Veterans Advocacy Team.

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