Programs that provide assistance for veterans who are having difficulty understanding and/or obtaining the full benefits and services to which they are entitled by law based on service to their country. The programs may help veterans understand the eligibility criteria for benefits, the benefits provided by the program, the payment process and the rights of beneficiaries; provide consultation and advice; help them complete benefits application forms; negotiate on their behalf with Veteran Affairs Canada staff; and/or represent them in administrative processes or judicial litigation. Included are veteran rights organizations that offer a range of advocacy services (such as the Royal Canadian Legion's Command Service Officers, who are legislatively mandated to assist both Legion members and non-members) as well as legal aid programs that offer more formalized legal assistance.
A financial assistance program available through Veterans Affairs Canada that provides a regular monthly income to meet basic needs for individuals who are qualified on the basis of service to their country during wartime. Included are Canadian Armed Forces veterans and Merchant Navy veterans who served in the First or Second World War or the Korean War; Allied Forces veterans with wartime service in the First or Second World War who were domiciled in Canada at the time of enlistment; and civilians who served in close support of the Canadian Armed Forces during wartime. WVA is an income-tested benefit and most regular income must be considered to determine eligibility. Other factors include family status and number of dependents. A special assistance fund is available to any WVA recipient for an emergency need that affects health or safety and that cannot be paid through other programs. In the event of the death of the WVA recipient, an allowance is paid to eligible survivors (spouses, common-law partners, orphans).
A program administered by Veterans Affairs Canada that assists eligible pensioned veterans to remain healthy and independent in their own homes or communities. The Veterans Independence Program (VIP) is not intended to replace other federal, provincial or municipal programs. It is combined with these other available services to best meet the needs of each client. The services veterans receive depend on their particular circumstances and health needs. VIP assists with the costs of certain services such as grass cutting or snow removal; housekeeping including help with laundry, cleaning and preparing meals; personal care services including assistance with bathing, dressing and eating; nutrition services such as meals on wheels; and health and support services provided by health professionals. Other services may also be covered including transportation, ambulatory health care, nursing home care and home adaptations.
A program of Veterans Affairs Canada that provides a variety of burial benefits for deceased veterans of peacetime or wartime service who are without the necessary financial resources to provide for a dignified funeral and burial. The Last Post Fund Corporation (LPF), a nonprofit organization, is mandated to deliver the program on behalf of Veterans Affairs Canada and applications must be made to the Last Post Fund. Funeral and burial expenses of the deceased, as well as other debts, are considered when determining the value of the estate. If it is determined that the estate and, if applicable, the financial resources of any surviving spouse are sufficient to provide for the funeral and burial, assistance will not be approved. If there are sufficient assets to cover a portion of the expenses, a grant in the amount of the difference, up to the maximum amounts stipulated by legislation, may be approved. Burial costs may include the cost of the grave, the rental of a lowering device, the opening and closing of the grave and the costs of perpetual care.
A program administered by Veterans Affairs Canada that provides regular monthly payments to compensate individuals who have service-related medical disabilities and who are either a Canadian Forces Veteran or a Merchant Navy Veteran of the First or Second World War or the Korean War; a current or former member of the Regular or Reserve Force; or a civilian who served in close support of the Armed Forces during wartime. Pension entitlement is based solely on the severity of the disability and the relationship between the disability and military service. Additional monthly allowances and attendance care allowances are provided to pensioners who are exceptionally incapacitated in whole or in part by their pensioned disability. When a disability pensioner dies, the surviving spouse may receive the same pension for a period of one year, after which a survivor's pension will automatically be paid. Applications can be made directly to Veterans Affairs or to a service officer of the Royal Canadian Legion or another veterans' organization.
Programs that are designed to help clients of Veterans Affairs Canada maintain their independence and quality of life by facilitating their ability to continue to live at home. Benefits may include medical, surgical and dental care, prosthetic devices, home adaptations, supplementary benefits such as travel costs for examinations or treatment and other community health care services and benefits. Extended treatment benefits such as prescription drugs are available for pensioners with disabilities.
Mutual support groups whose members were previously affiliated with one of the branches of the armed forces, their families and friends. The groups meet in-person, by telephone or via the Internet; may focus on former prisoners of war, veterans of specific wars, e.g., the Gulf War, women who are veterans or other specific veteran populations; and allow participants to share their experience, strengths and hopes and put their lives back together if they have been troubled by homelessness, disability, substance abuse, depression or other issues related to their service to the country.
Programs that provide emotional support, information and guidance for veterans who have emotional problems including post traumatic stress disorder relating to experiences in the service, or who are having other difficulties adjusting to their civilian status.
Programs that provide confidential assistance for military personnel and veterans who are emotionally distressed with the objective of defusing the crisis, ensuring the person's safety and helping the person to take the next immediate steps toward resolving the problem. Trained staff are generally available via telephone, email, chat and/or text. Most military/veteran hotlines are also available to family members who are concerned about a loved one.
Programs whose members are veterans who have joined together on a voluntary basis to promote mutual interests. Activities may include advocacy for the preservation and expansion of earned privileges and benefits, testimony before legislative bodies on issues affecting veterans, awards and other measures for promoting appreciation of and recognition for veterans and their accomplishments, community service programs, and social activities for members. Some organizations may provide active support for the democratic principles of religious and political freedom; offer benefits such as health insurance, life insurance, credit cards and financial planning services for members; or maintain special burial funds to help indigent veterans and their families.
Programs that provide guidance and information regarding benefits, services and outplacement assistance for those leaving or retiring from active duty and returning to civilian life, and their family members with the objective of making the transition as smooth and stress-free as possible. Services may include benefits counselling, employment search and placement assistance, relocation services, financial planning assistance, eligibility information regarding medical and dental insurance coverage and other forms of assistance to facilitate adjustment to civilian life. Special employment transition assistance includes certification of job skills and experience; information about applying active duty job skills and experience to private sector employment; information about geographic areas of relocation including the labour market and cost of living; identification and location of employment and training opportunities; instruction in resume preparation, job analysis and interview techniques; and information about loans and grants to facilitate acquisition of employment.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.