Most severely disabled soldiers don’t qualify for pensions

OTTAWA – According to a new report from the Veterans Ombudsman, measures in the new Veterans Charter will push some of Canada’s most severely disabled soldiers into poverty.


New Democrats are reiterating their call for the Conservatives to immediately fix the pressing problems outlined in the report, including the fact that many veterans do not have sufficient retirement income, there’s inadequate support for veterans transitioning to civilian careers, and problems exist ensuring that the most severely injured veterans receive the benefits they need.


“We already knew many injured soldiers were left in serious need, now we have stark numbers to back it up,” said NDP Defence critic Jack Harris (St. John’s East). “This report is unequivocal proof that the government has to take immediate action to support our veterans before this crisis worsens.”


The study reveals that over 400 of Canada’s most severely disabled veterans do not even qualify for a Canadian Forces Pension. Further, over 600 soldiers who have been declared permanently disabled could also be at risk.


“The government could easily fix many of these problems, for example by removing age 65 restriction on pension eligibility to give the veterans and their families the dignity they deserve,” said NDP Veterans Affairs critic Peter Stoffer (Sackville – Eastern Shore). “There’s no need to wait for another review – the government can fix these problems immediately.”