Another promise dashed four days in to the new year.
Starting in April of 2019 a new pension plan for veterans will save the government $1.8 billion. And disabled vets are the ones that will bear the brunt.
“This is not what the Liberal government promised, it’s not what veterans were expecting, and we are going to create a whole new generation of marginalized former soldiers.” says Sean Bruyea, a veterans rights advocate and disabled vet who collects benefits under the Pension Act.
Advisory groups were created in 2015 to offer comments about the new policies and laws affecting those who have served in the Canadian military. The group was not asked for feedback prior to the new plan being announced not long after Parliament broke for Christmas break. The government claims their suggestions were incorporated into the new plan.
Bruyea, who has criticized the new plan said, ““It’s a systemic attack upon veterans’ rights to be denied the chance to participate in the very democracy that they were willing to die to defend.”
Applying for pensions after April 1 of this year will mean receiving less money than if someone had applied on March 31. And much less than under the old Pension Act.
An example of the change goes like this:
A 25 year old, 100-per-cent disabled veteran who has lost parts of limbs and has traumatic stress disorder will receive $690,000 if they live to the age of 75 for basic pain and suffering. Over their lifetime, they would receive just over $2.5 million if applying before April 1 of this year, but it will drop to almost $1.6 million under the new plan April 1. The reason? The career-impact allowance has been removed from the new plan. Under the old Pension Act, this disabled vet, who lost limbs in service to this country would have received a total of $3,168,966 over their lifetime.
The Liberals gained the support of many Veterans based on their promise to bring back the ‘Pension For Life,’ and their pledge to increase funding in the program. Looks like another promise broken.
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