| Service Requirements|
| War Veterans Allowance|
| Merchant Navy Allowance|
| Civilian War Allowance|
| Age/Health Requirements|
| Financial Requirements|
| Widow/er's Allowance|
| Additional Benefits for Allowance Recipients|
Eligibility for the Allowance Programs is based on a number of factors. These include war service, age or health, income and residency. Effective February 18, 1995, allied Veterans must have pre-war domicile in Canada to meet the residency requirements for the W.V.A. Act.
Allowances are paid to low income veterans, civilians, merchant navy veterans and their dependants and the amount of allowance paid is based on the applicant's other income and domestic status. Other income is supplemented by the allowance to an income ceiling.
Service requirements vary depending upon the type of Allowance for which application is being made (i.e. War Veterans Allowance or Merchant Navy Allowance or Civilian War Allowance).
However, the same requirements for age/health, and income apply to all three Allowance Programs.
- War Veterans Allowance
- Canadian Veterans
Veterans of Canadian Forces are eligible if they:
- Served in a theatre of war during the First World War, the Second World War;* or The Korean War
- Are receiving a disability pension, or have accepted a commuted pension, for an injury or disease suffered or aggravated during wartime service; or
- Served in both the First World War and Second World and were honourably discharged from the last enlistment in each; or
- Served in the United Kingdom during the First World War; or
- Left Canada or the Unites States, including Alaska as a member of a Canadian Force to serve in the United Nations Forces in Korea, before July 27, 1953.
*Note: Service in a theatre of war during the Second World War included service while on duty beyond the three-mile territorial limit surrounding the continents of North and south America and the islands adjacent thereto including Newfoundland, Bermuda and the West Indies.
Commonwealth or Allied Veterans
Veterans of Commonwealth or allied forces who were living in Canada at the time of joining the Forces are eligible if they:
- served in a theatre of war during the First World War or the Second World War; or
- are receiving a disability pension, or have accepted a commuted pension for an injury or disease suffered or aggravated during wartime service; or
- served in the First World War and in the Canadian Forces in the Second World War and were honourably discharged from the last enlistment in each.
NOTE: Prior to February 28, 1995, Allied Veterans could qualify for the Allowance Programs and related benefits if they had lived in Canada for 10 years. There was no need for pre-war domicile. Any allied Veteran, who applied for an was granted benefits prior to February 28, 1995, continues to be eligible for these benefits (as they have been grandfathered under the new legislation).
- Canadian Veterans
- Merchant Navy Allowance
Effective July 1, 1992, Merchant Marines with wartime high-seas service became known as "Merchant Navy Veterans", and now are eligible for benefits on the same basis as veterans of Canada's wartime armed forces.
Merchant navy Veterans are eligible if they:
- have served on a ship of Canadian or Newfoundland registry on a high-seas voyage during WWI or WWII; or
- a Canadian National who served on an allied ship on a high-seas voyage during WWI or WII; or
- are a Canadian national who was awarded the 1939-45 Star in respect of merchant navy Service; or
- have served on a Canadian ship in dangerous waters while on a high-seas voyage during the Korean War.
- Civilian War Allowances
Civilians who served in close support of the Armed Forces during wartime may be eligible for Civilian War Allowance. Service eligibility is subject to length and area of service and includes the following groups:
- Canadian Merchant Seamen who served in the First World War, the Second World War or the Korean War and who do not qualify as merchant navy veterans;
- non Canadians who served on Canadian merchant ships during the First World War, the Second World War or the Korean War and who do not qualify as merchant navy veterans;
- members of the voluntary Aid Detachment of the British Red Cross during the First World War;
- Canadian Fire Fighters of the Second World War;
- Canadian Overseas welfare workers, nursing aids, ambulance or transport drivers, members of the Overseas Headquarters Staff, and nurses who served under the auspices of the Canadian Red Cross Society or the St. John's Ambulance Brigade of Canada during the Second World War;
- Canadian Transatlantic air crew of the Second World War
- Newfoundland Overseas Forestry Unit of the Second World War
- Awarded a wartime-related pension under Parts I to X of the Merchant navy Veterans and Civilian War-related Benefits Act.
NOTE: Service with enemy forces automatically disqualifies an applicant for an Allowance, even if the above service requirements are met.
Male applicants are eligible for the allowance at age of 60, the female applicants at age 55. Allowances may be awarded at an earlier age under the following conditions:
- the applicant is permanently unemployable because of physical or mental disabilities; or
- the applicant is unable to maintain him/herself because of a combination of economic handicaps and physical or mental disabilities; or
- the applicant is unable to support him/herself because of the need to provide care for dependent children in the home.
The amount of income is the only requirement.
In determining the allowance payable, the following rules apply:
- for married couples, the income of both the husband and the wife is assessed.
- Payments under the Old Age Security Program (i.e. basic Old Age Pension, the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and Spouse's allowance) are always assessed as soon as they are received, as are foreign and domestic War Disability benefits.
- All other income is assessed on the basis of the previous year's income (unless the current income is less than last year's income and the applicant would be disadvantaged by using the previous year income amounts).
- not all income is fully assessed. There is an exemption of 4,200.00 (married) and $2,900.00 (single) on yearly employment income and a small $140.00 exemption on yearly interest income.
- The income ceiling for a married couple who are both veterans in their own right and for couples who are involuntarily separated for health reasons is higher than the married rate ceiling and is equivalent to two times the single rate ceiling.
Note: Veterans and widows/widowers who lose their right to a benefit because of a change to their financial or domestic services are provided with a one year grace period to allow them to adjust to the changed circumstances.
Eligibility for a widow/er flows from the service eligibility of the veteran/civilian concerned.
A widow/er may qualify for an allowance if he/she was living with or being maintained by the veteran/civilian at the time of death. Under special circumstances, al allowance may be awarded to a widow/er who was not residing with the spouse at the time of death and approval is at the discretion of the department.
Where marriage to a veteran has subsequently resulted in divorce, no widow/er's allowance is payable, even where maintenance was a requirement.
Veterans and civilians who qualify for the Allowance programs are also covered for general treatment benefits. A Blue Cross Card is issued covering all programs. Spouses and dependent children are not covered for treatment benefits.
Near recipients (i.e. veterans and civilians who would qualify for the Allowance if it were not for the receipt of Old Age Security benefits) also qualify for treatment benefits.
- Funeral and Burial Benefits
May be applicable when a veteran or civilian allowance recipient or near recipient dies.
- Assistance Fund
The purpose of the Assistance Fund is to provide financial assistance to Allowance recipients (residing in Canada) for emergency needs or unexpected contingencies, which cannot be met from other sources. There is a maximum of $1000.00 per calendar year available.
- Special Awards
The widow/er of a veteran or civilian who at the time of death or in the one year period preceding death was receiving an allowance may receive the Allowance at the married rate for one year following the death of the veteran/civilian.
Only the widow/er's income is assessed in determining the Allowance payable.
- Veterans Independence Program
Veterans who are 65 years or older, receiving a War Veterans Allowance or Merchant Navy Allowance (or who would be receiving these allowances were it not for Old Age Security Income) are eligible to receive benefits under the Veterans Independence Program, subject to the need for services.
An applicant or recipient may request a review of a negative allowance decision within 60 days. The review is completed by the Ontario Regional Office.
If still dissatisfied once the review has been completed, a further appeal may be made to the Veterans Review and appeal Board within 60 days of the review decision.