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Veterans Independence Program

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Enabling Veterans to Remain Independent

The Veterans Independence Program provides limited financial assistance to eligible veterans to enable them to remain independent and self-sufficient in their own homes and communities for as long as possible and to provide care in an institution when such care is needed.

The program covers a number of services and is designed to complement (rather than duplicate) existing provincial programs. These services include:

  1. Home Care
    • direct patient care
    • personal care and support
    • basic housekeeping and grounds keeping
    • nutritional support, including meals on wheels
  2. Nursing Home Care
  3. Ambulatory Health Care special care available through clinics, out patient departments, day care centres etc., including travel to day care centres
  4. Home Adaptations alterations to veteran's residence to enable him to carry out the normal activities of daily living
  5. Social Transportation

    for low income veterans to carry out day-to-day social activities

Services are provided on a needs basis to the following two main groups of veterans:

  1. Disability pensioners whose needs for services are related to their pensioned condition and frail pensioners who meet VAC's definition of 'frailty' may also qualify for non-pensioned conditions.
  2. Income qualified veterans as follows:
    • WVA recipients over age 65
    • Merchant Navy Allowance recipients over age 65
    • near recipients (veterans who would be receiving WVA if not for the receipt of Old Age Security, the Guaranteed Income Supplement of spouse's allowance)
    • Canada Service Veterans of WWI or WWII, with 365 days of service in wartime, over age 65, and who meet the same financial criteria as WVA recipients and near recipients
NOTE: A WWII Canada Service Veteran must have served 365 days prior to August 15, 1945, to qualify as a Canada Service Veteran.

V.I.P. services are not available to non-SDA civilian or civilian allowance recipients / near recipients.

V.I.P. recipients (other than Regular Force pensioners) are automatically covered for general treatment benefits and receive a Blue Cross /card which identifies coverage for all programs (to the extent that they are not covered by Provincial programs). This means that once a disability pensioner is approved for V.I.P. services, the medical benefits are expanded to include treatment for non-pensioned conditions as well.

Appeal of Decisions Relating to V.I.P. or Health Care Benefits

An applicant or recipient may request a review of decisions relating to the Veterans Independence Program or the provision of health Care Benefits by writing to the Ontario Regional Director General. If still dissatisfied once the review has been completed, a further appeal may be made to the Director General - Health Care Division or Assistant Deputy Minister - Veterans Services, within 60 days of the review decision.

Admission to a Contract Hospital

Veterans have priority access to contract beds held by Veterans Affairs Canada at the following facilities:

  • Parkwood Hospital
  • Perley / Rideau Veterans Home
  • Sunnybrook & Women's College Health Science Centre

Veterans also have access to priority access beds in the community. Contact the nearest VAC office to obtain information on these beds.

Further an agreement has been signed to relocate 94 priority access beds, currently not in use at Sunnybrook and Parkwood, to communities in Northern Ontario.

Admission to a contract bed is based on service and assessed level of care required. The service requirements for admission to a contract bed are the same as those required for the War Veterans Allowance Program. However, income is not a factor in determining if a veteran is eligible to enter a contract bed.

Veterans are required to pay a Board and Lodging fee unless they are admitted as a result of their pensioned condition. This rate may be lower if the veteran's income and/or domestic status qualifies him / her for a reduced rate.

Veterans who reside in a contract facility are covered for most general health benefits, which are not available under a provincial program.

Veterans who wish to apply to Veterans Affairs contract bed should contact their local Veterans Affairs Counsellor for assistance.


Ontario Command
89 Industrial Parkway North
Aurora, ON, L4G 4C4


Toll Free: 1-888-207-0939
Phone: 905-841-7999
Fax: 905-841-9992
Email: info@on.legion.ca