The Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) Disability Benefits Program provides monthly disability income payments to eligible Canadian Forces Members and Veterans. To qualify you must suffer from a service-related injury or illness. The VAC disability program is run Veterans Affairs Canada, a department of the Federal Government.
To be eligible for VAC disability benefits you must have a diagnosed medical condition or disability that you can show is related to your service.
There are three types of VAC disability benefits:
The earnings loss benefit is a taxable monthly benefit that ensures your income will be at least 90% of your gross pre-release salary. The earnings loss benefit is paid if you are enrolled in VAC rehabilitation services. Once rehabilitation services have ended, your monthly earnings loss payment will convert to a monthly disability pension or a one-time lump-sum award.
The amount of the monthly disability pension or lump-sum award is based on the degree to which the disability is service-related and the extent of your disability. Rank and years of military service have no impact on the payment amount.
You can apply for VAC disability benefits by filling out an application form. You can complete a paper application or through your VAC online account. You may need to have your doctor complete a medical questionnaire. The VAC will review your service-related medical records to advise if a medical questionnaire is needed.
Most veterans with service-related disability also qualify for long-term disability insurance benefits paid by Manuife Financial through the Canadian Forces Service Income Security Insurance Plan (SISIP). The SISIP / Manulife long-term disability benefits plan integrates with the VAC earnings loss benefit and disability benefits. If Manulife denies your claim for long-term disability benefits, you can appeal by making a written request to Manulife. This is called an internal appeal. An employee of Manulife will review your claim, and any new documents or submissions, and decide to approve or deny your claim. If your claim is denied at this internal appeal, you have the option to ask for a second internal appeal, or you may file a lawsuit against Manulife for wrongful denial of disability benefits.