Explainer: Canadian military benefits and pensions
Soldiers patrol an area in the Dand district of southern Afghanistan on Sunday, June 7, 2009. (Colin Perkel / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
What’s the typical length of service in the Canadian Forces?
Depending on the occupation chosen, length of service in the Canadian Forces usually ranges between three to nine years, not including subsidized training or education.
What kind of discharges are there?
- Honourable: Those who receive an honourable discharge are generally eligible for most veteran benefits.
- Dishonourable: Typically, a dishonourable discharge results in the loss of medical benefits and veteran status.
- Medical: Those who are discharged from the Canadian Forces for medical reasons can receive career supports as they transition to civilian life.
What’s happens to a CF member’s pension if they are discharged due to a disability?
According to the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces, if a CF member is released from duty because of a disability, they are entitled to an unreduced pension if they have accumulated 10 years of pensionable service.
What kind of help do Canadian Forces members injured in Afghanistan receive?
According to Veterans Affairs Canada, those who are injured but are able to remain in the military will receive health care benefits from the Department of National Defence and they can immediately qualify for a Disability Award and other benefits.
What’s a Disability Award?
The Disability Award provides injured Canadian Forces members or veterans with a tax-free cash award for an injury or illness resulting from military service. The amount of the award will depend on the degree to which the disability is related to your service, and the extent of the disability. Military rank or years of service have no connection to the amount received.
What’s a Disability Pension?
Disability pensions provide monthly tax-free payments to CF members and veterans. The amount of the award will depend on the degree to which the disability is related to your service, and the extent of the disability. Military rank or years of service have no connection to the amount received.
What if a veteran needs long-term care?
If a veteran needs long-term care, Veterans Affairs Canada can contribute to the cost of care if the veteran meets certain criteria, for example, military service, income eligibility, and/or whether their need for long term care is due to a service related disability. If a facility is full, a veteran may be placed on a waitlist or given other placement options.