Veterans to share $100M settlement from feds after Federal Court approval
OTTAWA -- The Federal Court has rubber stamped a $100-million settlement for veterans with disabilities years after they launched a class-action lawsuit against the government.
“The defendant will pay $100 million as the total settlement amount,” the Federal Court decided on Friday.
It’s the culmination of a lawsuit that was launched in 2014 after it became apparent the government was clawing back financial aid benefits for low-income veterans with disabilities. The veterans alleged that they were discriminated against when Ottawa deducted the financial assistance from those who also received disability pensions as a result of injuries sustained while in uniform.
“The settlement focuses on compensation for harm, including pain, suffering, humiliation, and loss of dignity, resulting from this discrimination,” the decision said.
Thousands of veterans are now green-lit to receive payments between $2,000 and $50,000. The amount depends on the degree of their disability and the time they served.
The settlement does not, however, compensate veterans based on the amount deducted from their financial aid. As a result, some veterans who had no deductions to their benefits might receive payments – and some who had deductions over several years will be undercompensated, according to the decision.
“The plaintiff and class counsel acknowledge that the settlement is not perfect for each class member but note that perfection is not the standard and that the settlement is fair and reasonable for the class as a whole,” the decision said.
Former Veterans Affairs minister Seamus O’Regan touted the settlement when it was announced in September.