Vol. 145, No. 21 — October 12, 2011
SI/2011-81 October 12, 2011
ENHANCED NEW VETERANS CHARTER ACT
Order Fixing October 3, 2011 as the Day on which the Enhanced New Veterans Charter Act Comes into Force
P.C. 2011-1104 September 29, 2011
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, pursuant to section 21 of the Enhanced New Veterans Charter Act, chapter 12 of the Statutes of Canada, 2011, hereby fixes October 3, 2011 as the day on which that Act comes into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
The Order fixes October 3, 2011, as the coming into force date of the Act to amend the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act and the Pension Act (the Act).
Objectives of the Act
The Act expands eligibility to the permanent impairment allowance (PIA) to those also in receipt of a disability pension, should they meet all other eligibility, and introduces a PIA supplement of $1,000 a month for those veterans receiving PIA who are unable to be suitably, gainfully employed. It also introduces payment options for the disability award and replaces “job placement” with “career transition services” as the name of this program has changed.
The Act amends the Pension Act to expand eligibility to the exceptional incapacity allowance (EIA) so that those in receipt of any combination of disability pension or disability award assessed at 98% or more are now eligible for this allowance should they meet all other eligibility and are not eligible for the permanent impairment allowance.
This legislation responds to two of the most pressing concerns stakeholders have raised since the implementation of the New Veterans Charter in 2006: the need to provide adequate financial support for the most severely ill and injured veterans and the need to provide more flexibility in the payment of Disability Awards.
The Act received Royal Assent on March 24, 2011. However, associated regulatory changes to the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Regulations were required prior to the Act’s coming into force. These changes have now been approved and will also come into force on October 3, 2011.
It is anticipated that over the next five years approximately 3 500 veterans will benefit from the expanded eligibility to PIA and EIA; 500 veterans will benefit from access to the new PIA supplement; and 29 000 veterans and Canadian Forces members will benefit from the new payment options for disability awards.
All major veterans’ organizations were engaged and briefed on the improvements prior to their announcement. Stakeholders also appeared before the House of Commons and Senate committees to give testimony on this legislation in 2011. They have advised that while they see these improvements as a positive first step, work remains to be done.
The passing of the Act aligns with the Government’s commitment to be an accountable and effective government responsive to the needs of veterans; to continue to modernize support systems for Canadian veterans; to rebuild the Canadian Forces; and to give assurance to Canadian Forces veterans and members that, if they are injured while serving Canada, the Government is prepared to support them in their recovery and transition to civilian life. The Department has broadly communicated these changes and has developed media lines and Questions and Answers to respond to inquiries.
Cabinet and Legislative Affairs
Veterans Affairs Canada
66 Slater Street