Local Legion president says new veteran initiatives will help

The federal government has recently announced new initiatives for disabled veterans

The federal government has recently announced new initiatives for disabled veterans, a move touted as a good one by a local Legion representative, although he said more still needs to be done for veterans.

On Tuesday, March 17th, Veteran Affairs minister Erin O’Toole unveiled a proposal to expand eligibility for the Permanent Impairment Allowance, which would allow more moderately and severely disabled veterans access to financial help. A new Family Caregiver Relief Benefit was also unveiled, which would give eligible veterans an annual tax-free grant of $7,238.

“The changes are welcomed by the Legion and we will continue to urge the government to take action on the remaining recommendations (from the House of Commons Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs) to ensure that veterans, especially the disabled veterans, receive the support that most Canadians expect and probably take for granted,” said Windermere District Legion branch president Ken Carlow.

Also recently announced by the federal government was a new Retirement Income Security Benefit for moderately and severely disabled veterans. Many such veterans currently receive the Earnings Loss Benefit, but it is not available once the veterans are older than 65.

The new benefit would ensure that the eligible veterans total annual incomes is at least 70 per cent of what it was prior to age 65.

On all three measures, Carlow echoed the sentiments of Royal Canadian Legion Dominion president Tom Eagles, that the initiatives are great, but still more action is needed on the committee’s recommendations.

To see the full 14 recommendations visit  http://goo.gl/xEW5MF.

The Valley Echo also attempted to contact the Edgewater Legion for comment. Edgewater branch president Vi Wittman deferred comment to branch services officer Jeff Pollock, but Pollock could not be reached for comment.