Veterans affairs to stop clawing back pensions
Published Wednesday, October 10, 2012 10:54AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 10, 2012 7:33PM EDT
The federal government is going to stop its policy of clawing back benefits from disabled soldiers.
The move comes after Ottawa lost a court case earlier this year.
Until now veterans who were medically discharged received benefit cheques equal to 75 percent of their pre-release pay, minus a deduction for any disability payments.
Several of those affected took the matter to court, saying it was not fair to be penalized for injuries incurred while serving the country.
Veteran Dan Lafontaine says the elimination of the clawback will significantly improve the quality of life for many veterans, many of whom cannot work on a full-time basis.
"A lot of the people will probably only be able to work 10 hours a month, 20 hours a month, 30 hours a month," said Lafontaine.
"It will help these guys who live with it to have a better future and have a better pride."
Veterans Affairs minister Steven Blaney made the announcement Wednesday at CFB Valcartier in Quebec, saying 2,500 veterans will see an increase in their monthly benefit cheques.
"The new Veterans charter is aimed at ensuring our veterans are making a swift transition to civilian life," said Blaney.
The end of the clawback policy comes into effect immediately, and may be made retroactive, although Blaney did not make any specific promises to that effect.
The move is expected to cost $178 million over the next five years.