Kamloops veteran says Liberals' lifelong disability pension plan creates confusion

By Jill Sperling
December 20, 2017 - 4:16pm Updated: December 20, 2017 - 5:48pm

KAMLOOPS — The federal government is promising to re-establish life-long pensions for injured and disabled veterans, but one local veteran says the Liberals' pension plan has only created confusion.

Lifelong disability pensions were replaced with a lump-sum payment worth a maximum $360,000 in 2006.

Former peacekeeper Scott Casey says veterans have been calling for a return to the lifelong pension, as promised by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. However, Casey says the Liberals have missed the mark. 

"It's not really an improvement over the lump-sum," Casey said. "What it is is it's just a rewritten form of it. They're going to amalgamate a bunch of the programs that they've released including Career Impact Allowance, and Earnings Loss Benefit and so on. They're combining all of that stuff into one big pill, and it really doesn't change anything." 

Casey says veterans who qualify are already receiving those benefits, and the change will only make it easier for veterans to be denied their claim. 

The government says the new pension plan will come into effect in April 2019, and the most severely disabled veterans will be able to receive a maximum of $2,650 a month. 

"That's pretty weak, it's meager at best," Casey said. "And that's provided you qualify, and again that's 12 per cent, so not very many people. So, we're very disappointed, it's been confusion right from the get-go this morning and all the different announcement times, and so on. It needs a lot of work."

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