Thank you for having me today.
This bill contains updates to the Veterans Well-being Act, and other associated acts, and delivers on a pension for life option with benefits and services designed to help veterans live a full and productive life after service.
The proposed pension for life option addresses the concerns that military and veterans communities and families have raised with the department. It's expected to come into effect on April 1, 2019. Pension for life is a combination of benefits that provide recognition, income support, and better overall stability. It will provide a holistic package that reintroduces lifelong monthly pain and suffering payments, implements a new recognition benefit, and consolidates six of seven existing income-related financial benefits.
These benefits will give Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans a choice about the form of compensation that works best for them and their families.
The pension for life plan has three key pillars: recognizing service-related pain and suffering, delivering further recognition for those with severe and permanent impairments, and delivering income support when veterans need it.
Every veteran is different. With these changes, the Veterans Well-being Act is even more flexible so that support can be tailored to each veteran's situation and service history. The pension for life benefits in this bill include three new benefits.
The pain and suffering compensation is a monthly, lifelong, tax-free payment that recognizes pain and suffering experienced by veterans and Canadian Armed Forces members with a disability due to a service-related illness and/or injury.
The additional pain and suffering compensation is a new monthly tax-free payment for veterans experiencing barriers to re-establishment after service because of their severe and permanent illness and/or injury.
The monthly income replacement benefit is designed to provide income support to veterans who are experiencing barriers to re-establishment primarily resulting from service, and the benefit is available to survivors and orphans, for life, should they need it.
I am happy to take any questions.