North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney reached out to Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay about his department’s treatment of Canadian veterans.
The letter came following reports that veterans were given little notice that their income would be cut off, after some were informed they were no longer eligible for the Dimished Earning Capacity income.
“The government is cutting veterans’ income with almost no warning and asking them to prove all over again that they’re eligible for what they’ve already been receiving. What the heck is going on at Veterans Affairs Canada? How could someone possibly be granted this income without the department having a written confirmation that they’re eligible? And why is the government putting the onus on injured veterans to correct the issue?” asked Blaney. “I hope the Minister agrees that this treatment of our veterans is completely unacceptable.”
Those receiving the DEC income are often seriously impacted service injuries, and Blaney says that the change is causing undue stress.
“The department is unquestionably causing veterans further emotional harm when they’re supposed to be the ones supporting our veterans,” said Blaney. “These people were seriously injured during their service and now they’re unable to financially support themselves and their families. They were told that they would be compensated, and now the department is trying to renege on that commitment.”
“It’s appalling and I’m calling on the Minister to guarantee Canadian veterans it will stop immediately,” she added.
In response to this story, Cameron McNeill, press secretary to Minister of Veterans Affairs, Lawrence MacAulay, said, “The well-being and financial stability of our veterans is our top priority. While staff from the Minister’s office engage with Ms. Blaney’s office on individual cases, it would be inappropriate to comment on the specifics of any file. That said, it would be inaccurate to suggest that Veterans Affairs Canada is broadly cutting off income from veterans with a Diminished Earnings Capacity designation.
“The minister has worked closely with Ms. Blaney on a range of issues impacting our veterans and their families, and will continue to do so as we seek to improve the benefits and programs we provide to those who have served our country.”