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Veterans Well-being Act (S.C. 2005, c. 21)

Act current to 2021-11-17 and last amended on 2020-07-27. Previous Versions

Veterans Well-being Act

S.C. 2005, c. 21

Assented to 2005-05-13

An Act to provide services, assistance and compensation to or in respect of Canadian Forces members and veterans and to make amendments to certain Acts

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Veterans Well-being Act.

  • 2005, c. 21, s. 1
  • 2017, c. 20, s. 270

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

  •  (1) The following definitions apply in this Act.

    aggravated by service

    aggravated by service, in respect of an injury or a disease, means an injury or a disease that has been aggravated, if the aggravation

    • (a) was attributable to or was incurred during special duty service; or

    • (b) arose out of or was directly connected with service in the Canadian Forces. (due au service)

    Board

    Board means the Veterans Review and Appeal Board established by section 4 of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board Act. (Tribunal)

    Canadian Forces

    Canadian Forces means the armed forces referred to in section 14 of the National Defence Act, and includes any predecessor naval, army or air forces of Canada or Newfoundland. (Forces canadiennes)

    common-law partner

    common-law partner, in relation to a member or a veteran, means a person who is cohabiting with the member or veteran in a conjugal relationship, having so cohabited for a period of at least one year. (conjoint de fait)

    compensation

    compensation means any of the following benefits under this Act, namely, an education and training benefit, an education and training completion bonus, an income replacement benefit, a Canadian Forces income support benefit, a critical injury benefit, a disability award, pain and suffering compensation, additional pain and suffering compensation, a death benefit, a clothing allowance, a detention benefit or a caregiver recognition benefit. (indemnisation)

    dependent child

    dependent child, in relation to a member or a veteran, means their child, or a child of their spouse or common-law partner who is ordinarily residing in the member’s or veteran’s household, who is

    • (a) under the age of 18 years;

    • (b) under the age of 25 years and following a course of instruction approved by the Minister; or

    • (c) over the age of 18 years and prevented by physical or mental incapacity from earning a livelihood, if the incapacity occurred

      • (i) before the child attained the age of 18 years, or

      • (ii) after the age of 18 years and before the age of 25 years while the child was following a course of instruction approved by the Minister. (enfant à charge)

    disability

    disability means the loss or lessening of the power to will and to do any normal mental or physical act. (invalidité)

    disability award

    disability award means a disability award paid under section 45, 47 or 48 of this Act as it read immediately before April 1, 2019. (indemnité d’invalidité)

    medical assistance in dying

    medical assistance in dying has the same meaning as in section 241.1 of the Criminal Code. (aide médicale à mourir)

    medical rehabilitation

    medical rehabilitation includes any physical or psychological treatment whose object is to stabilize and restore the basic physical and psychological functions of a person. (réadaptation médicale)

    member

    member means an officer or a non-commissioned member of the Canadian Forces, as those terms are defined in subsection 2(1) of the National Defence Act. (militaire)

    Minister

    Minister means the Minister of Veterans Affairs. (ministre)

    orphan

    orphan, in relation to a deceased member or a deceased veteran, means their child, or a child of their survivor who at the time of the member’s or veteran’s death was ordinarily residing in the member’s or veteran’s household, who is

    • (a) under the age of 18 years;

    • (b) under the age of 25 years and following a course of instruction approved by the Minister; or

    • (c) over the age of 18 years and prevented by physical or mental incapacity from earning a livelihood, if the incapacity occurred

      • (i) before the child attained the age of 18 years, or

      • (ii) after the age of 18 years and before the age of 25 years while the child was following a course of instruction approved by the Minister. (orphelin)

    personal information

    personal information has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Privacy Act. (renseignements personnels)

    prescribed

    prescribed means prescribed by regulation.

    psycho-social rehabilitation

    psycho-social rehabilitation includes any psychological or social intervention whose object is to restore a person to a state of independent functioning and to facilitate their social adjustment. (réadaptation psychosociale)

    rehabilitation services

    rehabilitation services means all services related to the medical rehabilitation, psycho-social rehabilitation or vocational rehabilitation of a person. (services de réadaptation)

    service-related injury or disease

    service-related injury or disease means an injury or a disease that

    • (a) was attributable to or was incurred during special duty service; or

    • (b) arose out of or was directly connected with service in the Canadian Forces. (liée au service)

    special duty service

    special duty service means service as a member in a special duty area designated under section 69, or as a member as part of a special duty operation designated under section 70, during the period in which the designation is in effect. It includes any of the following that occurred during that period but not earlier than September 11, 2001:

    • (a) periods of training for the express purpose of service in that area or as part of that operation, wherever that training takes place;

    • (b) travel to and from the area, the operation or the location of training referred to in paragraph (a); and

    • (c) authorized leave of absence with pay during that service, wherever that leave is taken. (service spécial)

    survivor

    survivor, in relation to a deceased member or a deceased veteran, means

    • (a) their spouse who was, at the time of the member’s or veteran’s death, residing with the member or veteran; or

    • (b) the person who was, at the time of the member’s or veteran’s death, the member’s or veteran’s common-law partner. (survivant)

    veteran

    veteran means a former member. (vétéran)

    vocational assistance

    vocational assistance includes employability assessments, career counselling, training, job-search assistance and job-finding assistance, whose object is to help a person to find appropriate employment. (assistance professionnelle)

    vocational rehabilitation

    vocational rehabilitation includes any process designed to identify and achieve an appropriate occupational goal for a person with a physical or a mental health problem, given their state of health and the extent of their education, skills and experience. (réadaptation professionnelle)

  • Marginal note:Couples who are living apart

    (2) For the purposes of this Act, a spouse is deemed to be residing with a member or a veteran, and a person does not cease to be a member’s or a veteran’s common-law partner, if it is established that they are living apart by reason only of

    • (a) one or both of them having to reside in a health care facility;

    • (b) circumstances of a temporary nature; or

    • (c) other circumstances not within the control of the member or veteran or the spouse or common-law partner.

  • Marginal note:References to spouses

    (3) A reference in this Act to a member’s or a veteran’s spouse is a reference to a member’s or a veteran’s spouse who is residing with the member or veteran.

  • Marginal note:Recent marriage

    (4) This Act does not apply to a member’s or a veteran’s surviving spouse if the member or veteran dies within one year after the date of the marriage, unless

    • (a) in the opinion of the Minister, the member or veteran was at the time of that marriage in such a condition of health as to justify their having an expectation of life of at least one year; or

    • (b) at the time of the member’s or veteran’s death, the spouse was cohabiting with the member or veteran in a conjugal relationship, having so cohabited for a period of at least one year.

  • Marginal note:Conduct of member or veteran

    (5) This Act does not apply in respect of a member’s or a veteran’s physical or mental health problem, disability or death if it is caused by a wilful self-inflicted injury or improper conduct on the member’s or veteran’s part, including wilful disobedience of an order and vicious or criminal conduct.

  • Marginal note:Interpretation — medical assistance in dying

    (6) For the purposes of this Act, a member or veteran has neither inflicted wilful self-injury nor engaged in improper conduct by reason only that they receive medical assistance in dying, if the requirement set out in paragraph 241.2(3)(a) of the Criminal Code has been met.

  • Marginal note:Deeming — medical assistance in dying

    (7) For the purposes of this Act, if a member or a veteran receives medical assistance in dying, that member or veteran is deemed to have died as a result of the illness, disease or disability for which they were determined to be eligible to receive that assistance, in accordance with paragraph 241.2(3)(a) of the Criminal Code.

  • 2005, c. 21, s. 2
  • 2015, c. 36, s. 206
  • 2016, c. 3, s. 9, c. 7, s. 97
  • 2017, c. 20, s. 271
  • 2018, c. 12, s. 123

Purpose

Marginal note:Purpose

 The purpose of this Act is to recognize and fulfil the obligation of the people and Government of Canada to show just and due appreciation to members and veterans for their service to Canada. This obligation includes providing services, assistance and compensation to members and veterans who have been injured or have died as a result of military service and extends to their spouses or common-law partners or survivors and orphans. This Act shall be liberally interpreted so that the recognized obligation may be fulfilled.

  • 2015, c. 36, s. 207

PART 1Career Transition Services

Marginal note:Eligibility

  •  (1) Subject to this section, the Minister may, on application, provide career transition services to

    • (a) a member who has completed basic training;

    • (b) a veteran who completed basic training and who was released from the Canadian Forces on or after April 1, 2006;

    • (c) a veteran who is entitled to a Canadian Forces income support benefit;

    • (d) a spouse or common-law partner of a veteran who completed basic training and who was released from the Canadian Forces on or after April 1, 2006;

    • (e) a survivor of a member who completed basic training and who died on or after April 1, 2006;

    • (f) a survivor of a veteran who completed basic training and who was released from the Canadian Forces on or after April 1, 2006; and

    • (g) a survivor who is entitled to a Canadian Forces income support benefit.

  • Marginal note:Limitation — member

    (2) Career transition services may be provided to a member only if the member resides in Canada and the Minister is satisfied that they require assistance in making the transition to the civilian labour force.

  • Marginal note:Limitation — veteran

    (3) Career transition services may be provided to a veteran only if

    • (a) the veteran resides in Canada;

    • (b) the Minister is satisfied that the veteran requires assistance in making the transition to the civilian labour force; and

    • (c) the veteran is not receiving rehabilitation services under Part 2.

  • Marginal note:Limitation — spouse, common-law partner or survivor

    (4) Career transition services may be provided to a spouse, common-law partner or survivor only if they reside in Canada and are not receiving rehabilitation services or vocational assistance under Part 2.

  • Marginal note:Period — spouse or common-law partner of veteran

    (5) A spouse or common-law partner of a veteran who completed basic training and who was released from the Canadian Forces on or after April 1, 2006 may receive career transition services until the later of

    • (a) March 31, 2020, and

    • (b) the second anniversary of the day on which the veteran was released.

Marginal note:Assessment of needs

  •  (1) The Minister shall, on approving an application made under section 3, assess the needs of the member, veteran, spouse, common-law partner or survivor with respect to the career transition services that may be provided to them under this Part.

  • Marginal note:Career transition plan

    (2) The Minister may develop and implement a career transition plan to address the needs that are identified in the assessment.

  • Marginal note:Development of plan

    (3) In developing a career transition plan, the Minister shall have regard to any prescribed principles.

  • 2005, c. 21, s. 4
  • 2011, c. 12, s. 4
  • 2017, c. 20, s. 273

Marginal note:Suspend or cancel

 The Minister may, in the prescribed circumstances, suspend or cancel the provision of career transition services to a person under this Part.

  • 2005, c. 21, s. 5
  • 2011, c. 12, s. 5
  • 2017, c. 20, s. 274

Marginal note:Regulations

 The Governor in Council may make regulations

  • (a) respecting the career transition services that may be provided under this Part; and

  • (b) defining residence and defining intervals of absence from Canada that shall be deemed not to have interrupted residence in Canada for the purposes of subsections 3(2) to (4).

  • 2017, c. 20, s. 274
 
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