POLITICS

Veterans report urges benefits changes to Veterans Charter

06/03/2014 11:23 EDT | Updated 08/03/2014 05:59 EDT
A report tabled Tuesday is recommending the Veterans Charter be amended to acknowledge the government has a solemn obligation to veterans and that benefits for seriously disabled military members should be enhanced.

The Commons veterans affairs committee's report, titled The New Veterans Charter: Moving Forward, makes 14 recommendations.

These include calling on the government to ensure military members seriously disabled as a result of service are not medically released until Veterans Affairs Canada has finalized the initial request for rehabilitation services and financial benefits, effectively bridging the gap until Veterans Affairs can take on their case.

The report also recommends:

- Clarifying eligibility to benefits for life for the most seriously disabled veterans

- Increasing the earnings loss benefit for veterans in rehabilitation be increased.

- Setting out in the Veterans Charter a solemn obligation of the people and Government of Canada to veterans.

The federal government has argued it does not have a social contract with veterans in response to a class-action suit brought by veterans upset with the compensation arrangement offered to wounded soldiers under the New Veterans Charter.