12/27/2012 11:57 EST | Updated 02/26/2013 05:12 EST

Vets to get up front help to cover cost of remaining in their own homes

OTTAWA - War veterans faced with the daunting task of shovelling out this winter at least will have an easier time covering the cost.

The federal government is putting into effect long-promised changes to how it helps veterans remain self-sufficient.

Beginning January 1, veterans will get money from the government twice a year to pay for housekeeping and grounds maintenance.

The grants will be based on local rates for the services and individual needs.

The move takes away the requirement for veterans to submit receipts for those specific services and then wait to get paid back.

About 100,000 people get help from the government via the Veterans Independence Program, which seeks to allow vets to remain in their own homes for as long as possible by helping defray some of the costs.