Provided on this page is additional information on a number of topics related to the Association Advocacy Program. They may be read using the “read more” button. If you require further information please contact your Division advocate or the Chief Advocate. Contact for both individuals is located at Advocates – RCMP Veteran’s Association.
Eligibility to Apply For Attendance Allowance
This document is a compilation of Research on the Attendance Allowance, complete with the Statutory Authorities of eligibility for RCMP Personnel & Veterans.
Statutory Authority Confirming RCMP/Veterans Eligibility to Apply for Attendance Allowance
Comments from Joanne Rigon
Director General, National Compensation Services
Directrice générale, Services nationaux de remuneration
Thank-you very much for your concern on behalf of RCMP Veterans and your diligence in reviewing the current landscape regarding the Attendance Allowance provisions for eligibility of RCMP Veterans at this time.
The Attendance Allowance as well as the Veterans Independence Program (VIP) for CAF veterans have been researched at this time with the following observations. I realize that you have also reviewed these programs extensively, so I welcome your ongoing discussion going forward.
The Veteran’s Independence Program (VIP) was established under the Veterans Health Care Regulations, under the Department of Veterans Affairs Act. The VIP is not a Pension Act benefit, so eligibility is limited to military veterans and a few others but the RCMP (former members / veterans) are not eligible for the VIP.
The RCMP Superannuation Act Part II provides RCMP members / veterans (RM and CM) with a pension payable under this Act on account of the death or disability of a member of the forces which includes the RCMP. Under Section 38 (1) of the Pension Act, a member of the forces who has been awarded a pension or compensation or both, is totally disabled, whether by reason of military service or not, and is in need of attendance shall, on application, in addition to the pension or compensation, or pension and compensation, be awarded an Attendance Allowance at a rate determined by the Minister in accordance with the minimum and maximum rates set out. Thus, RCMP veterans are eligible for attendance allowance and graded on the level of need.
Chapter 5 of the VAC 2006 Table of Disabilities states that Attendance Allowance is assessed based on a record of factual information covering the applicant’s actual need for attendance. The need for attendance is assessed using five grade levels ranging from Grade 5 (occasional attendance) to Grade 1 (total attendance). The elements which are taken into consideration in the determination of a grade level include: The need for assistance or supervision with: Feeding, Bathing, Dressing, Toileting, Mobility and Medication administration. These are the only (6) elements that are considered according to VAC Policy for Attendance Allowance effective date April 1, 2019.
Comments From Wilf Jephson – Board Member
Veterans’ Review & Appeal Board
Post Office Box 9900
Charlottetown PE C1A 8V7
I have seen the emails recently regarding the Attendance Allowance, and in an attempt to help answer the question, I have provided three decisions from the Veterans Review and Appeal Board that have been put on CANLII. They are all from RCMP members who applied for the benefit. AS RCMP members fall under the Pension Act, and the benefit is offered under the Pension Act, they are entitled to the Attendance Allowance.
Statutory Authorities for RCMP Members and/or Former RCMP Members to Apply for and if eligible to receive the Veterans’ Affairs Canada Attendance Allowance:
Section 38 of the Pension Act:
- 38 (1) A member of the forces who has been awarded a pension or compensation or both, is totally disabled, whether by reason of military service or not, and is in need of attendance shall, on application, in addition to the pension or compensation, or pension and compensation, be awarded an attendance allowance at a rate determined by the Minister in accordance with the minimum and maximum rates set out in Schedule III.
- (2) [Repealed, 2017, c. 20, s. 290]
- Marginal note: Payment of allowance on death of member
(3) Where a member of the forces who is in receipt of an attendance allowance under subsection (1) dies while residing with the spouse or common-law partner or a child of the member and
- (a) the member was a person to whom an additional pension was, at the time of death, payable in respect of the spouse, common-law partner or child, or
- (b) the pension awarded to the member was a final payment,
the attendance allowance shall continue to be paid for a period of one year commencing on the first day of the month following the month of death to the survivor, if living, or, if not living, equally to any of the member’s children otherwise pensionable under this Act.
Section 32 of the RCMP Superannuation Act:
Eligibility for awards under the Pension Act
32 Subject to this Part and the regulations, an award in accordance with the Pension Act shall be granted to or in respect of the following persons if the injury or disease — or the aggravation of the injury or disease — resulting in the disability or death in respect of which the application for the award is made arose out of, or was directly connected with, the person’s service in the Force:
- (a) any person to whom Part VI of the former Act applied at any time before April 1, 1960 who, either before or after that time, has suffered a disability or has died; and
- (b) any person who served in the Force at any time after March 31, 1960 as a contributor under Part I of this Act and who has suffered a disability, either before or after that time, or has died.
Excerpt from Veterans’ Affairs Canada, Allowances Policy:
- An attendance allowance may be awarded to a pensioner under the authority of subsections 38(1-3) of the Pension Act. Attendance allowance is not available under the Veterans Well-being Act.
- An attendance allowance may be awarded to a pensioner when all of the following circumstances are met:
- The pensioner is in receipt of at least a 1% disability pension or prisoner of war compensation;
- The pensioner is totally disabled, whether by reason of military service or not; and
- The pensioner is in need of attendance.
- The guidelines used in the determination of an award of attendance allowance, including the determination of the amount of the award (i.e. grade level), can be found in Chapter 5 of the Table of Disabilities. The amount of the award is based upon the degree of the attendance required by the member or Veteran.
- Although subsection 38(2) of the Pension Act indicates that the Department may cease the award of an attendance allowance in certain circumstances where a pensioner enters a hospital under the jurisdiction of the Department, it does not preclude the award or increase of an attendance allowance while a member or Veteran is hospitalized. For the purposes of this policy, a hospital is any institution that offers acute, chronic or nursing home care.
- The amount of an attendance allowance paid to a pensioner who is not hospitalized is determined strictly by the degree of the need for attendance. The amount actually paid out by the member or Veteran for the attendance is not a consideration.
- As per subsections 29(2) and 38(3) of the Pension Act, an attendance allowance ceases to be paid the first day of the month following the death of the pensioner unless:
- the pensioner was in receipt of an attendance allowance; and
- the pensioner was receiving additional pension on behalf of a spouse, common-law partner and/or children, with whom he or she was residing at the time of death, or where it is determined that additional pension was payable.
In this case, the attendance allowance may be continued to the survivor for a period of one year commencing on the first day of the month following the death of the member or Veteran.
- In lieu of a living survivor, dependent children may continue to receive the attendance allowance in equal payments.
- Paragraphs 13-14 are not applicable in cases where the attendance allowance was awarded after the pensioner’s death under subsections 48(2) and 38(1) of the Pension Act. Under 38(3), the attendance allowance may continue to be paid to the survivor for one year following the death of the pensioner if the pensioner was “in receipt of attendance allowance” at the time of death (i.e.: the attendance allowance was awarded before the date of the pensioner’s death).
Comments from Graeme Shaw
RCMP VAC Liaison Officer
Just wanted to provide an update on my communications with VAC over the past week since asking their Client Issues contact within Service Delivery to dig in on our concerns in regards to messaging and incorrect information being provided to RCMP clients on eligibility for Attendance Allowance.
As a starting point, our concerns were brought to the attention of and discussed with the Directors General in Service Delivery, Centralized Operations (COD) and Field Operations which oversee the National Call Center and area offices across the country. They are all aware that VAC recently hosted a workshop with our RCMP advocate group and myself where Attendance Allowance was discussed in detail along with the differences between Attendance Allowance and the Veterans’ Independence Program (VIP) for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). In connecting with COD and Field Operations, it was confirmed that clear guidance exists that directs VAC staff on RCMP eligibility for Attendance Allowance. In April there was a message sent out in reference to a new RCMP portal which contains information about RCMP eligibility to programs and services which was launched in April 2021. This guidance is on the VAC intranet page with a link provided for all staff to reference. Additionally, Field Operations has provided a reminder to staff about RCMP eligibility for Attendance Allowance down to the area office level which will be helpful. After these discussions with COD and Field Operations, it is felt that an additional message to staff is not necessary as reminders have recently been provided and functional direction is clear.
As for those cases that have come forward, these would have to be examined on a case-by-case basis keeping in mind client privacy and confidentiality which makes it difficult for a third party to follow-up on their behalf. VAC client issues are currently looking into a couple of such cases that I have forwarded to them that cited specific issues or concerns for further review (with Veterans’ consent). Best if clients that have received incorrect information reach back out to VAC through their Case Manager, the National Call Centre of Service Advisors or through My VAC Account and request a review for Attendance Allowance.
RCMP LO with VAC
If there are any RCMP Veterans being told by any VAC personnel that RCMP Veterans are not eligible to apply for the Attendance Allowance because they are not Military Veterans, please let the RCMP Veterans’ Association Advocates know. We will forward the concern to be addressed and corrected.
RCMP Veterans’ Association (RCMPVA)
Reg. No. 33398
[email protected] (Email)
www.rcmpva.org (National Website)
Cases of Interest
RCMP Veterans’ Association (RCMPVA) Advocates were contacted to assist a RCMP Veteran with serious health conditions because of injuries on duty.
Health conditions include a deteriorating loss of mobility. Among other issues, the mobility loss was to the point that a power wheelchair would be required. It was indicated that the Veteran seek assistance from the RCMP Benefit Trust Fund (BTF) and/or the RCMP Veterans’ Association Foundation.
More information was needed as the initial request to the Advocates did not supply any Contact Information. A search of www.rcmpgraves.com showed the name and other details. The Divisional Advocate was contacted as on-the-ground-fieldwork would be needed.
It was also necessary to confirm that the Veteran is currently receiving Veterans’ Affairs Canada (VAC) Disability Benefits. Initial enquiries revealed that it appeared to be so.
The VAC/RCMP/RCMPVA Liaison Officer was requested to contact VAC asking that the Veterans’ VAC Case Manager contact the Veteran and share the Contact Information for the RCMPVA Advocates with the Veteran and request that the Veteran initiate contact with the Advocates to address any and all assistance needs. Confidentiality and the provisions of the Privacy Act had been maintained.
VAC successfully located the Veteran and personal contact with the Divisional RCMPVA Advocate was established.
It was confirmed that VAC Disability Benefits were being received, but that the Veteran was unaware that periodical reassessments could be completed.
With the assistance of the Divisional RCMPVA Advocate, the VAC Regional Case worker and medical professionals contacted the Veteran and a reassessment completed.
The Veteran is receiving:
VAC Disability Pension
– Attendance Allowance
– Exceptional Incapacity Allowance
– Spousal/Caregiver Allowance
Canada Pension Plan Disability Allowance
The Veteran is also covered by the Provincial Health Care Plan
The Public Service Health Care Plan and the Public Service Dental Plan administered through Sun Life.
Current resolution: updates to the VAC Disability Pension and other Benefits are being addressed, as is the acquisition of motorized mobility assistance. The Veteran is aware of the procedure of contacting VAC should future reassessments and needs arise. The updating of VAC Disability Pension/Benefits negated the need to request BTF or RCMPVA Foundation assistance.
The RCMP Veteran contacted the Divisional RCMPVA Advocate to thank the Advocate for the assistance. VAC is prohibited by statute of sharing results of VAC Case Worker and Advocate intervention; plus, it is not often that Advocates learn from the recipients of the results their Advocacy.
On November 17, 2021, the daughter of a veteran wrote to the RCMP Veterans’ Association (RCMPVA) looking for some help concerning her father. RCMPVA CAO Glen Siegersma passed the message on to me as our Division’s Advocate.
The daughter was contacted, and I learned that her father had some rather severe medical issues requiring the assistance of a personal health care worker. As such, an agency was contacted, and the family was told that the costs should be covered.
Two weeks prior to calling the RCMPVA the daughter was informed that the agency bookkeeper had made a mistake and that her father’s nursing care was not covered and gave them a bill for $2,900. The daughter was hoping the Ontario Caregiver Recognition Benefit (CRB) would apply and was seeking information about that.
In conversation with the daughter, I learned he was receiving a Veterans’ Affairs Canada (VAC) Disability Pension for a hearing impairment and informed her daughter about the VAC Attendance Allowance; how to open a MY VAC Account and how to apply for the Attendance Allowance, and use the My VAC Account to submit supporting documentation.
I thought it would take a while to get that reviewed. However, today December 1st, 2021, she advised me VAC informed them that they will cover the costs of the nursing care, Retroactive to January 1st, 2021!
I suspect they expedited the application. What a great and timely response from VAC!
RCMPVA Ottawa Division