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What benefits are available to surviving spouses and families of Canadian Forces Members?

When a death occurs, VAC’s Casualty Support Protocol is invoked. An Area counselor is assigned to the survivor/family. Working closely with the DND Assisting Officer, the Area Counselor will work with the client/family to identify the needs and help access, on a priority basis, the services and programs that are required. The Area Counselor will plan, organize, coordinate and monitor the VAC services and resources required to respond to the needs.

Death Benefit
The Death Benefit will recognize and compensate a surviving spouse/common-law partner and/or surviving dependent child(ren) of a member for the non-economic impacts of a sudden service-related death, which includes the member’s loss of life, the resulting loss of guidance, care, companionship and the impact of the member’s death on the functioning of the household.
The Death Benefit and Disability awards payable under the CFMVRCA, which are administered exclusively by Veterans Affairs Canada, is separate from CFSA. No contributions are made and the benefits are not dependent on average pay or years of service, but rather on the extent of the member’s disability.

Vocational Assistance
When the death of the CF member/Veteran is related to service, Vocational Assistance, including rehabilitation services, is available based on need to the surviving spouse/common-law partner.

Financial Benefits
When the death of a CF member/Veteran is related to service, the surviving spouse/common-law partner and orphans are eligible for the Earnings Loss Benefit and the Canadian Forces Income Support. Survivors/common-law partners are also eligible for the Supplementary Retirement Benefit.

Health Benefits Program
When the death of the CF member/Veteran is related to service, the surviving spouse/common-law partner, if not otherwise eligible for the Public Service Health Care Plan, can enroll in the Public Service Health Care Plan through the Health Benefits Program and obtain coverage for themselves and their family.

Education Assistance
Education Assistance may be available to help children carry on their education past high school if they have a CF parent who dies as a result of military service. Under the program, full-time students can qualify for grants to help pay for their education costs and living expenses.

Answers via Veterans Affairs Canada. For more information or contact one of VAC’s toll-free numbers at 1-866-522-2122 (English) or 1-866-522-2022 (French).

Posted in: Financial Questions, Government Benefits