Court approves veteran benefit settlement

Federal Court OKs deal for the underpayment of disability pensions to over 330,000 Canadian veterans

Court approves veteran benefit settlement

The Federal Court has given the green light to a settlement intended to address the issue of underpaid disability pension benefits managed by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC).  

This resolution stems from a certified class action lawsuit. The lawsuit highlighted the incorrect calculation of pension benefits. These miscalculations affected members and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and their survivors.  

Over 330,000 individuals were impacted during the period from January 1, 2003, to December 31, 2023.   

Representative plaintiffs argued that VAC had failed to adjust the disability benefits accurately to account for inflation, leading to financial shortfalls for the recipients.  

To rectify this, the approved agreement stipulates a one-time compensation payment to the affected class members, equating to about 2 percent of the total benefits received during the specified period.  

The total estimated value of the settlement is between $435m and $817m, varying with the number of claims made. This payment is designed to compensate for the diminished benefits distributed between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2023.   

Class members currently receiving disability pensions directly from VAC are set to automatically receive their settlement payments later this year, either through direct deposit or cheque.  

However, estates, family members of deceased class members, and other individuals not directly receiving disability pensions from VAC at present must submit their claims in writing by March 19, 2025.  

Claims can be filed online through the administrator KPMG's website, where additional support and information are available, including a dedicated call centre and an FAQ page for guidance.   

The lawsuit was represented by Dennis Manuge, Raymond Toth, Betty Brousse, Brenton MacDonald, Jean-Francois Pelletier, and David White.  

Legal representation for the class was provided by McInnes Cooper, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, Koskie Minsky LLP, Murphy Battista LLP, and Michel Drapeau Law Office, all working together to secure this significant settlement for the affected veterans and their families.