Hundreds of thousands of vets, police officers owed money by Veterans Affairs: report

Accounting errors spanning decades cost roughly 270,000 veterans $165 million. Veterans Affairs initially failed to notify those impacted, prompting a lawsuit and an $817 million settlement.

Hundreds of thousands of vets, police officers owed money by Veterans Affairs: report
The Canadian Press / Adrian Wyld
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Veterans Affairs faces a class-action lawsuit as they owe hundreds of thousands of veterans money.

The Trudeau government has faced incredible pushback from Canadians for improperly calculating disability benefits and pensions, according to the Office of the Veterans Ombud.

Changes to the disability award in 2016 did not account for the provincial basic tax credit in calculating provincial income tax. It failed to notify those affected and promptly send reimbursement after correcting the error.

The ombud believes the “accounting error” cost roughly 270,000 veterans some $165 million. Veterans Affairs said it would repay them in 2018.

However, a 2019 class-action lawsuit says the department failed to index payments against inflation, and made miscalculations spanning decades.

The government settled with disgruntled veterans in January for $817 million.

“When we looked at it, we found in fact there were significantly more benefits that had not been properly indexed over a longer period,” said Michel Drapeau, a partner at one of the firms representing veterans.

The errors went on for 21 years, meaning the number of veterans entitled to compensation is significantly more. 

Around 117,000 military and RCMP veterans will receive payouts from the department directly before December.

The surviving kin of another 215,000 eligible people, who have since died, can file a claim by March 19, 2025 to receive compensation.

“We’re trying every means possible to let them know,” Drapeau told the Epoch Times. They’ve contacted the Royal Canadian Legion, launched advertising campaigns on social media, and sent mail outs to the last known addresses of those people.

Most claims are less than $5,000, according to the Federal Court settlement. However, 40 people are eligible for over $35,000.

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