ARMED FORCES PENSIONERS
ASSOCIATION OF CANADA
In my last article published in this newsletter, I briefly
described the objectives of the Last Post Fund (“LPF”),
principally to ensure that no Veteran is denied a dignified
funeral and burial, as well as a military gravestone, due to
insufficient funds at the time of death.
My last article also recognized the relatively recent suc-
cesses that the LPF has had in convincing the federal gov-
ernment to increase the maximum reimbursable amount for
funeral costs from $3,600 to $7,376 and in amending eligi-
bility criteria to permit all Modern-Day Veterans to present
an application under VAC’s Funeral and Burial Program. I
also identified some remaining challenges facing our Vet-
erans in need and their families at the time of the death of a
Three important remaining objectives of the LPF are:
To annually adjust the maximum amount provided for
funeral home costs, and the (Spousal) Estate Exemption,
based on the cost of living, to ensure that these hard-
won and well-deserved benefits are not again eroded by
the passage of time and annual inflation;
To increase the time limit to three years following the
death of a Veteran for the estate to apply for benefits
under the Funeral and Burial Program; and
To significantly increase the (Spousal) Estate Exemp-
tion, or “means test”, used to determine if the Veteran’s
estate is eligible for financial assistance to ensure a dig-
nified funeral and burial for the Veteran.
The results of the recent federal election raise the pos-
sibility that some additional gains may be in store for our
Veterans and the work of the LPF.
Following the election, the Prime Minister sent a “man-
date” letter to the new Minister of Veterans Affairs and As-
sociate Minister of National Defence, Mr. Kent Hehr. The
full text of the Prime Minister’s letter can be found at the
following link:http://pm.gc.ca/eng/minister-veterans-affairs-and-asso- ciate-minister-national-defence-mandate-letter
Within this letter of direction to the new Minister of Vet-
erans Affairs, we find the following text:
“Veterans should not have to fight their own govern-
ment for the support and compensation they have earned.
As Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of
National Defence, your overarching goal will be to ensure
that our government lives up to our sacred obligation to vet-
erans and their families. I expect you to ensure that veterans
receive the respect, support, care, and economic opportu-
nities they deserve. You will ensure that we honour the serv-
ice of our veterans and provide new career opportunities,
make it easier for veterans to access services – including
mental health services – and do more to support the families
of Canada’s veterans.
In particular, I will expect you to work with your col-
leagues and through established legislative, regulatory, and
Positive News for our Veterans and
for the Last Post Fund
By: Daniel O’Connor, Past President, Last Post Fund
Continued on next page...
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