OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 21, 2013) - Mr. Gordon Moore, Dominion President of The Royal Canadian Legion, expressed his pleasure at the Government's response to address the funeral and burial Service benefits for Veterans.
"The Legion's national letter writing campaign is clearly working as we now have an increase in the funding for funeral costs and removal of restrictions around their use," says Gordon Moore. "The Government has stated in the budget it will work with the Legion to ensure that veterans continue to receive the support they need for a dignified funeral and burial. We are looking forward to working with them," adds Moore.
However, Moore expresses concern that there are still two other remaining items - opening funeral and burial benefits to low-income, post-Korean War Veterans and increasing the estate value exemption to a more realistic level.
While the federal government has provided an increase to the funeral grant, today's announcement does not address the accessibility to the program or its extension to low income Canadian Forces Veterans. "The Royal Canadian Legion will press the Government to implement the much needed improvements to funeral and burial benefits program for all Veterans and their families." says Moore. "The Legion's letter writing campaign outlined what needs to be done and how easy it would be for Government to change," adds Moore. There should be no doubt that the issue of adequate funeral and burial support is an urgent issue for all Veterans.
"We will continue to be the voice of all Veterans on this issue," adds Moore. "The number of Veterans who served in World War Two and Korea decreases every year. While the Legion is seeking to expand the eligibility of the funerals and burials program, from a financial perspective, making these changes will not be a significant ongoing burden to the government. Many of these Post-Korean War Veterans receive other benefits they can use to help them with funerals and burials. Over the long-term, an expanded eligibility to low income post-Korean War Veterans would not result in the same annual demand on this benefit as with the war-time Veterans. The Legion is firm in its stance on this issue to ensure that all Veterans receive the benefits they deserve."
The discussion on this issue is not over; The Royal Canadian Legion looks forward to further discussions and consultations with the government for the much needed improvements to this program on behalf of all Veterans and their families.
About The Legion
Established in 1926, the Legion is the largest Veterans service organization in Canada with more than 330,000 members. Its mission is to serve all Veterans including serving Canadian Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police members, and their families, to promote Remembrance and to serve our communities and our country.
The Royal Canadian Legion's Service Bureau Network Service Officers can assist and represent still serving CF members Veterans, RCMP members and their families regarding disability claims or related issues with Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) and the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB). We provide professional counselling, and representation services at all stages of the disability claim process under the Pension Act or the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act, commonly referred to as the New Veterans Charter.