Health and Well-Being for Veterans

A man with a hand on his shoulder

Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) offers health and well-being programs and services to qualified veterans. Some of these services may also be available to their families or survivors.

Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance Program

The VAC Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance Program provides Canadian Armed Forces veterans with access to medical, psycho-social and vocational rehabilitation services. It also provides vocational services to support veterans’ transition to civilian life. CAF veterans receive support from individual case management services throughout the program.

Four groups of people may be eligible for assistance under this program:

  • CAF veterans (including some reservists) who have been medically released within the last 120 days
  • CAF veterans who have a physical or mental health problem resulting primarily from their service in the CAF and that prevents or limits their function
  • Spouses of CAF veterans eligible for the Program, if the veteran is unable to benefit from vocational rehabilitation (for example, if the veteran is not capable of suitable, gainful employment) as a result of the eligible health problem(s)
  • Survivors of CAF members or veterans who have died as a result of a service-related injury or disease

What kinds of rehabilitation services are funded?

The program funds different types of rehabilitation services:

  • Medical rehabilitation services, such as medical treatment, psychiatric treatment, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, massage therapy, prosthetics and aids
  • Psycho-social rehabilitation services, such as pain management, psychological counselling and life-skills training
  • Vocational rehabilitation services, such as specialized assessments, vocational counselling and reimbursement for training costs, including tuition and supplies
  • Vocational assistance services, such as employability assessments, career counselling and reimbursement for training and related costs

Career Transition Services

VAC Career Transition Services provide practical help, such as job search training and career counselling to CAF veterans or their survivors. These services are designed to help veterans transition to civilian life. CAF veterans can apply up to two years from their date of release. Survivors can apply up to two years following the date of death.

Health Benefits Program

The VAC Health Benefits Program provides eligible CAF veterans and survivors with access to the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) for themselves and their families.

The following people may qualify for PSHCP benefits:

  • CAF veterans who have been approved for benefits under the Service Income Security Insurance (SISIP) Plan Long Term Disability (LTD) and do not otherwise qualify for PSHCP
  • CAF veterans approved for VAC’s Rehabilitation Program who are not otherwise eligible for PSHCP after their release
  • The survivors of CAF members or veterans whose death is service-related and are not otherwise eligible for PSHCP

There is a monthly cost for access to the PSHCP.

Health-care benefits

Those who receive benefits through certain VAC disability programs are also eligible for various treatment benefits, which are broken down into 14 Programs of Choice (POCs):

  • Aids for daily living
  • Ambulance services
  • Audio services
  • Dental services
  • Hospital services
  • Medical services
  • Medical supplies
  • Nursing services
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Prescription drugs
  • Prosthetics and orthoses
  • Related health services
  • Special equipment
  • Vision (eye) care

Costs associated with travel to receive eligible medical treatment may be also covered in certain circumstances. So too may the cost of travel for an escort when necessary.

In addition, a Treatment Allowance may be paid to a pensioner who is receiving acute care for a pensioned condition in a hospital or on an outpatient basis.

Other programs

For information on other health and well-being programs, visit the links below.

This sounds complicated. Where do I go for help?

Because of the eligibility complexity of VAC Programs and Services, we recommend you visit the VAC website or call toll-free 1-866-522-2122 (English) or 1-866-522-2022 (French) for more information.