Veterans Independence ProgramPublished on 17 May 2017 Hansard and Statements by Senator Elizabeth Hubley (retired)
Hon. Elizabeth Hubley (Deputy Leader of the Senate Liberals):
Honourable senators, my question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate.
When the Minister of Veterans Affairs was here last month, I asked him about the eligibility criteria for the Veterans Independence Program and its benefits for surviving spouses of veterans. There is an inequity in these criteria that the Veterans Affairs Ombudsman has been asking to be fixed since 2010. I provided advance warning to the minister so that he would be able to address my very specific question.
At the end of his reply, the minister stated:
With regard to your question, what I will say is that as long as a veteran was in receipt of a disability pension or the War Veterans’ Allowance, a surviving spouse can apply for both housekeeping and grounds maintenance if they are considered low-income and demonstrate the need of these services in order to remain independent in the home.
I was speaking to the ombudsman later and he told me that the problem has not been corrected. Would you please ask when Veterans Affairs will truly be fixing the inequity?