Changes To The Veterans Independence Program

May 7, 2013 by Legion Magazine

Effective Jan. 1, veterans and other clients who receive support for housekeeping and grounds maintenance services through Veterans Affairs Canada’s (VAC) Veterans Independence Program (VIP) will receive two up-front payments per year instead of having to pay from their pocket and wait to be reimbursed. VIP is a national home care program that helps qualified veterans, their spouses and caregivers remain healthy and independent in their own homes and communities.

During the first two and a half months of 2013, more than 17,000 veterans were converted to the new up-front payments. By the end of the year, approximately 100,000 will be receiving their VIP payments up front for housekeeping and grounds maintenance services.

The conversion to up-front payments will happen when a VIP recipient’s benefit arrangement is renewed in 2013. The amount of the two installments will be based on the previous year’s spending, the recipient’s current needs and the local going rates for those services. Veterans who are already receiving support for these services do not need to reapply. Approximately two months before their current benefit arrangement expires, veterans will be sent a letter and an annual follow-up form to complete. Their first VIP grant payment will be sent out approximately two weeks after the start of their new benefit arrangement period. Until then, they should continue to submit receipts.

Most VIP recipients choose their providers and pay them directly. The key difference is that they will no longer be “out of pocket” while waiting to be reimbursed. VIP recipients using registered providers who currently submit their invoices will now be able to choose any providers they wish and pay them directly.

Recipients of VIP who require assistance with arranging services or managing their up-front payments are encouraged to contact VAC at 1-866-522-2122 (English) or 1-866-522-2022 (French). They can also obtain free assistance from The Royal Canadian Legion by calling toll-free 1-877-534-4666.

For more information on the Veterans Independence Program and other services and benefits available to veterans, visit veterans.gc.ca.

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