Serving You: January/February 2014

January 1, 2014 by Legion Magazine

Question: My stepdad served in Britain, and is now a Canadian citizen and member of The Royal Canadian Legion. He has now been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and is under the impression that there are funds available from the Legion to help my mother pay for his funeral expenses when the need arises. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Mrs. P.

Answer: Dear Mrs. P.:

I am so sorry to hear that your stepdad has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Regretfully, there is no funding available from The Royal Canadian Legion for funeral expenses. The payment for funerals or miscellaneous funeral home expenses are not authorized expenditures under our poppy fund guidelines.

However, I would like to inform you of the Last Post Fund, a not-for-profit organization that delivers the Funeral and Burial Program on behalf of Veterans Affairs Canada. Not all veterans are eligible; the program is for veterans who have service eligibility and whose estates cannot pay for some or all of the funeral and burial.

You mentioned that your stepdad had service in Britain; in addition to financial need, to qualify under the Last Post Fund criteria, the veteran must have served with Allied Forces in the Second World War or Korean War. He must have lived in Canada for at least 10 years, or lived in Canada prior to enlisting and must have been living in Canada at time of death.

As not all veterans are eligible, veterans and their families should contact the Last Post Fund to discuss their situation or to find out if they might be eligible. I would strongly recommend that you or your mother contact the Last Post Fund to determine eligibility, at the toll-free number 1-800-465-7113.

I would also like to bring to your attention another source of financial assistance. Financial assistance may be available for ex-United Kingdom service personnel and their dependent family members from several U.K. military trust funds. We, The Royal Canadian Legion, co-ordinate all requests originating in Canada on behalf of these trust funds.

The funds can be very generous in meeting the needs of veterans and their dependants. Typically grants are provided for food, clothing, medical or dental treatment, mobility devices, and minor home repair. Needs must be supported by written estimates. Paid accounts are not usually considered nor are ongoing costs. The funds are generally reserved for veterans and their spouses in need, who suffer misfortune, encounter an emergency or are seriously disadvantaged. If the veteran or dependant is having difficulty making ends meet on an ongoing basis they may also be considered for an annuity.

Thank you for contacting The Royal Canadian Legion and please pass on to your stepdad and your mother our best wishes during this very difficult time.

I hope we can be of assistance. Please call toll free 1-877-534-4666 if you need any clarification on the trust funds or e-mail service.bureau@legion.ca.

 

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