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Financial assistance for pre-independence Commonwealth veterans

A recent Statistics Canada report indicates the incomes of seniors aren’t rising as quickly as for those under 65. And with inflation at an all-time high, many seniors are struggling to keep up with their basic monthly expenses. This is especially true for immigrants whose Canada Pension Plan payments don’t account for the years they worked outside the country. Plus, those who served the Commonwealth don’t qualify for the same benefits as former members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

The Royal Canadian Legion works in partnership with the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League (RCEL) to provide financial assistance to veterans and their widows who served the British Empire or Commonwealth and now live in Canada, the United States and other Allied countries. (Also see “Life of service,” on page 16.) 

If you know a Commonwealth veteran who served in army, air force or navy—or their widow—who is finding it difficult to make ends meet, they can contact a Legion service officer to start their application for support. 

The documents are compiled and gathered by Dominion Command, then submitted to the RCEL for review. The RCEL may also direct applications to military charities affiliated with the veteran’s service, regiment and unit.

In the event the veteran, or their widow, requires assistance with domestic and/or long-term care costs, quarterly financial assistance may also be considered. Plus, one-time financial assistance is possible toward medical costs, dental treatments, home modifications due to reduced mobility and emergency home repairs.

It should be noted that each case is evaluated individually and depends on personal financial circumstances. A complete assessment of an individual’s needs is conducted. 

For inquiries and to determine eligibility, contact Dominion Command at 1-877-534-4666. 

The Legion is proud to be a member of the RCEL and to honour the service and sacrifice of Commonwealth veterans. 


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