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Canadian Military History Trivia Challenge

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Life Insurance For Second World War Veterans

Soon after the end of hostilities in the First World War, there was a need to provide life insurance protection for returned soldiers, especially pensioners, who were unable to pass the medical examination required to obtain commercial life insurance.  After first considering paying the extra premiums required by insurance companies to cover the estimated excess risks attributable to war disability, the government decided to provide insurance in limited amounts (up to $5,000) and at standard rates to contributing veterans of the war. Accordingly, Parliament enacted The Returned Soldiers Insurance Act which came into force on Sept. 1, 1920.  The final date on which application for this insurance could have been received was Aug. 31, 1933.

During the Second World War, the government decided to proceed with the enactment of new legislation which would provide insurance similar to that available after the First World War.  The Veterans Insurance Act was passed in 1944 and came into effect on Feb. 20, 1945.  It provided that up to $10,000 insurance be available to Second World War veterans and widows, subject to a medical standard similar to that imposed under the former Act. The final date on which application for this insurance could have been received was Oct. 31, 1968.

The administration of Veterans Insurance is similar to most commercial life insurance programs. Premiums can be paid, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually (very few of the remaining active policies have premiums owing).  Provision exists to fully or partially surrender the policy for a cash-value, i.e. voluntarily terminate the policy for a pay-out benefit before it becomes payable upon death. Upon the death of the policyholder, the proceeds of the policy, or any remaining portion of it, may be paid out in a lump sum or an annuity to the beneficiary.

As a final point of interest, the Veterans Insurance program is still active with approximately 1,600 policyholders.

Rehabilitation Under The New Charter

Serving You continues with its series to better explain the provisions of the New Veterans Charter with a look at rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation includes one-on-one case management, medical services, mental health services and various programs to help a veteran establish a civilian career. All medically released CF members are eligible for rehabilitation, including any former member who has an injury or illness from his/her military service that is making the transition to civilian life difficult or impossible.

The following may benefit from rehabilitation:

  • CF veteran medically released;
  • CF veteran who has a physical or mental health problem mainly caused by service that is interfering with reintegration into civilian life;
  • Spouse or common-law partner of a CF veteran who qualifies for Vocational Rehabilitation but is unable to take part because of severity of disability;
  • CF reservists depending on class of service and assigned duties; and
  • Survivor of a CF veteran whose death is related to service.

There are three types of rehabilitation:

  • Medical Rehabilitation includes psychiatric treatments, prescription medicine, surgery, physiotherapy and pain management;
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation includes counselling, group therapy, life skills training, and other similar services to restore independent living; and
  • Vocational Rehabilitation includes one-on-one career counselling, including support for training costs.

Serving You is written by Legion command service officers. To reach a service officer call toll-free 1-877-534-4666, or consult a command website. For 3 years of archives, visit


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