Veterans owed $165 million due to accounting error in disability pensions

An accounting indexation error by Veterans Affairs Canada has deprived thousands of veterans of indexation increases to their monthly disability pension, according to Canada’s veterans Ombudsman.

The office of the veterans ombudsman uncovered the error, which could total around $165 million for the period of 2003 and 2010, when it analyzed the math behind the implementation of a change to the disability award. When examining Veterans Affairs’ worksheets, the office of the ombudsman noticed that, for a number of years, the provincial basic tax credit wasn’t factored into the calculation of provincial income tax as it was supposed to be, resulting in lower payments for veterans.

The office of the veterans ombudsman noted it will continue to examine benefits and services delivered to veterans and their families to ensure they receive what they’re entitled to.

“When veterans do not receive what they are owed, it has negative impacts not just on them, but on their families too, and can lead to much frustration with the government,” said Guy Parent, veterans ombudsman, in a press release. ”In this case, no matter the amount, this is money that should have been in veterans’ pockets. I am pleased that VAC is now working on a plan to re-pay those who are affected.” 

Read: Reimbursing benefits key unresolved issue for Veterans Affairs, says report card