Let's Talk Veterans-April 2021
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In this edition:
- COVID-19 vaccine roll-out
- Tax time info for Veterans and families
- Veteran and Family Well-being Fund recipients announced for 2021
- Coming up for Veterans
- Life after service: Luc Therrien finds his way back home
- Census 2021 makes an impact for Veterans
- Commemoration: 70 years after the Battle of Kapyong
- Veteran success story: Patti Gray finds recognition and fulfillment after a long journey
- Do you have questions about career transition?
- PTSD Coach Canada can help you manage symptoms
- Canada Remembers: The virtual panel series
Do you know how to get your COVID-19 vaccine?
Where, when and how to get your COVID-19 vaccines varies greatly, depending on where you live, how old you are and the state of your health.
Visit the Public Health Agency of Canada for everything you need to know about COVID-19 and vaccines. Reading, acting on and sharing the agency’s information could save lives.
Stay in the loop by subscribing to their weekly COVID-19 newsletter or following them on social media.
- Twitter (@GovCanHealth, @CPHO_Canada)
- Facebook (Healthy Canadians)
- LinkedIn (Health Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada)
- Instagram (@HealthyCdns)
- YouTube (Healthy Canadians)
Stay safe and stay healthy!
It's tax time!
Did you know certain benefits paid to Veterans—such as disability benefits based on pain and suffering—are tax-free? Others, like the Income Replacement Benefit and the Education and Training Benefit, are taxable.
You may have received the following tax forms (depending on your individual situation) for your 2020 return:
- T4A—how much taxable income was earned and how much tax was submitted (under one of VAC’s taxable benefit programs)
- RL-1—tax information if you pay taxes in Quebec or receive benefits under the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) in Quebec
- RL-2—also for reporting Quebec income and tax withheld from Veterans benefits
- NR4 – for those who reside abroad.
Income on these documents may appear larger than the amount you actually received. That’s because they reflect total gross amounts of all taxable programs.
VAC clients were sent their tax forms February 22. These forms are also available on My VAC Account. If you have NOT received your tax forms, please call 1‑866‑522‑2122.
Helpful resources for preparing your tax return:
General Income Tax and Benefit Guide (Canada Revenue Agency)
Guide to the Income Tax Return (Revenue Quebec)
Make sure you are getting all the tax benefits and deductions you are entitled to!
Helping Veterans through the Veteran and Family Well‑Being Fund
In March, Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced 23 organizations that are receiving financial support from the Veteran and Family Well-being Fund (VFWF) for work and research in Veteran homelessness, mental health, the transition to life after service, supporting women Veterans and other vital areas.
You can learn about the organizations and their projects at our VFWF 2021 recipients page.
Coming up in May
- Virtual Victory March, 1–9 May. Canadians can participate in a traditional march alongside CAF members to commemorate the Nijmegen Marches, highlighting the symbolic relationship between Canada and the Netherlands. See more on the Victory March page.
- Mental Health Week, 3–9 of May. Watch the website for tips, information and resources for the mental health of yourself and your loved ones.
- 76th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, 8 May 2021.
Join the virtual Victory March
The Victory March is a walking challenge May 1-9 where Canadians can participate in a traditional march alongside CAF members. This virtual CAF-led event supports and shares in Canada’s military teams’ preparation of Nijmegen Marches, which highlights the symbolic relationship between Canada and the Netherlands.
To participate, pick two days from May 1 to 9 to complete your two-day march challenge - and sign up for one of four walking challenge marches (with different distances and even a weighted ruck-style march)!
Sign up on the event page.
Life after service
Finding his way back home
“I don’t know where I would be today if it wasn’t for the military,” says Luc Therrien, (Ret’d) Adjutant.
“I was going down a really bad path and the military set me straight” confirms Luc.
Luc is so thankful for what the military brought to his life because he had given up. He desperately needed some stability. He found structure, a sense of belonging and a pride that he never knew could exist. He became confident and disciplined while gaining a family from the get-go.
However, Luc’s successful military career left him deeply scarred after witnessing some of the most gruesome realities of war. Life would never be the same. Images would forever haunt him.
Integration into life after service did not go smoothly, and Luc found himself living on the streets of Montréal. Lacking support and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Luc experienced many challenges. Read the article for the full story.
Making an impact for Veterans through Census 2021
Whether you’re a serving Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) member or a Veteran, please identify your service status on the 2021 Census short-form questionnaire when it arrives in May. Every completed questionnaire helps create a clearer picture of the Veteran and CAF community, which is vital in developing policies, services and benefits that serve the community best.
Many groups and organizations across Canada look to the national census results to help them make important decisions that affect their families, neighbourhoods and businesses.
If you’re a Veteran or CAF member, complete your census as soon as you receive it. Completing the census questionnaire online is secure and easy.
For more information, visit www.census.gc.ca.
Marking the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Kapyong
This month, we observe the 70th anniversary of a defining moment in Canadian military history.
Called up from reserve to the Kapyong Valley during the Korean War, the 2nd Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry stood fast in the face of unimaginable conditions as they helped to prevent a costly defeat for the South Korean and United Nations forces. On unforgiving terrain against a fiercely determined enemy, the outcome of the Battle of Kapyong could easily have been different, as the Canadians held off a force several times their own size.
Of the 516 Canadians who lost their lives during the war, 10 were killed in the Battle of Kapyong. Another 23 were wounded, and others returned home carrying the burdens of war with them for the rest of their lives.
The holding of the line at Kapyong was a testament to the bravery and sacrifice of those who so valiantly served in defence of peace and democracy in Korea.
Join us in commemorating this important anniversary at www.veterans.gc.ca/canadaremembers
Veteran Success Story
Recognition and fulfillment in life after service, and after a long journey
Veteran Patti Gray anticipated a long and rewarding career in the Canadian Armed Forces. However, bigotry and eventually, the LGBT purge pushed her out. She excelled in her post-military career also continued a life of service to her community. Today she holds her head high and proudly wears her Pride Citation as a badge of honour. #VeteranSuccessStory.
Read her story on Veteran Success Stories.
PTSD Coach Canada can help you manage symptomsThe PTSD Coach Canada is an app for your smart phone or mobile device that helps Veterans manage their symptoms. Family and friends can also benefit, too.
Download the app for:
- reliable information on PTSD treatment
- tools for screening and tracking symptoms
- tools for managing stress
- information on crisis support
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that occurs when someone witnesses or experiences a traumatic event. Treatment consists of therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Individuals are also taught coping skills to more effectively deal with stress and manage PTSD symptoms, much like the skills taught in the PTSD Coach Canada mobile app.
Don’t have a mobile device? No problem. You can get all the information and treatment tips from the PTSD Coach Canada from the VAC website.
Canada Remembers: The virtual panel series
Take part in a virtual panel to learn more about the experiences of Canada’s Veterans and our military history.
The Canada Remembers virtual panel series invites all Canadians to deepen their understanding of our armed forces’ contributions over the years.
March’s panel discussion featured three Canadian Armed Forces Veterans discussing how to recognize and commemorate the Canadians who have served more recently.
The next virtual panel to be held later in April, “Remembrance in the Digital Age,” will focus on digital activities and initiatives, and new ways to educate and engage a younger audience in the virtual world.
You can register for future panels and watch the full discussions at The Canada Remembers: The virtual panel series page.
Do you have questions about career transition?
You can access a range of assistance in making the transition to a new career after release, from finding a new job that matches your experience and skills, to planning further education and training for a different kind of career.
Start at our Career Transition Services page to find career counselling, as well as help to write your resume and prepare for job interviews.
You can also find services and assistance for families, such as financial planning workshops and the Military Family Resource Centres across the country on the Veteran Family Program page.
Help us reach more Veterans and families
If you have served in the Canadian Armed Forces or RCMP, you may qualify for VAC programs or services that can support your financial, educational or family’s well-being.
You may have seen more information in media and online information throughout March. Please help us reach as many people as possible by sharing information with your networks. Our goal is to ensure all Veterans and their families know that services and supports are available.