Assistance with Veterans Affairs Canada
If you or someone you know might be eligible for Veterans Affairs Canada benefits, we can help.
The Royal Canadian Legion's Veterans Services Network works on behalf of Veterans to ensure they receive the benefits they deserve. We offer assistance and information on sometimes-complicated processes.
The Legion’s Veterans Services Network consists of volunteer Branch Service Officers and Professional Service Officers who provide assistance at all stages of the disability claim process, free of charge, whether or not you are a Legion member.
How we help
Legion Branch Service Officers are the eyes and ears of the Veterans Services Network at the grass roots level, who often first come into contact with Veterans and their families. Branch Service Officers assist Veterans by identifying those with unmet health needs and possible benefits from VAC and then by making appropriate referrals to Command Service Officers.
The Legion's Professional Command Service Officers assist at the provincial and national level providing, among other things:
Information and advice on available VAC programs and benefits
Assistance with the preparation and submission of disability claims
Assistance with the claims process from the first application up to and including a Request for Reconsideration with the Veterans Review and Appeal Board
Professional advice and assistance in accessing other programs and benefits
The services provided by Professional Command Legion Service Officers are free of charge, whether or not you are a Legion member. Our representation role is mandated through legislation.
The Legion also assists and represents still serving Canadian Armed Forces members, RCMP members, and their families.
Please contact a Legion Professional Service Officer at 403 266-5752 for information on benefits and resources you may be eligible for, or to request assistance with Veterans Affairs Canada disability claim or appeals process.
Professional Service Officers are mandated by legislation to provide representation at all levels of the disability claim process under the Pension Act or the Veterans Well-being Act. The privacy and confidentiality of Veterans and their families are of utmost importance to the Legion.
To authorize access to confidential client information, the Veteran or their designate will be required to complete and submit a Claim Application Form, with one piece of proof of identity (current and valid), to a Command Service Officer.
Accepted proof of Identity: Provincial driver's license; Provincial Health Care Card (excluding Alberta and Manitoba); other provincial identification card; other federal identification card; Certificate of Indian Status; birth certificate; marriage certificate; employee identification card (federal, provincial or municipal); Canadian passport
Photocopied documents must be attached to applications sent by mail. Photocopied documents do not need to be certified. Ensure appropriate service number is on photocopied documents.
A Service Officer can assist you
#1 Legion’s Service Officer is trained, knowledgeable and focused on helping you. The Service Officer's phone is at 403 266-5752
Adjusting to civilian life
The Royal Canadian Legion understands that Veterans retiring from the military or RCMP may need help transitioning back to civilian life.
Legion Support for Veterans and their Families
The impact service has on military and RCMP Veterans often makes the transition back to civilian life challenging. The experience of life after release can be different and unique for each individual. In all cases there is a period of adjustment for the Veteran and their family. In some cases, this transition can impact physical and mental health, disrupt financial stability, impact relationships and families, and include addressing or managing physical or mental wounds from service.
Through all of the adjustments and challenges, the Legion is here to help. Our Professional Service Officers can assist you and your family in accessing immediate and long term supports and services:
initiate referrals to Canadian Armed Forces Transition Services for support with relocation and finding employment
provide assistance at all stages of the disability claim process through Veterans Affairs Canada
help you and your family access transition and mental health supports, services and benefits
provide emergency financial assistance, and help you access additional financial supports
provide assistance for families, and help your family access the benefits and supports they are eligible for
To speak with us about assistance in adjusting to civilian life, please contact our Service Officer at 403 266-5752.
Camaraderie and the Legion Community
Legion Branches offer support and camaraderie to Veterans and their families in their community. Currently serving and retired CAF and RCMP members and their families are encouraged to get involved at their local Legion as a way to meet other Veterans and members and get involved in your community.
The Legion is pleased to provide Veterans that have retired from the Canadian Armed Forces within the last year with a free one-year Legion membership, including a subscription to Legion Magazine and access to the Member Benefit programs.
The Royal Canadian Legion provides financial assistance to serving and former Canadian Armed Forces members, RCMP, and their families who are in financial distress. Grants are available for food, heating, clothing, prescription medication, medical appliances and equipment, essential home repairs and emergency shelter or assistance. Smaller comforts can also be provided to Veterans and surviving spouses who are hospitalized.
Assistance to a Veteran cannot be provided over an extended period but can be offered more than once.
Eligibility for assistance
Any Veteran or Veteran’s dependent in need of assistance is eligible to apply for financial aid from the Poppy Trust Fund, including:
Any person who is serving or who has honourably served in the Canadian Armed Forces or the RCMP, as well as their dependents
Merchant Navy personnel who have been awarded campaign stars or decorations, as well as their dependents
Ex-service personnel of Commonwealth countries and their dependents who reside in Canada
Ex-service personnel of allied countries and their dependents who reside in Canada.
The application process includes:
The completion of the Benevolent Fund Application
Undergoing a financial means review
Provide income as well as justification for claimed monthly expenses that are unusual or higher than average, if requested
Additional information may be required, such as: specialized medical reports; supplier estimates, other possible sources of funding, etc.
Additional details regarding financial processes and other funds are below.
Financial assistance available
The local Branch, the Provincial Commands and Dominion Command all consider applications for a Poppy Trust Fund Grant. The amount of financial assistance the local Branches can provide depends on the results of its Poppy campaign. There is a financial assistance limit of $1500 for Dominion Command and Provincial Commands set their own limits.
In normal circumstances, Veterans submit their applications for financial assistance to their local Branch. However, if the Veteran’s needs are significant, several funding partners could be required; or when the local Branch level has expended all of its Poppy Trust Funds, the application should be submitted to the Provincial Command and, if necessary, to Dominion Command with appropriate recommendations on required disbursements from various funds.
To speak with us about financial assistance, please contact your local Legion Branch Service Officer at
There are no residency requirements for ex-members of the Canadian Armed Forces. Ex-service personnel of Allied or Commonwealth Forces must, however, reside in Canada to be eligible for assistance.
Every application for a Poppy Trust Fund Grant is considered on the merits of the Veterans’ circumstances and demonstrated need. The problem giving rise to the Veterans’ need must be beyond the ability of the Veterans’ own resources, and it must be of a sufficiently serious nature to constitute a definite threat to the economic stability of the family.
A grant can only be given if the assistance, on its own or in conjunction with grants from other sources, will provide a complete and immediate solution to the situation, or contribute to a plan offering reasonable assurance of a long-term solution. The recommended solution must be the most basic and cost-effective remedy available.
Payment of grants
As a rule, trust fund grant payments are made by cheque, jointly payable to the Veteran and supplier.
If a Veteran dies after applying for financial assistance, but before a ruling is made and/or a grant is paid out, a grant cannot be awarded. However, if a surviving family member is still in need of financial assistance, they are encouraged to apply for a trust fund grant.
For additional information:
Allied benevolent funds
The Dominion Command acts as a liaison for several United Kingdom Benevolent Funds that exist to provide emergency financial assistance to allied Veterans residing in Canada. Contact Dominion Command Veterans Services for all allied benevolent requests:
Other benevolent funds
The Royal Canadian Navy Benevolent Fund: Provides assistance to ex-servicemen and women who served in the Royal Canadian Navy, as well as former or serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces who have significant service in operational units of Maritime Command or the RCN including Army and Air Force personnel who used naval or sea element rank designations.
The Canadian Forces Support Our Troops (SOT) Program: Provides financial assistance to serving and former CF members and their families. Some of these programs include:
Military Families Fund: Provides emergency support to serving and former military families.
The Soldier On Fund: Provides proactive support to seriously injured or ill serving and former CAF personnel by enabling them to pursue physical activity, recreation and sport.
The Hospital Comforts Fund: Provides support to hospitalized CAF members with access to basic comforts of home such as newspapers, access to television and internet and commissary goods.
Poppy Trust Fund bursaries
As part of the Legion’s commitment to Veterans and their families, Legion Branches may grant bursaries through the Poppy Trust Fund to the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Veterans who need financial assistance to pursue a post-secondary education.
Contact the Legion for more information
If you require assistance in obtaining benefits or need additional information about Veterans Affairs Canada benefits and other benevolent fund programs, or for more information on the Legion's benevolent assistance, please contact the Legion Veterans Services:
Phone: 403 266-5752
Mental Health and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
The exceptional roles and responsibilities Canada’s military and RCMP members undertake while in service can lead to mental health difficulties. The Legion understands the toll serving for our country can have on individuals and we are here to offer our support. Though we cannot assist directly in the specialized area of mental health, the compassionate professionals from the Service Officer Network can assist you in finding the help you need. There are numerous programs and services available for Veterans and their families to get the help they deserve.
Immediate, emergency help is available
* For an emergency or crisis situation, call 911 *
24 Hour Bilingual Telephone Support
The Employee Assistance Services of Health Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada, is a voluntary and confidential service to help serving and retired members (Regular Force, all Reserve Class Members, RCMP, Cadets, Veterans), their family members as well as primary caregivers, who have personal concerns that affect their personal well-being and/or work performance.
For the hearing impaired, dial 1-800-567-5803 (TDD)
Family Information Line
The Family Information Line is a confidential, personal and bilingual service offering information, support, referrals, reassurance and crisis management to the military community. Trained Family Information Line Counsellors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you.
Long term help and support available
Legion support for Veterans and their families
The Legion's Service Officer Network can help you access the supports you and your family need. Our trained Service Officer can guide you and help you find the resources and supports you need.
Our Service Officer can help Veterans and their family members access disability benefits and services and get referrals to specialized programs and resources such as:
mental health services and resources
family counselling and peer support networks
programs that support successful transition to civilian life
health and wellness programs, and more.
Legion services for Veterans and their families are always free and you do not need to be a Legion member to benefit from these services. Contact our Service Officer for more information and to request assistance.
BSO Legion OSI
The Royal Canadian Legion Operational Stress Injury (Blessure de stress opérationnel) Special Section (BSO Legion OSI) is a national, member-driven initiative that provides outreach, peer-support, and referral services for Veterans and their families who are affected by operational stress injuries (OSIs) including anxiety, depression, addictions, PTSD or other mental health difficulties.
Through our members and our extensive network we:
outreach in the community to help identify Veterans in need
offer peer support opportunities, connecting Veterans with others who have been impacted by OSIs
refer those affected by OSIs to local and national supports and services, including Legion Branch and Command Service Officers, local mental health organizations, local community resources, Veterans Affairs Canada, national Veteran support organizations such as OSSIS, Soldier On, VETS Canada, and the Veterans Transition Network, and many other programs and services
help dispel the stigma around mental injuries and illness and support all Veterans in getting the help they need and deserve
If you, or a Veteran or family of a Veteran are in need of support or assistance with an operational stress injury or mental health issue, the Legion is here to help.
Contact our Service Officer 403 266-5752 for more information.
Other means of assistance can be found on the Legion’s Website at www.legion.ca
Calgary Veterans Association Food Bank
The Veterans Association Food Bank and Veterans Association recognizes any person who is currently serving or has honorably served in the Canadian Armed Forces, Commonwealth Allies, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Peacekeepers, Merchant Marines, or Ferry Command (Coast Guard), or who have been discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. Benefits will be extended to spouses, widows, widowers, or any dependent children, based on proof of military service. The Calgary #1 Legion fully supports the Food Bank. For donation or assistance:
Unit 14-2916 5th Avenue NE, Calgary, AB T2A 6K4