Living with Chronic Pain

Health Care Benefits for Veterans in Canada


In Canada, Veterans are supported by Veteran Affairs Canada, a branch of the federal government. Programs available to Canadian Veterans include support for health and wellness. Additionally, financial programs to compensate for injuries, pay for healthcare services and costs, and income support are accessible.

How to access benefits

To access treatment benefits, Canadian Veterans require a VAC healthcare card. To receive the healthcare card, individuals must qualify for any of the following:

  • Disability benefit
  • Veterans Independence Program
  • War Veterans Allowance
  • Financial aid from VAC for long-term care

Individuals with an above qualification do not need to apply separately for the VAC healthcare card. Individuals still serving in the Canadian Armed Forces or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will receive their VAC healthcare cards by the specific home organization upon release from service.

To use the VAC healthcare card

Individuals must show the card to the provider of their choice to receive benefits. Depending on the type of care being received, a prescription from a physician or other health care professional that details the requirements of the therapy and pre-authorization for the service may be needed. To avoid out-of-pocket payments, individuals can choose a registered provider who can bill Veteran Affairs directly.

Programs of choice

There are 14 health care benefit programs, also known programs of choice, that individual veterans can select from. For more information on programs of choice, please visit the Veteran Affairs website here.

For more information about VAC healthcare cards, please contact your local Veteran Affairs website, call Veteran Affairs at 1-866-522-2122, or contact Medavie Blue Cross.

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