Manuge v His Majesty the King
Federal Court, Action No.: T-119-19
Consolidated Statement of Claim, filed 30 October 2019
CLASS ACTION SETTLED
We are pleased to announce that the parties in this action have reached a settlement to resolve the claims, which is subject to Court approval. The approval hearing will be held on December 18, 2023.
A copy of the agreement can be found here: Final Settlement Agreement, November 8, 2023.
READ THE PRESS RELEASE
November 13, 2023 Proposed Settlement in Class Proceeding involving Calculation of Disability Benefits for Disabled Veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (newswire.ca)
ABOUT THE ACTION
Each year, as required by the Pension Act, Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) calculates annual increases in monthly disability benefits to account for inflation. Through this certified class proceeding, Class Counsel has identified several errors in VAC’s calculations. These alleged errors date back to 2002.
Class Counsel believes that hundreds of thousands of veterans and their surviving family members have been, and continue to be, underpaid each month. Class Counsel brought these errors to the Government of Canada’s attention in October 2019. So far, Canada has not corrected the alleged errors for ongoing payments.
Class Counsel is calling on VAC to promptly resolve the miscalculation and compensate disabled veterans and their surviving family members for the past two decades of what Class Counsel believe are underpayments of benefits.
Class Counsel continue to work with the Canadian Department of Justice to facilitate documentary discovery, which will be conducted electronically. A judicial case conference is expected in the coming weeks to formalize a discovery timetable and discuss other procedural issues. Concurrent with discovery, Class Counsel are committed to settlement discussions, which we are hopeful will take place with the Department of Justice after Parliament resumes, and once Ministers are in receipt of their mandates
- The Pension Act provides various disability benefits to recognize and fulfill the “obligation of the people and Government of Canada to provide compensation to those members of the forces who have been disabled or have died as a result of military service, and to their dependents.”
- The Pension Act provides for an annual adjustment to disability benefits to account for the impact of inflation.
- The class action was commenced in January 2019 and amended in October 2019 to seek compensation for new VAC calculation errors identified by Class Counsel.
- The class action was certified by the Federal Court in December 2020.
- Class Counsel estimate that there are approximately 300,000 class members.
On 23 December 2020, the Federal Court certified the action as a class proceeding. The class is defined as:
All members and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and their spouses, common law partners, dependants, survivors, orphans, and any other individuals, including eligible estates of all such persons, who received – at any time between 2002 and the present – disability pensions, disability awards, and other benefits from Veterans Affairs Canada that were affected by the annual adjustment of the basic pension under section 75 of the Pension Act including, but not limited to, the awards and benefits listed at Schedule “A” of the certification order:
- Pension Act: pension for disability; pension for death; attendance allowance; allowance for wear and tear of clothing or for specially made apparel; and exceptional incapacity allowance;
- Veterans Well-being Act: disability award; and clothing allowance;
- Veterans Well-being Regulations: remuneration of an escort;
- Veterans Health Care Regulations: remuneration of an escort; and treatment allowance;
- Veterans Review and Appeal Board Act: compassionate award;
- Civilian War-related Benefits Act: war pensions and allowances for salt water fishers, overseas headquarters staff, and air raid precautions workers; and injury for remedial treatment of various persons and voluntary aid detachment (World War II);
- Children of Deceased Veterans Education Assistance Act: monthly allowance for education; and
- Flying Accidents Compensation Regulations: flying accidents compensation.
Register to be added to the class database
If you are a member or former member of the Canadian Armed Forces or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police – or a spouse, common law partner, or dependant of a veteran – and you received, at any time between 2002 and the present, certain disability benefits from Veterans Affairs Canada, you may be a member of the class. Eligible estates of persons who received these disability benefits may also be class members.
You are not required to opt-in to the action in order to be a class member. However, if you would like to be added to the database in order to receive status updates about the action and its possible settlement, please register.