To help Canadian military and RCMP veterans and their families access disability claims, support, and justice – which they deserve and have been denied – to clear the path for even more veterans across Canada.
What We Do
VLAF helps eligible Canadian military and RCMP veterans and their families obtain the support they deserve in two ways:
1) Pursuing legal claims:
We help veterans pay their lawyers so they can resolve disability claims and similar legal actions – to benefit veterans widely – with funding that covers eligible cases against VAC. Usually, after exhausting the VRAB appeal process, a veteran contacts a lawyer at Michel Drapeau Law Office (MDLO) who then applies for VLAF funding. As there are many unresolved disability-related claims with VAC, our funding covers only those legal claims. Cases in family law and criminal law would not qualify.
2) Obtaining support out of court:
We also help veterans understand and apply for the benefits they deserve from the beginning – by helping navigate the administrative hurdles they face when trying to access support for things like treatments and living expenses. These advisory services are provided by our VLAF Board Chair and former MP, Peter Stoffer. You can read about him at Our Team.
About the Foundation
The Veterans Legal Assistance Foundation (“VLAF”) is a charitable organization that supports access to justice for Canadian veterans. VLAF was established to provide Canada’s veterans with funding to reduce the burden of legal fees associated with administrative tribunals and courts. Eligibility is reviewed and selected by VLAF’s Board through an application process. Funding for this charity occurred as part of the Manuge SISIP Clawback class action settlement. A $1-million donation was made by the firms that received fees in the Manuge settlement – McInnes Cooper and Branch MacMaster LLP.
Qualification and Transparency
To qualify for assistance, individuals must meet the definition of “veteran” as defined by Veterans Affairs Canada. Priority is placed on issues broadly affecting veterans nationally. While personal legal matters such as family and criminal matters are not eligible, we encourage veterans facing issues around benefits and disability claims – as well as other “access to justice” matters affecting veterans broadly – to apply through our law firm collaborator, Michel Drapeau Law Office.
Transparency is important. We want to ensure Canadian veterans are aware of how this foundation is utilizing its funding, and we keep extensive records of the cases we have supported. We respect the privacy of individuals involved, so we are pleased to share details on the numbers and types of cases we back, as well as total funding provided.
“We’re very pleased to see something like this being made available to veterans. Our ability to legally pursue disability claims should not be hindered by our personal budgets.”Dennis Manuge
Canadian Armed Forces veteran and representative plaintiff in the SISIP class action