The 4 Steps to Take When Applying for a VAC Disability Award

You may hear discussion of your service injury referred to as a pensioned condition, a disability “award”.  Someone may ask you, “Are you applying for an award for your tinnitus?”  The usual troop response would be, “No, I’m applying for hearing aids for my tinnitus”.  Don’t assume the worst, just a different department and different terminology. Always remember, regardless of how it may seem, VAC is there to help you get the services you need and with more knowledge you will be able to negotiate the VAC process in a very positive manner.

From what we have seen so far that seems to be the exception rather than the rule and barring occasional errors, most veteran patients we interact with feel well looked after once the process is complete. Although timelines are a bit long and errors sometimes occur we truly do have some of the best coverage in the country and considerably in the world, to seek a healthier and better quality of life after service for you and your family.   It’s your earned right and worth it to apply.

With most of the process being available online as well as by phone or in person, you, the veteran, have options on how you feel most comfortable approaching this.

Step 1: Your first step is having a diagnosis related to your service.  If you do not have one contact us or Veterans Affairs Canada to assist in finding the appropriate specialist

Step 2: Getting the application form

Most VAC offices are open business hours, closing on government and stat holidays.   You do not need to be a current client of VAC to initiate contact with one of their client service agents, and most offices have a duty case manager of the day if required.   They are able to print off the document you need to get started.

Request by phone

VAC’s phone lines are staffed during business hours, simply ask one of the agents on the phone to mail you an application for disability benefits.

VAC Office Number: 1(866)522-2122

Request online

You can download the fillable form from VAC’s website here.   Fill in your particulars, and print it.


Step 3: Preparing the application

Once you have received the completed medical portion from your doctor you need to establish the connection to your service and attach the items requested here;


Step 4: Submitting your application

There are a variety of ways for submitting your application to VAC. To make it easier for you, we’ve included all the phone numbers, addresses and websites needed for making your submission.


Online via My VAC account:

In person at your local office:

By mail: Veterans Affairs Canada, PO Box 6000, Matane QC G4W 0E4


As always, if you have any questions regarding Veterans Affairs programs or applications contact Spartan Wellness and we would be happy to assist any way we can.


– Andrew Brown, Spartan Wellness Volunteer

Spartan Wellness Announces Donation to Soldier On

“Soldier On Changed My Life.”

Five simple words that we have heard from many veterans. For those that are unfamiliar with the work that Soldier On does, we can personally comment on what an amazing organization they are. In a nutshell, Soldier On provides financial assistance to veterans so they can have access to sports as a form of therapy and ultimately find an activity where we can thrive. The unfortunate reality is that there are many Canadian veterans who are ill, injured and suffering with little to no support.

Thanks to donations and support from Canadians, Soldier On is bringing veterans to a place of acceptance, and on their way to enjoying their new normal.  Over 3,500 serving members and veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces have overcome their physical or mental health illness or injury through sport and other physically challenging activities as a direct result of the services provided by Soldier On.

Jean-Claude (JC) Migneault, a volunteer with Spartan Wellness, is one of the veterans who’ve been able to succeed from Solider On’s services.

“I did the National Golf Camp a few years ago, and that got me back into golf. It gave me a reason to get out of the house and interact with people when I would normally rather not,” said JC.“I had the privilege of going to Scotland with Soldier On, and it was a trip that changed my life. I have been able to not only continue with golf, but I have been able to get [in contact with] friends that were in the same position I was in many years ago, and help them get out of the house and start enjoying life.”

Nine of Spartan Wellness’s founding members give credit to Soldier On for bringing them from a place where they needed the most help to now being able to help others who have made sacrifices for our country.

Spartan Wellness’s co-founder and CEO, Riad Byne, had his life change after being introduced to Solider On. “Soldier On helped me understand my new normal and because of that we are here today giving back to the same organization that saved my life and many others both serving and those who have served.”

It is with a great deal of pleasure that we are personally inviting all to attend the Inaugural Spartan Wellness/Soldier On donation cheque presentation on Parliament Hill at the Canada 150 Rink on Friday December 15th at 5:15 p.m.

Our cheque presentation will be held immediately following the exciting annual Ottawa Senators Alumni vs. Soldier On hockey game (which starts at 4:00 p.m.), and will be attended by contributor & CFL Alumni Michael Collymore, as well as other generous organizations who have made our donation possible.

We here at Spartan Wellness look forward to not only paying it forward with Soldier On by way of our donation, but we look forward to seeing as many of you there to cheer with us as“Great Things Happen Together”.

Thanks for reading.

How to Navigate Your Summary of Assessment (SOA)

A Summary of Assessment (SOA) from Veterans Affairs can be an extremely useful piece of paper to keep handy. Your SOA has several pieces of pertinent information on it that can assist a veteran in many circumstances, especially medical circumstances. Let’s look at what your SOA is, and why it’s a good idea to keep one on file at home.

Your “KNumber”

Each person who puts in a claim for services or entitlements to VAC is automatically issued a file number. A K Number is your file number with a K in front of it. This number is used to keep track of all paperwork, medical and support services accessed, as well as billing purposes with Blue Cross for things like prescriptions and other insurable items. Think of it as your veteran service number.

We shall now and forever and ever – amen – remember our service numbers. While VAC offers veterans the option of using our service numbers when accessing their services, I prefer to use my File or ‘K’ Number. I’m no longer serving, I no longer refer to myself by rank, why would I continue to use my service number? In working with recently released members, a key point I frequently stress is that they need to find ways, no matter how small, to break with their rank and develop a sense of identity separate from their careers. Using your KN instead of your SN when dealing with VAC is a nice, simple way of reminding your brain that you’re no longer serving.

Finding a New Doctor

You’re released, you’ve done your final move, and you’re ready to get on with this retirement thing. Then you need a new doctor. An SOA is a concise list of injuries and diagnosis that is easy for any doctor to read. And let’s not forget that we forget – a lot. Your doctor needs to know as much about your medical history as possible and a single sheet listing both awarded and non-awarded medical issues is a great place to start.

It’s also good to keep track of when you were diagnosed/awarded for a condition, as most, if not all, conditions can be reviewed periodically for reassessment purposes. Your percentage awarded can never go down, but it may go up depending on the circumstances.

Some Service Providers Require It

We at Spartan Wellness pride ourselves in quick and efficient delivery of services. While there is never any charge to any of our patients, many of the prescription providers we connect our patients to require a copy of your SOA on file. Why? So that they can speed up the direct billing process to get you the medication or other service that you need, faster.

Where Do I Get One of These SOAs?

Your SOA is yours, and you can request one any time you’d like. You can drop into any VAC office, anywhere in Canada and request one. That’s right – you don’t have to speak to your case manager, or even be at your ‘home’ office.

You can also request one be mailed to you if you’re not in a hurry. This request can be made by calling 1-866-522-2122 during regular business hours.

Electronic/email copies are not currently available as your SOA contains sensitive information about you and VAC cannot guarantee electronic security.

We hope this information was helpful, and if you have any questions please feel free to send them to