Veterans’ pension boost gets approved
Bermuda’s war veterans and their widows were given a pensions boost during Friday’s sitting of the House of Assembly.
The Pensions (War Service) Order 2019 raised the monthly payment due to veterans from $800 to $1,000.
The debate, opened by Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, came with reminders for families to familiarise themselves with the benefits package, which includes a host of medical support.
New benefits include coverage for psychiatric services and visits to chiropodists.
Derrick Burgess, the Progressive Labour Party MP who oversees seniors’ issues, said administrators of veterans’ benefits had wrongly cut from the allowance in the past.
“Veterans were getting $800 a month and if the veteran goes into a rest home, their $800 ceased,” Mr Burgess said. “They took it from them.”
He said veterans and widows were covered up to $7,000 a month for rest homes, adding: “No Act gives you the power to take a pension from somebody.”
War Pension Commissioners had “violated the Act”, Mr Burgess said.
“You can’t sit on a committee and just warm a seat.”
Mr Burgess also called on veterans’ families to avail themselves of eye treatment at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.
The service would be provided free at the hospital, but veterans would be billed if they opted for eye treatment at the GP’s office.
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