Bureau of Pensions Advocates

Have you made an application for disability benefits and received a decision from Veterans Affairs Canada? If your application was rejected or you received less than you expected, you can review or appeal that decision, and the Bureau of Pensions Advocates can help.

About this program

If you choose to review or appeal a disability benefits decision made by Veterans Affairs Canada, the Bureau of Pensions Advocates (BPA)–a nation-wide organization of lawyers within Veterans Affairs Canada–can provide you with free legal advice and representation.

As pensions advocates, our lawyers specialize in reviews and appeals related to claims for disability benefits. The legal services available to you from the Bureau are the same as those offered by a private lawyer, and are subject to the same solicitor-client privilege. Unlike a private lawyer, our services are free-of-charge.

Do I qualify?

If you have applied for disability benefits from Veterans Affairs Canada and have received a response related to that application, you qualify for support from the Bureau of Pensions Advocates.

How do I apply?

There is no application form to request the help of the Bureau of Pensions Advocates.

To receive advice on the merits of your appeal, or to receive representation from one of our advocates, call us toll-free at 1-877-228-2250.

Additional information

The review and appeal process

There can be several steps in the review and appeal process, but your first step should be to contact the Bureau of Pensions Advocates. Learn more about how to review or appeal a decision.

How it works

All of our communications, whether by phone, mail, or in person are protected by solicitor-client privilege and remain confidential.

When you call us, a member of our team will get the information we need to start your case.

Your case will then be reviewed by one of our agents. They may call you if they need more information.

Once we have reviewed your claim, we will recommend the best course of action. We will contact you to explain our recommendation.

Related programs

Disability Benefits - Compensation for your service-related injury or illness.

How to review or appeal a decision - What to do when you disagree with a departmental decision on your application for disability benefits.

Veterans Review and Appeal Board – The Board provides an independent avenue of review and appeal for disability decisions made by Veterans Affairs Canada. If you decide to appeal a disability benefits decision from Veterans Affairs Canada, you can chose to have a BPA lawyer present your case. The Bureau of Pensions Advocates (BPA) represents the vast majority of Veterans at Board hearings.

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Frequently asked questions

Do I need a lawyer?

Legal services from the Bureau are free-of-charge and your lawyer will ensure you receive the best advice and representation before the Veterans Review and Appeal Board.

If you are looking for someone to explain and help you understand the disability decision you received from Veterans Affairs Canada, or if you need help to submit a request for a Departmental Review, you may not need a lawyer. The Bureau’s team of dedicated advocacy officers can assist you.

The Bureau represents the vast majority of people who appeal to the Veterans Review and Appeal Board. However, if you want to proceed to a hearing with the Board, but do not want the services of a BPA lawyer, you can choose to hire your own legal advisor, seek representation from a Veterans’ organization (e.g. the Royal Canadian Legion), or represent yourself.

Can I challenge a disability decision issued years ago?

Yes. You can request a review of a disability decision made by Veterans Affairs Canada at any time. There is no time limit to review the Department’s decision on your disability claim.

I cannot get the additional evidence you recommended, but can I still challenge the Department’s decision?

Yes, you can. Your lawyer will advise you on the likelihood of success if you choose to continue without additional evidence. The final decision about whether or not to proceed is yours.