Changes come to next of kin form

Military members take note: important changes have developed with next of kin identification.

A new Next of Kin Identification form has been issued in addition to the Personnel Emergency Notification form.  

“It’s separate from the Personnel Emergency Notification form,” explains CWO Cate Gaudet of Base Administration. “It identifies who you consider to be your next of kin for the purposes of selected benefit eligibility.”

The old form had a dual purpose; it identified who the member wished notified in the event they were seriously injured and/or killed, and established member’s next of kin for the purposes of selected benefits. 

With the old form, CF members could only list two people. The form did not allow a CF member to identify anyone under 18 or someone not in their immediate family, and thus benefit eligibility was restricted.

While the old form continues to serve as an emergency notification document, the new form has been created to provide improved benefit accessibility to a far greater number of member’s loved ones.  

“What’s critical to remember is that benefit eligibility is only payable for members identified on the new form.  For this reason, members must ensure they identify each and every loved one individually,” says CWO Gaudet.

Benefit entitlements for personnel identified on the new form include transportation costs, access to bereavement counselling, issuing of condolence letters in the case of a death, and issuing of commemoratives denoting the CF member’s service.

The new form allows the member to identify up to 14 people as next of kin, including minors and non-blood relatives.  

“You can put your neighbour on there, your best friend, that’s up to you,” says CWO Gaudet. “We want to make sure CF personnel and their loved ones are taken care of in the best way possible.”

Because benefits are only available to those next of kin listed on the form, CWO Gaudet encourages CF members to take full advantage of the new form and seriously consider who they want supported in an emergency. 

While the changes have already taken place, and the form is updated annually, it’s important for CF personnel to amend their next of kin form any time there is a change in situation.  

“Say your sister is already on the form and she gets married,” says CWO Gaudet. “You might want to put her spouse on there or her kids.”

By better understanding the purpose of this new form military members will be able to make far more informed decisions with regards to its completion and maintenance.

Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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