I've read the bill pretty thoroughly, and here's my take from it (just my opinion, I'm not a lawyer or anything, so don't take this as a substitute for any advice from anyone in the know)
Here's the criteria as in the bill:
1) The Minister may, on application, pay a critical injury benefit to a member or veteran who establishes that they sustained one or more severe and traumatic injuries, or developed an acute disease, and that the injury or disease:
(a) was a service-related injury or disease;
(b) was the result of a sudden and single incident that occurred after March 31, 2006; and
(c) immediately caused a severe impairment and severe interference in their quality of life.
Factors to be considered
(2) In deciding whether the impairment and the interference in the quality of life referred to in paragraph (1)(c) were severe, the Minister shall consider any prescribed factors.
(3) The Governor in Council may, for the purpose of subsection 44.1(1), make regulations respecting the determination of what constitutes a sudden and single incident.
So, the whole "pensioned or not" thing is irrelevent. As it has to have happened AFTER March 2006, I don't think ANYone in receipt of a pension (under the old charter) would qualify, as I'm pretty sure there are no pensions given out after March 2006.
As for the actual injury, the critical thing is that it needs to be "sudden and severe". There are two words here, "sudden" and "severe" both of which have two meanings. The "sudden" requirement means there needs to be a specific event (or events) one can point too. So, a fall out of a Griffon while rappeling would count. So would an IED attack in AFghan. Busted up knees after 20 years of rucksack marching, or PTSD after a tour of Afghanistan would not.
The "sudden" requierement seems pretty straight forward. It's either a specific event, or it isnt. THe "severe" criteria is a little mushier, and one in which judgement will come into play. IMO, if one gets denied, it will be the "severe" aspect that would be attackable in an appeal. The "sudden" criteria seems much less subjective.
If you qualify in the "sudden" category, all you'll need to do is convince them that it is "severe". THat may be based on your disability percentage (someone paid out at 100% would likely qualify merely by that fact alone). But I don't think it has to be the only factor. If youu can show that your injury was "severe" you'll prob have a good chance.
I also read this part from the top:
" The purpose of this Act is to recognize and fulfil the obligation of the people and Government of Canada to show just and due appreciation to members and veterans for their service to Canada. This obligation includes providing services, assistance and compensation to members and veterans who have been injured or have died as a result of military service and extends to their spouses or common-law partners or survivors and orphans. This Act shall be liberally interpreted so that the recognized obligation may be fulfilled."
(emphasis mine). To me, this last part suggests that the "severe" criteria will NOT be judged according to a super strict standard. The "sudden" requirement, which is much less subjective seems to be the linchpin. If you satisfy that, then the "severe" aspect seems to be a judgement call.