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Veterans Ombudsman says Veterans have been heard

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Re: Veterans Ombudsman says Veterans have been heard

Post by RCN-Retired on Tue 29 Mar 2016, 23:16

Watched the VAC Minister on a CTV report yesterday, who are the stakeholders he talks about to study the monthly pensions. The pre 2006 had it close to being right as the PA had been in place from many years and was working for veterans, it was the politicians that saw a huge money savings on the backs of the veterans and screwed us. Bring the money pensions back, this given broken soldiers a choice to whether they want the total allotment at once or do the want the same dollar amount divided up over months and/or years is a non starter. If Parent can't get movement sooner then Parent should go.
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Re: Veterans Ombudsman says Veterans have been heard

Post by Guest on Tue 29 Mar 2016, 10:01

Veterans' issues to be heard

The government official responsible for overseeing how the nation's veterans are treated is to be in Kingston Tuesday to hear first-hand what issues are concerning former members of the military.

Veterans ombudsman Guy Parent is to be at the Ambassador Hotel and Conference Centre between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Parent is to make a brief presentation about Veterans Affairs, followed by a question-and-answer session.

"It's a set, structured approach. We normally have some town halls where we invite the public, anybody who is interested in veterans issues, but obviously most of the crowds end up being veterans and their families," Parent said in an interview Monday morning.

"We've found that, across Canada, there is a regional inconsistency sometimes and it is good to know that and to talk to the people there."

During Parent's visit, he is also to meet with ministry staff and local senior military officers about issues affecting local veterans.

Three officers from Parent's office are also to be at the Ambassador ahead of the town hall at 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. and again on Wednesday from 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. to meet with local veterans about their concerns. The 20-minute meetings were by appointment, but Parent said the officials would be at the town hall and could hear concerns from other local veterans.

"Sometimes it's basic things that need to be addressed, and as long as we know about it, we can work with the department to achieve a resolution," said Parent, whose office fields about 5,000 telephone calls a year and opens up to 1,500 cases annually.

Parent said in recent years Veterans Affairs could have been better at communicating to veterans what the ministry offers and how programs can be accessed.

That lack of communication, which Parent said is improving, has created a situation where many veterans and their families don't know about services they can access or how they can access them, and in many cases the veterans give up in frustration before completing the application process.

Parent described last week's federal budget, the first from the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as a "promising start for veterans and their families."

In particular, Parent welcomed increases to financial benefits for veterans including increasing the disability award to a maximum of $360,000 and the earnings loss benefit to 90 percent of gross prerelease military salary, and the reopening of nine Veterans Affairs offices closed by the previous Conservative government.

"I was pleased that we started work with the New Veterans Charter and this complements and addresses almost all of the issues we have brought forward," Parent said.

Since 2008, Parent said Veterans Affairs has been pushing to have financial help made available to cover veterans' funeral costs and it was included in last week's budget as the Last Post Fund.

"Finally, the government is moving in the right direction," he added. "But there is still a lot of work to be done."

Parent noted that there was a movement to provide financial compensation to family members who give up employment to care for severely impaired veterans.

Parent said work needs to continue to recreate the Veterans Affairs programs that are easy to access and meet the needs of those they were designed to help.

"I'm trying to get the government to shape tomorrow and to work on outcomes. What do we want for our veterans? The programs, the benefits, have kind of been invented and stacked one on top of the other but we haven't really looked at what are the outcomes we want for our veterans," Parent said.

"The outcome, when you think about it, it's a roof over your head, food on the table, financial stability for life and a decent status. I want the government to start thinking that way. To have an outcome and build the programs based on that."


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Veterans Ombudsman says Veterans have been heard

Post by 6608 on Wed 23 Mar 2016, 15:50

Here is the Ombudsman's statement on budget 2016...........

Ottawa, ON - March 23, 2016

Commenting on yesterday’s Budget, Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent said: “This was the Government’s first opportunity to put its mandate on the books, and I believe that it is off to a promising start for Veterans and their families.”

Budget 2016 announced significant enhancements to financial benefits for Veterans including increasing the Disability Award to a maximum of $360,000 and the Earnings Loss Benefit to 90 percent of gross pre-release military salary. “I am pleased that the Government has responded to the recommendations of my Office and the Veterans’ community in these areas, and in particular, to my recommendations on the Permanent Impairment Allowance (to be renamed the Career Impact Allowance),” said Mr. Parent. “I am hopeful that this will better reflect the intent of this benefit.”    

Concerning service delivery, reopening the nine offices plus an additional office in Surrey, expanding outreach to Veterans in the North and hiring additional case managers may help Veterans, but it does not necessarily address the process challenges or make the experience less complex or more transparent for Veterans and their families. “Veterans Affairs Canada fundamentally needs to change the way it delivers services to Veterans,” said Mr. Parent. “It needs to look at service delivery from a Veterans’ perspective, and working with the Veterans' community is a step in the right direction.”

“Although many of the initiatives announced in the Budget may indirectly support Veterans’ families, no action was taken to provide financial compensation for family members who give up their employment to become the primary caregivers for severely impaired Veterans,” cautioned the Ombudsman.  “This is one of my priorities and an important way to ensure that our most vulnerable Veterans and their families are supported.”

“I believe that the Government is moving in the right direction to shape tomorrow for Canada’s Veterans and their families,” concluded Mr. Parent. “While Budget 2016 is a promising start, we need a clear action plan and an evidence-based evaluation approach to determine what the impact of these changes will be on Veterans and their families.”

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