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Thousands of veterans waiting as backlog for disability benefits explodes

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Re: Thousands of veterans waiting as backlog for disability benefits explodes

Post by Bruce72 on Tue 12 Dec 2017, 09:46

Could these calls be part of VAC's suicide prevention strategy? I just thought of that now.

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Re: Thousands of veterans waiting as backlog for disability benefits explodes

Post by Bruce72 on Tue 12 Dec 2017, 09:12

Has anyone else received a phone call recently like the one I had yesterday?

Someone (not my case manager and different from yesterday) called me again this morning from VAC but I was shaving my head and didn't answer the call. I called back left a message and am awaiting a return call.

What is going on?


Last edited by Bruce72 on Tue 12 Dec 2017, 09:14; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added info in brackets)

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Re: Thousands of veterans waiting as backlog for disability benefits explodes

Post by Bruce72 on Tue 12 Dec 2017, 07:39

I have no idea where this comes into play, but yesterday I received a call from VAC. I can't remember from which department exactly. Anyway, The lady on the phone (not my case manager) was very nice and asked me if it would be okay if she asked me a series of questions regarding my benefits and my overall well being to see if there was anything VAC could do to improve my quality of life.

I was on the phone with her for about 40 minutes and the questions ranged from queries like, can I do housework, have a shower, prepare meals and do yard work etcetera. Other questions were geared towards my overall satisfaction with VAC's programs that I have accessed as well as whether or not I am satisfied with the benefits that I receive from VAC. Those benefits being, 4 pensions under PA Act, CIA Level 3, ELB, currently on Psycho-social Rehab and medical cannabis 3 grams a day.

I assumed the worker at VAC was calling about my application for the VIP program, but it wasn't until halfway through our conversation that we both realized my application had not been entered into the system yet. I wasn't upset about this because, I had only made the application four weeks ago. However, by the end of the day yesterday it had been entered into the system and had moved to the decision making stage on MY VAC Account.

Also, by the end of our conversation she had suggested I apply for a reassessment for both my feet and both knees for which I have been in receipt of monthly pensions under the PA Act since 2005. I did request a reassessment in 2010 but was denied an increase and I just let it go without an appeal. Apparently, she's initiated the reassessment for me at her end.

In all the 12 years I have been receiving benefits from VAC I have never had a phone call like that before. The lady was nice and respectful and asked if there was anything VAC could be doing that they are not already doing, I was blown away.

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Re: Thousands of veterans waiting as backlog for disability benefits explodes

Post by Guest on Tue 12 Dec 2017, 04:52

I have two sitting on hold in vrab I will never fight for, because their a piece of 💩.

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Thousands of veterans waiting as backlog for disability benefits explodes

Post by BinRat on Mon 11 Dec 2017, 16:12

http://www.lfpress.com/2017/12/10/thousands-of-veterans-waiting-as-backlog-for-disability-benefits-explodes

CANADIAN PRESS
Sunday, December 10, 2017 3:02:29 EST PM


Veteran Affairs Minister Seamus O'Regan gestures during an interview in his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, December 6, 2017. New figures show the number of veterans waiting to find out whether they qualify for disability benefits has skyrocketed over the past eight months, leaving thousands of former military members in limbo.Fred Chartrand / The Canadian Press



OTTAWA - The number of veterans waiting to find out whether they qualify for disability benefits has skyrocketed over the last eight months, new figures show, leaving thousands of former military members in limbo.

Veterans Affairs Canada says there were about 29,000 applications for disability benefits in the queue waiting to be processed at the end of November — a nearly 50 per cent increase since the end of March.

Nearly one-third of those applications have been in the line for more than 16 weeks, which is also an increase since the spring and a sign that wait times are continuing to grow.

Veterans’ advocates have long criticized how long some retired service members have been forced to wait to find out whether they qualify for support and services after sustaining an injury in uniform.

Federal auditor general Michael Ferguson also previously flagged concerns about delays in processing applications from those who have suffered psychological trauma.



But revelations of the actual size of the backlog have prompted fresh surprise and shock, as well as concerns about the impact on the thousands of veterans having to deal with months of uncertainty over their claims.

“It’s so important for people in transitioning to civilian life and can impact a whole bunch of factors, including the ability to pay your bills,” said Scott Maxwell, executive director of Wounded Warriors Canada.

“In some cases, it can mean the difference between being a homeless veteran and not.”

Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan admitted the government needs to do better to ensure disabled veterans get the benefits they need and deserve and said action is being taken.

That includes hiring hundreds more staff, streamlining the way Veterans Affairs officials review files to speed up processing times and giving veterans more benefit of the doubt when it comes to approving benefits.

“More veterans are coming forward to get the help they need,” O’Regan said in a statement. “And we need to meet them where and when they need that support.”

But such promises have been made before and are starting to ring hollow as the problem continues to get worse, said Peter Stoffer, a former NDP MP and longtime veterans’ advocate.

“If you go back to (former minister) Fred Mifflin in 1997, he said the exact same thing,” Stoffer said.

“All 13 ministers since ’97 have said the exact same thing: ‘We have to do a better job, we’re speeding up the process.’ And it’s getting worse, to be honest with you.”

Exactly why the backlog is growing remains unclear; while Veterans Affairs says it received 20 per cent more applications between April 2015 and March 2016, that doesn’t explain why the figures increased this year.

And while the department was hit hard by budget cuts and layoffs under the previous Conservative government, the Liberals say they have hired 460 new staff since taking office.

News of the backlog comes only days after a landmark new study found the rate of suicide among veterans was “significantly” higher than that of the general population.

A group of injured veterans also suffered a major setback last week when the B.C. Court of Appeal rejected their legal effort to win back lifelong disability pensions.

The pensions were replaced in 2006 by a lump-sum payment, career training and targeted income support, which those involved in the lawsuit complained gave them less financial compensation.

O’Regan has promised to unveil a new pension plan by the end of the year, though many veterans fear it will fall far short of the previous pensions.

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