Author Topic: Not helping veterans could turn into national security problem: Military Ombudsm  (Read 5699 times)

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Offline the 48th regulator

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http://globalnews.ca/news/3167592/not-helping-veterans-could-turn-into-national-security-problem-military-ombudsman/

Not helping veterans could turn into national security problem: Military Ombudsman

By Rebecca Joseph and Amy Minsky   Global News

Canada’s approach to transitioning Canadian Forces members out of service is fundamentally flawed — and, if it’s not addressed, could lead to national security problems, said Canadian Armed Forces ombudsman Gary Walbourne.

The root of the problem is the fact many Forces members are released before adequate support is set up, he said in an interview on The West Block.

“I think … the service delivery model we’re using for the transitioning member, I think it’s fundamentally flawed,” Walbourne said. “And I think the major flaw is that we release people before they’re ready or before the systems are in place to help them.”

He says he’s already recommended that no member of the armed forces be released until all benefits, including pension and their contact with Veteran’s Affairs, are put in place.

    “If we don’t change the position and the approach we have, I think the conversation is going to change away from transitioning members to national security,” he said.

“I do believe that if we could get back to that one recommendation of holding the member until everything was in place, I think we could have a different conversation next year.”

The apparent murder-suicide of a Nova Scotia veteran and his family last week left the country reeling.

Lionel Desmond shot and killed his wife Shanna, 10-year-old daughter Aaliyah and mother Brenda, before turning the gun on himself, RCMP say.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. Corus News. All rights reserved.
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Offline Bruce Monkhouse

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He says he’s already recommended that no member of the armed forces be released until all benefits, including pension and their contact with Veteran’s Affairs, are put in place.

Wow,......the first time in my life that I've heard an Ombudsman speak common sense.
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Offline the 48th regulator

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Wow,......the first time in my life that I've heard an Ombudsman speak common sense.

Problem is the malingerers are impeding the process, according to some SMEs, by plugging up the system.

I know that I’m not perfect and that I don’t claim to be, so before you point your fingers make sure your hands are clean.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Problem is the malingerers are impeding the process, according to some SMEs, by plugging up the system.

Well, any good 'system' always takes that factor into account, of course.
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Offline the 48th regulator

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Well, any good 'system' always takes that factor into account, of course.

I totally agree, but if you have an "Opinion", it supersedes reality for some on these forums.

« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 18:34:09 by Zebedy Colt »
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Offline Halifax Tar

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http://globalnews.ca/news/3167592/not-helping-veterans-could-turn-into-national-security-problem-military-ombudsman/

Not helping veterans could turn into national security problem: Military Ombudsman

By Rebecca Joseph and Amy Minsky   Global News

Canada’s approach to transitioning Canadian Forces members out of service is fundamentally flawed — and, if it’s not addressed, could lead to national security problems, said Canadian Armed Forces ombudsman Gary Walbourne.

The root of the problem is the fact many Forces members are released before adequate support is set up, he said in an interview on The West Block.

“I think … the service delivery model we’re using for the transitioning member, I think it’s fundamentally flawed,” Walbourne said. “And I think the major flaw is that we release people before they’re ready or before the systems are in place to help them.”

He says he’s already recommended that no member of the armed forces be released until all benefits, including pension and their contact with Veteran’s Affairs, are put in place.

    “If we don’t change the position and the approach we have, I think the conversation is going to change away from transitioning members to national security,” he said.

“I do believe that if we could get back to that one recommendation of holding the member until everything was in place, I think we could have a different conversation next year.”

The apparent murder-suicide of a Nova Scotia veteran and his family last week left the country reeling.

Lionel Desmond shot and killed his wife Shanna, 10-year-old daughter Aaliyah and mother Brenda, before turning the gun on himself, RCMP say.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. Corus News. All rights reserved.

Not that we don't have gaps in our transition services, i.e. time until first pension payment.  But this article seems to be just another media attempt to attack the CAF.  The meat of the article really states very little and then some how ties in the murder/suicide of last week in NS.  Sounds like sensationalism to me.  It also presents a problem with no real solution.  Its all fine and dandy to say we retain someone until the VAC benefits are 100% in place but how exactly are we to employ these folks ? 

From what I have been reading on these forums it sounds like the system is getting better at issuing pension cheques in a timely manner.
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Offline the 48th regulator

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Not that we don't have gaps in our transition services, i.e. time until first pension payment.  But this article seems to be just another media attempt to attack the CAF.  The meat of the article really states very little and then some how ties in the murder/suicide of last week in NS.  Sounds like sensationalism to me.  It also presents a problem with no real solution.  Its all fine and dandy to say we retain someone until the VAC benefits are 100% in place but how exactly are we to employ these folks ? 

From what I have been reading on these forums it sounds like the system is getting better at issuing pension cheques in a timely manner.

So, what you are saying is the media colluded with the Ombudsman to attack CAF, when everything is fine and dandy.  All because you saw iton these means.

I know that I’m not perfect and that I don’t claim to be, so before you point your fingers make sure your hands are clean.

Offline Halifax Tar

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So, what you are saying is the media colluded with the Ombudsman to attack CAF, when everything is fine and dandy.  All because you saw iton these means.



Did you read what I wrote ?  Or do you normally just turn the butt hurt up to 11 when you think someone disagrees with you ?

I read your provided article.  I took it in, digested it and formulated my take.  Are you going to rebut my take or just continue you in your tried and tested ways ?

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While I applaud the Ombudsman's intent of seeing to the welfare of members before they are released, I would argue that if this policy was adopted it should be on a case by case basis. 

What about those members who transitioning to a civilian occupation or schooling after their service?  With the present speed of delivery from folks such as VAC, that could seriously frig some folks over, however good intended.  VAC are presently slower than molasses, having to tell a potential employer "gee, you'll have to wait, I can't get my release yet and I don't know when that will be" could be a ticket to no job waiting or offered. 

I am sure there are members who should be retained until they have all the ticks in the boxes crossed off.  For those being medically released, it doesn't happen overnight and if the system worked better they should have all in place by the time they are leaving.  A co-worker here was informed he would be medically released 6 months prior to the date, seems reasonable that all could be in place before the 6 months are up if they really wanted to make it happen.

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 :whistle: One of my takeaways was that if the government and CAF don't sort out their shortfalls concerning their treatment of Veterans, they won't be able to recruit because people won't trust them to honour their obligations.

There also much more important things involved in the transition than pensions.

I found nothing, said in the interview, that was hyped. Nor did I see it as a media trashing of the inconsistent, useless systems in place right now. The PM said he and his government were opened ànd transparent. No one should be surprised or shocked when an Ombudsman enlightens the taxpayer and stakeholders the shortcomings of a junk government that constantly lies to Vets.

The Ombudsman was doing this job of finding faults, investigating complaints, providing solutions and informing the taxpayer how their money is being mispent within tjhe department they are assigned to. If he's saying these things is because he's investigated the complaints.
  :2c:
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Offline Teager

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While I applaud the Ombudsman's intent of seeing to the welfare of members before they are released, I would argue that if this policy was adopted it should be on a case by case basis. 

What about those members who transitioning to a civilian occupation or schooling after their service?  With the present speed of delivery from folks such as VAC, that could seriously frig some folks over, however good intended.  VAC are presently slower than molasses, having to tell a potential employer "gee, you'll have to wait, I can't get my release yet and I don't know when that will be" could be a ticket to no job waiting or offered. 

I am sure there are members who should be retained until they have all the ticks in the boxes crossed off.  For those being medically released, it doesn't happen overnight and if the system worked better they should have all in place by the time they are leaving.  A co-worker here was informed he would be medically released 6 months prior to the date, seems reasonable that all could be in place before the 6 months are up if they really wanted to make it happen.

Easy solution provide a waiver that lets you out before everything is in place and ensure member knows full well what that means and they sign.

Unfortunately 6 months doesn't get everything into place under the current system.

Offline Halifax Tar

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Easy solution provide a waiver that lets you out before everything is in place and ensure member knows full well what that means and they sign.

Unfortunately 6 months doesn't get everything into place under the current system.

I like the idea but someone who is not emotionally steady may make a hasty choice and end up in a bad situation. 

:whistle: One of my takeaways was that if the government and CAF don't sort out their shortfalls concerning their treatment of Veterans, they won't be able to recruit because people won't trust them to honour their obligations.

There also much more important things involved in the transition than pensions.

I found nothing, said in the interview, that was hyped. Nor did I see it as a media trashing of the inconsistent, useless systems in place right now. The PM said he and his government were opened ànd transparent. No one should be surprised or shocked when an Ombudsman enlightens the taxpayer and stakeholders the shortcomings of a junk government that constantly lies to Vets.

The Ombudsman was doing this job of finding faults, investigating complaints, providing solutions and informing the taxpayer how their money is being mispent within tjhe department they are assigned to. If he's saying these things is because he's investigated the complaints.
  :2c:

Don't we become a VAC problem upon release ?  Why is it the CAFs issue if VAC cant get their s**t together in time for a members release ?  Sounds to me like VAC needs to held to the fire on these issues.
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Offline recceguy

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I like the idea but someone who is not emotionally steady may make a hasty choice and end up in a bad situation. 

Don't we become a VAC problem upon release ?  Why is it the CAFs issue if VAC cant get their s**t together in time for a members release ?  Sounds to me like VAC needs to held to the fire on these issues.
:whistle:
VAC is its own can of worms. However, for too long the CAF has been falling down in their responsibilities to service people that have been injured in their employ. It's very likely many of the problems with VAC are created because the CAF doesn't take the time for due diligence.
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Offline the 48th regulator

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Did you read what I wrote ?  Or do you normally just turn the butt hurt up to 11 when you think someone disagrees with you ?

I read your provided article.  I took it in, digested it and formulated my take.  Are you going to rebut my take or just continue you in your tried and tested ways ?

 :rofl:

THe irony of your post, just makes me want to laugh as I look at the smiley.

I will leave it at that Champ.

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Offline 1984

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Unfortunately 6 months doesn't get everything into place under the current system.

Six months? I retired with a 30 day entitlement, however having a plan in place I gave eight months notice. Do you know when Releases wants to see you to start pension paperwork (just to be clear release paperwork is different from pension paperwork)? Six WEEKS out from your last day of work and not before. It is not the lack of notice that is bogging down the system, it's the system bogging down the system.

NOTE: I retired with entitlement to an immediate annuity with no VAC claims. My experience was VAC free short of the out interview.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 21:05:54 by 1984 »

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What is this, a prison sentence?  Suggesting to not let people out because of administrative screw ups?  I can see it now:

The CAF: "Sorry MWO you can't retire yet we don't have our s**t together even though you gave us 6 months notice"

MWO: "But I gave you 30 years of service and I have plans lined up, WTF?" 

The CAF: "Hey, we are just looking out for YOU"

How fricken arrogant can you get.  The best thing the CAF could do is just get their s**t together with respect to release admin/pension admin.  Same with VAC.  Not invent stupid methods to drag out someone's release or retirement date any longer than necessary - that would make the situation far worse.


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Six months? I retired with a 30 day entitlement, however having a plan in place I gave eight months notice. Do you know when Releases wants to see you to start pension paperwork (just to be clear release paperwork is different from pension paperwork)? Six WEEKS out from your last day of work and not before. It is not the lack of notice that is bogging down the system, it's the system bogging down the system.

NOTE: I retired with entitlement to an immediate annuity with no VAC claims. My experience was VAC free short of the out interview.

I should have been more clear those releasing under 3B.

Also from the original article it sounds more like it's talking about those that are 3B and not leaving due to retirement. If the system gets the pension issue sorted then that would help a lot with those retiring but i believe the main issue is those that are forced out due to injury/illness.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 21:53:41 by Teager »

Offline SupersonicMax

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Easy.  Until all calculations for entitlements are accurately complete, let the releasing unit come up with a rough calculation for entitlements.  Use that as initial payments.  Once the accurate calculations are complete, reconciliate the difference.

But in this centralized control, centralized execution world we live in, I don't see this happenning.

Members should not suffer the consequences of the system's shortfall.  If shortfall are such that members suffer, the system (ie: leadership) needs to be willing to take more risks to accomodate and alleviate the issues.

Offline Hamish Seggie

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This is not an easy road to travel. Everyone's experiences and circumstances are different. It should follow that the system adapt itself to that model.

DND and VAC should be communicating especially on the complex cases that involve physical injury coupled with OSIs. When I say DND I mean the JPSU/IPSC. On 17 Wing they are co-located.

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Easy.  Until all calculations for entitlements are accurately complete, let the releasing unit come up with a rough calculation for entitlements.  Use that as initial payments.  Once the accurate calculations are complete, reconciliate the difference.

But in this centralized control, centralized execution world we live in, I don't see this happenning.

Members should not suffer the consequences of the system's shortfall.  If shortfall are such that members suffer, the system (ie: leadership) needs to be willing to take more risks to accomodate and alleviate the issues.

^This! :nod:

It should be easy, but DND, and to some degree even PSPC (even prior to becoming a VAC issue), is seriously dropping the ball on many of its members.

In two days, it will be 7 months (217 days) without a pension for me.   >:(

I am fortunate that I found employment after 31 years of service, but disappointed that the system that says people are its #1 resource doesn't live up to the motto in practice.  There are some members who truly need their retirement "Immediate Annuity" to be exactly that, immediate.  It rings more than a bit hollow for some to say, "Well, you knew things take a while.  You shouldn't be depending on your pension right away."  As Supersonicmax notes, there is fundamentally no excuse why an initial pension payment cannot be established the pay cycle immediately following the last service pay, and be adjusted accordingly after the file audit.

Thereafter, it seems there are knock-on effects to the significantly delayed pension payments.  Canada Revenue Agency, through my initial consultations, has indicated that there is no standing measure in place to take adjust the pension T4 for establishment delays.  In my case, that means that 100% of my 2016 pension income (6-1/2 months' worth) will show up on my 2017 pension T4, a factor that will result in a notably high tax burden in 2017. 

That said, I have my health, my family and a roof over my head, and there are a lot of people (not just AF retires and veterans, but I think also of the public servants facing the impact of Phoenix) who have it much worse than me.  The sad part is, delayed CAF pensions, veterans in need being dropped through the cracks and public servants facing the flames of Phoenix, is not how a Nation should be treating its military and public servants.

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Offline BinRat55

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Well...

What I found the most troubling for me was the fact that I never received and tangible follow-up WRT my medical issues. I completely understand the doctor shortage (seemingly Canada-wide...) however the raft of medical issues which I was released for only compounded over the months following my 3B release. It wasn't my choice to be released, and my part 2 med release apt I was told "Call 811 and put yourself on the list for a family doc..." which I did. And I called monthly. No family doc and some of my med issues were too complicated to be followed by a walk-in or emerg.

All this to say I ended up in hospital for almost two weeks just before Christmas. The hospital couldn't understand how I was released without any kind of follow-up. My only answer was "It's normal?"

I think there should be something in place for those being released for more serious medical issues where maybe the MIR would follow them (to a degree - as in if I have a cold, go to a walk-in, but I need my insulin re-checked so I can go to to the base hospital) just until we get family docs... 

Post script - While I was in the hospital, they wouldn't release me until they found me a doctor (it was that serious). I now have a family doctor.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 12:19:55 by BinRat55 »
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Well...

What I found the most troubling for me was the fact that I never received and tangible follow-up WRT my medical issues. I completely understand the doctor shortage (seemingly Canada-wide...) however the raft of medical issues which I was released for only compounded over the months following my 3B release. It wasn't my choice to be released, and my part 2 med release apt I was told "Call 811 and put yourself on the list for a family doc..." which I did. And I called monthly. No family doc and some of my med issues were too complicated to be followed by a walk-in or emerg.

All this to say I ended up in hospital for almost two weeks just before Christmas. The hospital couldn't understand how I was released without any kind of follow-up. My only answer was "It's normal?"

I think there should be something in place for those being released for more serious medical issues where maybe the MIR would follow them (to a degree - as in if I have a cold, go to a walk-in, but I need my insulin re-checked so I can go to to the base hospital) just until we get family docs... 

Post script - While I was in the hospital, they wouldn't release me until they found me a doctor (it was that serious). I now have a family doctor.

What you mention about family doctors was hot topic on the recent SCAN seminar I attended in Halifax.  I am lucky that my wife has a family doctor for her and my child who has agreed to take me on upon retirement and I felt bad for the members who were very nervous, and honestly angry, about entering civilian life with out such reassurances.  I would suspect these would be folks being push out the door vice leaving on their own terms.

I like your idea of using the MIR until you have medical support set up like a family doctor.  Perhaps its a service where VAC runs a sort of sick parade out of base hospitals for vets.  Of course this is in a perfect world where we actually have the doctors to so such things.  Of course this also only helps people who release near an MIR.
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Offline BinRat55

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What you mention about family doctors was hot topic on the recent SCAN seminar I attended in Halifax.  I am lucky that my wife has a family doctor for her and my child who has agreed to take me on upon retirement and I felt bad for the members who were very nervous, and honestly angry, about entering civilian life with out such reassurances.  I would suspect these would be folks being push out the door vice leaving on their own terms.

I like your idea of using the MIR until you have medical support set up like a family doctor.  Perhaps its a service where VAC runs a sort of sick parade out of base hospitals for vets.  Of course this is in a perfect world where we actually have the doctors to so such things.  Of course this also only helps people who release near an MIR.

Very true. I was admittedly overwhelmed with other things (mostly within my control but still time sensitive) but the seriousness of some of my med issues combined with my ongoing frustrations did not pan out well for me. Maybe even part of the release appts (case worker?) someone could vet the soldier's medical issues and flag the more serious cases and place them into a queue of sorts...
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In two days, it will be 7 months (217 days) without a pension for me. 

Of all the threads I have read on here, these 3-pages are the ones that surprise me the most: "Pension and Severance Wait Time".

I had never heard of anyone waiting a single day for their first pension cheque / deposit, or post-retirement benefits.
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Offline the 48th regulator

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Of all the threads I have read on here, these 3-pages are the ones that surprise me the most: "Pension and Severance Wait Time".

I had never heard of anyone waiting a single day for their first pension cheque / deposit, or post-retirement benefits.

Unfortunately, that scenario is almost the norm with Military Veterans.....

I know that I’m not perfect and that I don’t claim to be, so before you point your fingers make sure your hands are clean.