Author Topic: VAC in the News  (Read 38643 times)

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Offline kalobis

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #150 on: March 18, 2019, 16:27:18 »
It isn’t the worst, it’s the best of both worlds. Is it not?

I’m in my 30’s, so if they give me 20% under the old system that would be $800 a month for the next 50-ish years which is more than the new system or a lump sum for 20% which is only $72k ish.

Or am I way off?

Offline Brihard

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #151 on: March 18, 2019, 16:52:14 »
It isn’t the worst, it’s the best of both worlds. Is it not?

I’m in my 30’s, so if they give me 20% under the old system that would be $800 a month for the next 50-ish years which is more than the new system or a lump sum for 20% which is only $72k ish.

Or am I way off?

Oh man. By 'old system' you're referring to the Pension Act, I think. Yeah, no, that's not in play at all. Nobody applying after 2006 has had access to that.

If you're applying now and you want a monthly payment, it's very much in your interest to choose the new 'pension for life' option versus the 2006-2019 New Veterans Charter disability award. But you wont be seeing $800 a month unless your disability assessment is up around 75% or so.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline Kokanee

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #152 on: March 18, 2019, 18:23:54 »
Yeah, I'm around 55% between a few claims and I've been told to expect $450-$500/month, also in my mid 30's.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 18:26:55 by Kokanee »
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Offline kalobis

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #153 on: March 18, 2019, 19:12:06 »
Hmmm, I am new at this but the disability pension rates for a married person with two kids in $823.80

Am I not looking in the right place?

Offline Tcm621

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #154 on: March 19, 2019, 11:49:38 »
Hmmm, I am new at this but the disability pension rates for a married person with two kids in $823.80

Am I not looking in the right place?

yeah that's the old one pension act tables that haven't been in use since 2006.  The new (soon to be old system) is a one time lump sum award based on a 360,000 maximum. So you would get X percent of that maximum with X corresponding to the percentage of disability applied to you by. For example, 25% would be a 90,00 lump sum payment. The new PFL, as far as anyone can tell, is a monthly payment up to a maximum of 1150 and you would get X percent of that. So for 25% you would get 287.50 per month. You can now see why so many vets were annoyed with the move to the NVC and why they are PISSED that the Liberals didn't restore the pensions for life they instead created a new Pension For Lifetm.

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #155 on: March 19, 2019, 15:34:27 »
Hmmm, I am new at this but the disability pension rates for a married person with two kids in $823.80

Am I not looking in the right place?

Here's the new system starting April 1st. Lots of reading to do.

https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/resources/pension-for-life

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #156 on: March 19, 2019, 20:38:46 »
Budget 2019 vet mentions attached ...
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Offline Rifleman62

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #157 on: March 20, 2019, 09:07:17 »
https://www.federalretirees.ca/en/News-Views/News-Listing/March/Seniors-a-key-demographic-in-Ottawa-2019-budget?_cldee=cmlmbGVtYW42MkBzaGF3LmNh&recipientid=contact-f16ff70052ebe411b98500505601097b-5d248d5c13f648d7b4593418c311d864&esid=a7f7c2aa-584a-e911-a989-000d3af3d307

Seniors a key demographic in Ottawa’s 2019 budget - 19 Mar 19

Extract from National Association of Federal Retirees letter on Budget 2019

Support for veterans and their families

The 2019 budget delivers on a long-standing election promise and mandate letter commitment to veterans and their families – better financial supports available to veterans who married over the age of 60 and their spouses. Budget 2019 commits $150 million over five years to VAC starting in 2019-20, to set up the new Veterans Survivors Fund. The federal government will work with the community and stakeholder groups to find impacted survivors, process their claims and ensure those survivors have access to the benefits and financial support they need.

“Considering the average survivor pension is around $14,245 for survivors of veterans, there’s clearly work to be done on their income security and this is a welcome budget commitment for some of our members. But this also impacts the RCMP, and the federal public service in a slightly different way — so we’re anxious to get more details and understand how this will impact all of our members,” notes Sayward Montague, Federal Retirees’ director of advocacy.

In the ongoing struggle to address veterans’ grievances, the budget plans to expand access to support from the Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group to ensure all CAF members — and not just those who are ill or injured — benefit from personalized support services.

Training will be enhanced for transitioning to civilian life. Service to departing members will be improved by making information sharing by Veterans Affairs and National Defence simpler and more streamlined.

Also planned is the launch of a personalized transition guide, available through a service member’s My VAC account to enable better navigation of the entire process. A new online questionnaire will be launched to help Veterans Affairs identify members facing a difficult transition.

“We know that the Canadian Forces new transition group is poised to do some great work, so seeing funds attached to ensuring that work is expanded on and accessible to more serving members, veterans and families, is good news,” says Jean-Guy Soulière.

To bolster resources, the budget would provide Veterans Affairs and National Defence with $135.1 million over six years, effective in the current fiscal year ended March 31, and with $24.4 million a year ongoing.

Budget 2019 will establish a Centre of Excellence on Chronic Pain Research to help address the high rate of chronic pain experienced by veterans, which is almost double that of the general Canadian population. The initial funding is $20.1-million over 5 years, starting in 2019-20, with an additional $5-million per year going forward.

The federal budget touched on the new “pension for life” option – an approach to income replacement that ended around 2006 with the New Veterans Charter, which many experts have said provides less income security for disabled veterans. Advocates have been concerned at the scant detail available on pension for life, and there is division on whether the new option will meet the financial needs of veterans and their families. The program launches in just weeks, on April 1, 2019.



https://ipolitics.ca/2019/03/19/budget-2019-government-adds-150-million-over-five-years-to-better-process-veterans-claims/

Budget 2019: Government adds $150 million over five years to better process veterans claims
- 19 Mar 19

The federal government is dedicating $150 million over five years to better process veterans’ claims, as part of several multi-million-dollar projects it unveiled in its pre-election budget, putting emphasis on a file its been criticized of neglecting since taking control of the House of Commons in 2015. Former military members were recognized in a title subsection of this year’s budget, something they didn’t receive in last year’s edition.

Issues like several unsatisfactory Veterans Affairs ministers and a growing backlog in veterans’ claims have been constantly criticized by advocates. Other major financial commitments targeting veterans in this year’s budget include $136 million over the next five years, split between Veterans Affairs and the Department of National Defence, which the government anticipates as the cost for its already-announced transition service for troops.

Another is a one-time $30 million investment to recognize the contribution of Métis veterans in the Second World War.

The budget also revealed several smaller commitments. It’s putting $30 million over five years toward supporting veterans’ health, of which a significant portion will go towards creating a Centre of Excellence on Chronic Pain Research. They will also provide $25 million, spread over 10 years beginning in 2020-21, for the operations of the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research.

The government is also adding $2.9 million over three years to plant trees along the Highway of Heroes in southern Ontario. It has already planted 90,000 of the two million trees it wants to erect between the stretch of highway that runs from Trenton to Toronto. It’s goal is to plant a tree to recognize the service of each Canadian soldier since Confederation.

The government also renewed its funding for the Juno Beach Centre in Normandy, France, which pays homage to Canadians that served in the Second World War. The budget outlines $2.5 million over five years to be put towards the centre.

A proposed legislative change in the budget seeks to expand the eligibility for the Education and Training Benefit so that members of the Supplementary Reserve can access it. Veterans can receive up to $80,000 toward their education through the program.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2019, 10:29:17 by Rifleman62 »
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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #158 on: March 20, 2019, 11:22:16 »
It's not worth the paper it's written on. They are just words that will never materialize in that order again.
Corruption in politics doesn't scare me.
What scares me is how comfortable people are doing nothing about it.

Offline Rifleman62

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #159 on: March 29, 2019, 10:36:45 »
Wishing no ill to the Minister, how enlightening would it be if the injury wasn't minor and he was eligible to put a claim into the VAC system?

https://www.vernonmorningstar.com/news/veterans-affairs-minister-injured-while-touring-submarine-in-victoria/

Veterans Affairs Minister injured while touring submarine in Victoria
- 28Mar 19
      Minister Lawrence MacAuley evacuated after sustaining minor knee injury

Canada’s minister of Veterans Affairs was injured during a tour of a submarine in Esquimalt Thursday, confirms Canadian Armed Forces. Minister Lawrence MacAuley was touring HMCS Chicoutimi when he had to be evacuated from the Victoria-class long-range patrol submarine after sustaining a minor knee injury.

“He’s fine. They took precautions and are getting it checked out by a doctor,” said the minister’s press secretary, Alex Wellstead. “He will probably be walking a bit slower, but he is expected to head to Vancouver as planned tomorrow.” The longtime MP was touring CFB Esquimalt in his new role as veterans-affairs minister, a position he stepped into earlier this month as part of a minor cabinet shuffle after the resignation of Jody Wilson-Raybould.
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Offline Tcm621

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #160 on: April 01, 2019, 14:15:58 »
Budget 2019: Government adds $150 million over five years to better process veterans claims - 19 Mar 19

The federal government is dedicating $150 million over five years to better process veterans’ claims, as part of several multi-million-dollar projects it unveiled in its pre-election budget, putting emphasis on a file its been criticized of neglecting since taking control of the House of Commons in 2015. Former military members were recognized in a title subsection of this year’s budget, something they didn’t receive in last year’s edition.

Issues like several unsatisfactory Veterans Affairs ministers and a growing backlog in veterans’ claims have been constantly criticized by advocates. Other major financial commitments targeting veterans in this year’s budget include $136 million over the next five years, split between Veterans Affairs and the Department of National Defence, which the government anticipates as the cost for its already-announced transition service for troops.

Another is a one-time $30 million investment to recognize the contribution of Métis veterans in the Second World War.

The budget also revealed several smaller commitments. It’s putting $30 million over five years toward supporting veterans’ health, of which a significant portion will go towards creating a Centre of Excellence on Chronic Pain Research. They will also provide $25 million, spread over 10 years beginning in 2020-21, for the operations of the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research.

The government is also adding $2.9 million over three years to plant trees along the Highway of Heroes in southern Ontario. It has already planted 90,000 of the two million trees it wants to erect between the stretch of highway that runs from Trenton to Toronto. It’s goal is to plant a tree to recognize the service of each Canadian soldier since Confederation.

The government also renewed its funding for the Juno Beach Centre in Normandy, France, which pays homage to Canadians that served in the Second World War. The budget outlines $2.5 million over five years to be put towards the centre.

A proposed legislative change in the budget seeks to expand the eligibility for the Education and Training Benefit so that members of the Supplementary Reserve can access it. Veterans can receive up to $80,000 toward their education through the program.

The question that should always be asked of any government spending is how much is being spent next year.

Offline Rifleman62

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #161 on: April 02, 2019, 10:43:16 »
Trust me, VAC is here to help.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/post-traumatic-stress-veterans-canada-1.5079910

New federal questionnaire making it harder for PTSD veterans to get help, critics warn - 2 Apr 19
      Veterans Affairs says the shorter form will be more efficient. One doctor says it could lead to more suicides.

A key psychological questionnaire for veterans about post-traumatic stress disorder was quietly rewritten late last year by Veterans Affairs Canada, CBC News has learned — a move experts say will make it harder for suffering veterans to qualify for disability benefits.
The form, which is filled out by doctors treating veterans with PTSD, was revised in December by Veterans Affairs Canada. The changes came as a shock to many psychologists and advocates who help former soldiers, sailors and aircrew with mental illnesses navigate the complex benefits system. The Liberal government's new pension-for-life option for veterans came into effect on Monday — but the net effect of the changes to the questionnaire could be that fewer people qualify for PTSD benefits, and for the lifetime pension offered to veterans suffering from PTSD.

Joel Fillion, director of mental health at Veterans Affairs Canada, said the questionnaire was stripped down to improve the efficiency of forms processing "while ensuring that our veterans are better cared for and that veterans in need get access to their treatments faster." But Dr. Kris Rose, a clinical psychologist in Calgary, said the shorter form will end up thwarting efforts to get ex-soldiers the treatment they need. He said he has been "vibrating" with frustration since discovering the new form while treating a patient recently. He told CBC News the rewritten psychological/psychiatric form essentially has been stripped of almost all specific questions related to PTSD symptoms.

More suicides?


The effect on veterans, Rose said, could be devastating. It could lead to longer waits for treatment as the department demands more information from people who are already fragile, he said. It could even lead to more soldiers killing themselves, he warned.

"In essence, Veterans Affairs Canada is no longer doing evaluations for post-traumatic stress disorder," he said. "They've taken the substantive part for the psychological injuries from the form." Rose said the questions on the new form are so vague and generic, many doctors won't be able to answer all of them — meaning they'll be forced to leave a number of pages blank. "There's hardly anything on here that's actually going to fit the presentation for what we see in terms of psychological injuries from military and RCMP personnel," said Rose, who has treated soldiers and RCMP members with mental health issues for a dozen years.

Officials at Veterans Affairs have revised the questionnaire on three other occasions — most recently in 2016 — since PTSD was recognized as a disability by the department in the 1990s. The goal of those revisions in the past has been to make the questionnaire more accurate and better able to distinguish between PTSD and other psychiatric ailments. Those revisions also made the job of processing claims swifter and less complicated.

The short form

That changed in December, when the questionnaire — which used to be 16 pages in length — was cut back to eight pages. Specific questions about PTSD and references to its symptoms — such as nightmares, flashbacks and emotional 'numbing' — have been dropped. What remain are more general questions about what the form refers to as "delusions, hallucinations, depersonalization, homicidal thoughts" and even "homicidal attempts." Rose said he's never checked off any of those symptoms for his military patients — particularly the one about homicide attempts, as he said that's not a common symptom of PTSD.

Retired soldier Barry Westholm, who has helped injured members find the necessary forms and get them to doctors, said the vague, irrelevant questions on the revised form will give Veterans Affairs more latitude to question and deny claims.

'An evil thing to do'

Veterans will have to fight harder to prove psychological injuries, he said. "It's an evil thing to do," said Westholm, a former master warrant officer and sergeant-major for the Joint Personnel Support Unit (JPSU) in Eastern Ontario. He resigned from the military to protest what he saw as the deterioration of the unit that was supposed to help guide injured soldiers back to their jobs or out of the military. He said the new form risks "piling on ... pressures on somebody that's fragile to begin with.

"This particular document seems to me a sinister thing to do. It'll bring a person down and bring them down deeper to the point where they might just give up and commit suicide." The net effect will be to delay approval of benefits applications because the department won't have enough information, he added. "They deny, deny, deny, and then review and review. Months turn into years, and years, for some people, turn into a decade. And then they say, 'OK, we have enough information.'"

According to 2017-18 federal Public Accounts records, PTSD is ranked as the third most commonly cited cause of disability award payments issued by Veterans Affairs (tinnitus and hearing loss are No. 1 and No. 2, respectively). The federal government spends hundreds of millions of dollars on veterans' PTSD claims, and 96 per cent of those claims are accepted on first application. As of the end of November, there were roughly 40,000 disability applications waiting to be processed by Veterans Affairs, according to a recent report by The Canadian Press.

Less paperwork?

A spokesman for Veterans Minister Lawrence MacAulay insisted the changes made to the form were intended for the health and well-being of former soldiers and police officers. "The changes included modifying and streamlining the questionnaire to help reduce the size and to ease the paperwork burden on physicians and to improve turnaround times for completion," said Alex Wellstead in an emailed response. 

"The key objective in these changes is to ensure veterans get the services and benefits they need." He said the revised questionnaire was developed to complement that department's disability table, which sets out criteria for assessing injuries. "The provided medical information represents only a part of the disability assessment and is utilized along with other pertinent submitted medical information," said Wellstead.

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #162 on: April 02, 2019, 13:15:22 »
It’s a mean and downright dirty attempt to be under budget. Unfortunately few outside the veteran community will care.
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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #163 on: April 02, 2019, 21:21:29 »
It’s a mean and downright dirty attempt to be under budget ...
... or an attempt to make things quicker & easier with a shorter form to shorten processing times gone tremendously south because someone in the food chain thought brevity was more important than accuracy  :facepalm:
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Offline meni0n

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #164 on: April 03, 2019, 10:24:16 »
If they made the forms shorter but no changes on how they're processed and adjudicated, then it would result in a lot of claims being denied.

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #165 on: April 03, 2019, 10:33:48 »
... or an attempt to make things quicker & easier with a shorter form to shorten processing times gone tremendously south because someone in the food chain thought brevity was more important than accuracy  :facepalm:

It's time to quote my favourite axiom, Hanlon's Razor. "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."  There is a version which fits very well when dealing with a bureaucracy such as VAC. It says "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence or apathy".

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #166 on: April 03, 2019, 10:38:48 »
If they made the forms shorter but no changes on how they're processed and adjudicated, then it would result in a lot of claims being denied.
I'm just guessing/speculating, but someone in the system may have thought, "hey, if the form's shorter, it takes less time to process through the sausage machine, therefore more forms/people processed in a given period of time."  Again, ZERO inside knowledge here, and playing speculative devil's advocate.
... "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence or apathy".
I like!
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Offline Rifleman62

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #167 on: April 03, 2019, 11:44:34 »
What you think now Tony?

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/veterans-affairs-ptsd-benefits-1.5081991

Advisory committee kept out of the loop on veterans' controversial new PTSD form - 3 Apr 19

A committee that is supposed to advise the Veterans Affairs minister on mental health issues was kept in the dark about changes to an important disability questionnaire meant to document post-traumatic stress disorder claims by former soldiers. One member of the committee, Aaron Bedard — a former combat engineer who served in Afghanistan — said he only learned about the changes through CBC News on Tuesday. "There were no emails, no teleconferences to discuss this. It came out of nowhere," said Bedard. "Our job is to advise them on any changes to do with mental health and veterans. Our job is to provide input to make sure whatever they're doing is thorough."

Some mental health professionals who treat soldiers and police officers with PTSD worry the newly streamlined form will lead to delays in treatment and disability awards. Veterans Affairs has a long history of demanding precise information before approving claims. It's feared the new, more generalized form will trigger unnecessary requests for clarification from veterans who are already fragile.

'In hindsight ...'

The veterans minister's mental health advisory committee includes both physicians and veterans. Michel Doiron, assistant deputy minister of service delivery at Veterans Affairs, confirmed the panel was not consulted about the changes and was vague when asked why it was left out of the loop. "In hindsight, maybe" they should have been told, Doiron said in an interview with CBC News. He insisted, however, that the revisions were put before another advisory panel responsible for ensuring the department delivers better services.

The operational stress injury clinics that deal with troubled soldiers also were consulted, as were members of the medical community who have been clamouring for shorter, more simplified forms. "The reality is the form that we did put out was based on comments from doctors and a lot of complaints we had from health professionals when we do town halls, or when we go to medical associations," Doiron said. "They come back and tell us our forms are too long, too complicated, we're asking too much information. Doctors, you know, they're busy and filling out a lot of forms and long forms is not always very positive for them."

The department has no intention of engaging veterans in back-and-forth information requests because the new "form provides us all the information we need" and the department trusts the medical diagnoses, Doiron said. Critics say that remains to be seen. The federal government's own diagnostic criteria are quite specific. Physicians often receive letters from the feds that tell them that "recording the frequency of symptoms is very important in determining the extent of the disability" and "failure to provide the frequency of symptoms or the treatment information may result in the disability assessment being delayed."

'No discussion. No consultations'


The fact an end-run took place around the advisory committee spoke volumes to former veterans minister Erin O'Toole, who said the department seemed determined to ram through the changes as a way to deal with the enormous backlog of claims before the department. "It shows that they don't take the concerns of veterans seriously," he said. "No discussion. No consultations. And already physicians are worried that veterans will not get the benefits they need because of this form. They should halt it immediately and come in [to the House of Commons veterans committee] and explain why the changes were made."

New Democrat veterans critic Rachel Blaney said she is skeptical of the department's claim that the shorter form will lead to faster service for veterans. "Perhaps the intention is to try to make this process simpler," she said, "but what we're seeing clearly is that the impact could be very detrimental to the people who served our country." Blaney said the department should take a step back and reflect on the criticism it has heard, because lives are at stake.

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #168 on: April 03, 2019, 12:16:31 »
The mental health advisory group includes, among others, at least two vets with PTSD, and six clinical researchers including a couple who are very highly placed in the mental health world. The latter in particular would likely have been very well placed to compare old form to new and say “from a medical side, here’s what we see being the significance and impact of the changes in questions and our ability to provide VAC with assessment information”.

I can 100% confirm that this advisory group wasn’t consulted in any way- and has, for that matter, basically been dead in the water for well over a year.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #169 on: April 03, 2019, 12:25:42 »
What you think now Tony?

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/veterans-affairs-ptsd-benefits-1.5081991

Advisory committee kept out of the loop on veterans' controversial new PTSD form - 3 Apr 19

A committee that is supposed to advise the Veterans Affairs minister on mental health issues was kept in the dark about changes to an important disability questionnaire meant to document post-traumatic stress disorder claims by former soldiers. One member of the committee, Aaron Bedard — a former combat engineer who served in Afghanistan — said he only learned about the changes through CBC News on Tuesday. "There were no emails, no teleconferences to discuss this. It came out of nowhere," said Bedard. "Our job is to advise them on any changes to do with mental health and veterans. Our job is to provide input to make sure whatever they're doing is thorough."

Some mental health professionals who treat soldiers and police officers with PTSD worry the newly streamlined form will lead to delays in treatment and disability awards. Veterans Affairs has a long history of demanding precise information before approving claims. It's feared the new, more generalized form will trigger unnecessary requests for clarification from veterans who are already fragile.

'In hindsight ...'

The veterans minister's mental health advisory committee includes both physicians and veterans. Michel Doiron, assistant deputy minister of service delivery at Veterans Affairs, confirmed the panel was not consulted about the changes and was vague when asked why it was left out of the loop. "In hindsight, maybe" they should have been told, Doiron said in an interview with CBC News. He insisted, however, that the revisions were put before another advisory panel responsible for ensuring the department delivers better services.

The operational stress injury clinics that deal with troubled soldiers also were consulted, as were members of the medical community who have been clamouring for shorter, more simplified forms. "The reality is the form that we did put out was based on comments from doctors and a lot of complaints we had from health professionals when we do town halls, or when we go to medical associations," Doiron said. "They come back and tell us our forms are too long, too complicated, we're asking too much information. Doctors, you know, they're busy and filling out a lot of forms and long forms is not always very positive for them."

The department has no intention of engaging veterans in back-and-forth information requests because the new "form provides us all the information we need" and the department trusts the medical diagnoses, Doiron said. Critics say that remains to be seen. The federal government's own diagnostic criteria are quite specific. Physicians often receive letters from the feds that tell them that "recording the frequency of symptoms is very important in determining the extent of the disability" and "failure to provide the frequency of symptoms or the treatment information may result in the disability assessment being delayed."

'No discussion. No consultations'


The fact an end-run took place around the advisory committee spoke volumes to former veterans minister Erin O'Toole, who said the department seemed determined to ram through the changes as a way to deal with the enormous backlog of claims before the department. "It shows that they don't take the concerns of veterans seriously," he said. "No discussion. No consultations. And already physicians are worried that veterans will not get the benefits they need because of this form. They should halt it immediately and come in [to the House of Commons veterans committee] and explain why the changes were made."

New Democrat veterans critic Rachel Blaney said she is skeptical of the department's claim that the shorter form will lead to faster service for veterans. "Perhaps the intention is to try to make this process simpler," she said, "but what we're seeing clearly is that the impact could be very detrimental to the people who served our country." Blaney said the department should take a step back and reflect on the criticism it has heard, because lives are at stake.

I don't think there is any evidence to suggest that this is a willful attempt to deny services. However, VAC (under this government in particular) do not want too much veteran input because they know their service standards are a steaming pile of dog excrement and it is easier to claim good intentions if they don't have anyone telling them their changes are bad. In particular, they seem to have an apathy to any veteran who has served any time since the Korean war. The PFL debacle is a good example. They knew damn well what people meant when they said they was a "return to the pension for life". Instead they gave us a new pension for life which any idiot could tell you is not what was asked for.

Incidentally, I have a very nice letter drafted to Ms. Blanely, who is my MP, and I didn't even know she was the Veterans critic. I need to make sure I send that today. I helpfully included a table which shows the dramatic drop off in service since the Liberals took over.

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #170 on: April 03, 2019, 12:37:16 »
What you think now Tony?

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/veterans-affairs-ptsd-benefits-1.5081991

... "The reality is the form that we did put out was based on comments from doctors and a lot of complaints we had from health professionals when we do town halls, or when we go to medical associations," Doiron said. "They come back and tell us our forms are too long, too complicated, we're asking too much information. Doctors, you know, they're busy and filling out a lot of forms and long forms is not always very positive for them."

The department has no intention of engaging veterans in back-and-forth information requests because the new "form provides us all the information we need" and the department trusts the medical diagnoses, Doiron said ...
Thanks for the link - very intriguing, indeed.

Based on the new info, I think 1)  there's some truth to someone having thought "shorter is easier & better," and 2)  the system REALLY needs to reassess whose needs (stakeholders vs. clients/recipients) are considered (as well as consequences) when making changes to things. 
... this advisory group wasn’t consulted in any way- and has, for that matter, basically been dead in the water for well over a year.
Niiiiiice ...
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Offline blackberet17

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #171 on: April 03, 2019, 12:56:21 »
The form went from more than a dozen pages (I think it was 16 pages?) down to eight. It still has check boxes and comment boxes for doctors to add more information. And nothing is stopping doctors from providing a written report to add to their assessment of a patient, if they find the form lacking in space. It also covers the areas required to assess a condition based on Chapter 21 of the Table of Disabilities.

Here's a link to the new form: https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/forms/document/549
Chapter 21 here: https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/health-support/physical-health-and-wellness/compensation-illness-injury/disability-benefits/benefits-determined/table-of-disabilities/ch-21-2006

From previous roles I've had, one consistent concern raised by Veterans is the sheer amount of paperwork required for an application. I've also heard Veterans state their doctors refused to complete some forms because they were so lengthy.
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #172 on: April 03, 2019, 13:18:28 »
The form went from more than a dozen pages (I think it was 16 pages?) down to eight. It still has check boxes and comment boxes for doctors to add more information. And nothing is stopping doctors from providing a written report to add to their assessment of a patient, if they find the form lacking in space. It also covers the areas required to assess a condition based on Chapter 21 of the Table of Disabilities.

Here's a link to the new form: https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/forms/document/549
Chapter 21 here: https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/health-support/physical-health-and-wellness/compensation-illness-injury/disability-benefits/benefits-determined/table-of-disabilities/ch-21-2006

From previous roles I've had, one consistent concern raised by Veterans is the sheer amount of paperwork required for an application. I've also heard Veterans state their doctors refused to complete some forms because they were so lengthy.

bb17, I understand what you are saying and I'm not denying that it may be true.

Here's the problem.

Given the track record, at VAC, of our current government, every little thing is suspect, every change, every nuance. Every change has to be delved into to separate every minutia detail to ensure no poison pills have been inserted to steal more money or resources from Vets. This is VACs & the governments fault.

Every client has a legal right to expect fairness, but VAC clients know different. It's just the nature of the beast that VAC and the government, created this mistrust all on their own with no input from anyone, especially the clients.

You're comments are appreciated, as someone that works within that bureaucracy. Please understand our skepticism of VAC in the same token.
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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #173 on: April 05, 2019, 13:30:32 »
Ooops.

Quote
Veterans Affairs sent condolences to 'widow' of still-living veteran

Murray Brewster         7 hrs ago
 
It was a surreal moment for Truman Tremblay.

On March 23, the former RCMP officer and military reservist — who lives with post-traumatic stress disorder — had just arrived home in Kamloops, B.C. from a spring break vacation. In his mailbox he found an official-looking letter addressed to his wife.

Moments later, his speechless wife Allison showed him the letter — expressing Veterans Affairs Canada's sympathies regarding the death of her husband and offering to help out the newly-bereaved widow.

"My initial thought was, 'Wow! My God, how in the hell did such an error happened?'" Tremblay, 48, told CBC News.

"The letter didn't specify when or how I died. It just said that they wanted to send their condolences and that if she needed any assistance to contact them, and also to contact the Last Post Fund for burial benefits and things of that nature, and it was signed by a veteran's service agent."

That jaw-dropping gaffe happened just a few weeks after Tremblay transitioned from Veterans Affairs' more personalized case management system to the less direct, more generic service agent system.

Now a federal parole officer, he served in the RCMP for four years in B.C. in the late 1990s and developed PTSD after witnessing gruesome accident scenes. He was formally diagnosed in 2012 and is still receiving treatment.

What frustrates Tremblay about the letter, he said, is the seeming indifference he's faced while trying to find out how and why it happened, and what Veterans Affairs is doing to make sure similar mistakes don't happen to veterans who may be in more fragile psychological conditions.

Veterans Affairs apologizes

He said he's spoken with three different people at Veterans Affairs, including a staffer in the deputy minister's office.

The department has launched an investigation but Tremblay said the only thing he's been told so far is the obvious — that the letter was sent in error and the department is sorry. He's also been told that the mistake happened when a case manager transferred his file.

The department did write a letter of apology and posted it to Tremblay's online Veterans Affairs account.

Tremblay said that what bothers him most is the fact that no one at the department tried to confirm that he was actually dead. He said he wonders whether the error represents a systemic problem.

He also wants to see someone held accountable for the emotional upset — which is what would happen, he said, if someone in his parole office made a similar mistake.

"I know that if someone was to make an error and change an offender status from living to deceased, they would likely have their employment terminated," said Tremblay.

"So I could just not imagine how someone made such an error. It just arrived and there were no phone calls. No one calls to check on me and see if such a thing even occurred in the first place."

'Immediate action'

A spokesperson for Veterans Affairs said the department is still investigating and has tried to make amends.

"Veterans Affairs Canada is deeply sorry for this mistake," said France Bureau, the department's director of public affairs. "As soon as we became aware of the mistake, we reached out and a letter of apology has been sent. As in all circumstances when errors happen, immediate action has been taken to review the issue and avoid future mistakes."

She said there is protocol in place to verify reports that a veteran has passed away, but in this circumstance there was "human error."

http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/veterans-affairs-sent-condolences-to-widow-of-still-living-veteran/ar-BBVDST0?ocid=ientp
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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #174 on: April 05, 2019, 14:14:07 »
From previous roles I've had, one consistent concern raised by Veterans is the sheer amount of paperwork required for an application. I've also heard Veterans state their doctors refused to complete some forms because they were so lengthy.

Meanwhile, anyone in Canada can do their taxes fully online.
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