Positive News for Veterans!
Ottawa – May 2, 2012
Mr. Dennis Manuge and approximately 4500 former members of the Canadian Forces were given positive news today from the Federal Court, which ruled that the offset of Pension Act disability benefits from the Service Income Security Insurance Plan - Long Term Disability Plan (SISIP LTD) contravened the SISIP policy.
In 2003, the National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman conducted an investigation into the SISIP LTD and issued a report entitled Unfair Deductions From SISIP Payments to Former CF Members. After a thorough investigation, the National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman concluded that it was an unfair practice for SISIP LTD to consider Pension Act disability pensions as income and to deduct them from SISIP LTD benefits.
In 2008 the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence reconfirmed the findings of the National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman in their own report on the subject by concluding that the practice was unfair and stating: "In fact, all witnesses who appeared before us, with the exception of witnesses from the Department of National Defence, felt the reductions were indeed unfair."
The Office of the Veterans Ombudsman hopes that the Government of Canada responds quickly to resolve this unfairness.
The Office wishes to acknowledge the efforts of Mr. Manuge and the pro bono* legal services provided by McInnes Cooper. Well done!
*Editor's note: The original blog made reference to pro bono legal services provided by McInnes Cooper. The Office has since learned that these services were provided on a contingent fee basis, where a predetermined percentage of the compensation is charged for legal services in cases, such as this one, where a lawsuit is successful.
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