Improving the New Veterans Charter, the Way Ahead

Ottawa - April 16, 2013

On April 4, 2013, I released my report, Improving the New Veterans Charter: The Parliamentary Review. Its purpose is twofold: to focus discussion for this fall’s parliamentary committee review of the enhancements to the New Veterans Charter that resulted from the coming into force of Bill C-55 on October 3, 2011; and to act as a catalyst to broaden the review of the New Veterans Charter.

The report focuses on three key transition issues: financial instability and decreased standard of living caused by reduced post-release income and insufficient financial support after age 65; limitations in vocational rehabilitation and assistance support, which can affect second career aspirations and employment options; and difficult family environment situations due to insufficient family support.

Why did I focus on these transition issues in my report? It is because, after analyzing the more than 200 recommendations for improvements to the New Veterans Charter proposed in various reports since 2006, I found that 145 dealt with these three key transition issues. I believe that they need to be addressed urgently because they can potentially affect a Veteran throughout his or her life.

I encourage you to read the report and send me your comments. The parliamentary review is an opportunity to ensure that the New Veterans Charter is truly a "living" charter that evolves over time to meet the changing needs of Veterans and their families. It is important that your voice is heard.

Through this spring into early summer, I will be meeting with Veterans and their families and Veterans’ organizations across Canada to discuss the parliamentary review. When my consultations are complete, I will publish a follow-up report with specific evidence-based recommendations to address the Charter’s shortcomings in the support provided to injured or ill Veterans and their families as they transition to civilian life.

The full report is available online at www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/reports-rapports/reviewcharter01-examencharte01-01-2013-eng.cfm.

Guy

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Comments

R Smith said:

Hi, Is there any news on VAC ELB Retro? Thanks.

April 25, 2013 5:18 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman

The Office has approached the Department multiple times following the SISIP Federal Court decision to inquire about and encourage progress on retroactive reimbursements of the Disability Pension offset to the Earnings Loss Benefit. To this date, we have yet to receive a positive response or indication of movement on this issue. Be assured that we are closely monitoring the issue and will continue to urge the Department to honour their commitment to Veterans by promptly coming to a resolution in this matter and clearly communicating the specifics to Veterans.

 

May 7, 2013 12:00 PM

Pat said:

•access to Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance and career transition support programs if the Veteran is unable to participate in the programs because of total and permanent incapacity or death I feel that this is sadly lacking. I can no longer work away from home. I am sure that I am not alone. Instead of helping me find innovative ways to work from home thru this program, it is based upon the skills a person possesses. The spouses who qualify for this benefit are in a unique position. Therefore, VAC should re-examine how they apply this instead of telling us that we have sufficient skills.

April 23, 2013 2:21 AM

Graham Godlien said:

You published the report to take a cheap shot at Veteran's Advocacy groups (who are doing your job and getting results) and a few outspoken veterans, such as myself, all who operate without the mahogany trough you feed from ... that was you primary goal. Otherwise, you're doing this because thats all you have been allowed to do (I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt) For future reference, please put a page view counter on this so called "blog". Let's see who even cares what you say any more. If you're justa government mouthpiece and not doing a real service to veterans, time to close the office.

April 17, 2013 11:28 PM