Myth Busting - Maximum Claimable Expenses for Vocational Rehabilitation and Assistance Services under the Rehabilitation Program

Ottawa, ON - September 18, 2014

“Veterans can only claim $20,000 in tuition fees” 

Q: True or False?

A: False

Former Canadian Armed Forces members are well-trained and highly skilled. Leveraging this human capital resource by providing effective transition services makes a great deal of sense not only as an important investment in the future of Veterans, but also as a strategic reinvestment in Canada’s economy. That is why it is in the best interest of both Veterans and Canadians for Veterans to be given the post-release training that they need.

On October 8, 2013, when Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino announced changes to Veterans Affairs Canada’s (VAC) Rehabilitation Program, I stated that the changes met the intent of the recommendations made in two reports released by my Office on August 26 and October 1, 2013, respectively: Investing in Veterans Vocational Training and Improving the New Veterans Charter. The grouping of admissible training expenses allowed Veterans to have access to a maximum of $75,800 per person for vocational rehabilitation and assistance services. This change was designed to give Veterans more flexibility in their vocational rehabilitation plans, simplify training plan approval and claims processing, and provide Veterans with decisions more quickly.

When a Veteran (or a spouse/survivor, when applicable) has a need for training to achieve an occupational goal, the training is authorized by VAC through an Individual Vocational Rehabilitation Plan (IVRP). When developing this plan, VAC considers a number of principles and factors contained in the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Regulations (SOR/2006-50), commonly referred to as the New Veterans Charter Regulations, such as:
•    the potential for improvement in physical, psychological and social functioning, employability and quality of life;
•    training focused on building on the applicant’s existing education, skills, training and experience;
•    the motivation, interest and aptitude of the applicant; and
•    the cost and duration of the plan.

A number of expenses related to the IVRP, such as tuition fees, books, computers, dependent care, transportation, etc. are covered by VAC. It is important to note that a claim for reimbursement must be made in writing, within one year after the day on which the expenditure is incurred, and must include proof of the expenditure. Also, in most cases, IVRP expenses must be pre-approved.

I hope that this information clarifies how the new maximum total value for Vocational Rehabilitation and Assistance Services expenses is applied under VAC’s Rehabilitation Program. More detailed information can be provided by VAC when an application for the program is made.

In theory, Veterans should now have more flexibility to achieve their goals, but recently we have seen some cases where reality does not match the theory. I will address that in a later blog.

In the meantime, if you would like to share your experience (good or bad) about the effect of the new changes, we would be interested in hearing from you.

Guy

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Comments

Joe said:

I went into the vancouver veterans affairs office the other day (Sept 2015) to get information about the VRP, the veterans affairs employee argued with me and said, "No, the Voc rehab program does not pay for degrees". Can someone explain why the employee was not aware of the funding increase.

September 23, 2015 3:05 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman

Thank you for your comment. We encourage you to contact us directly at 1-877-330-4343 so we can learn more about your case and do our best to assist. 

 

 

September 25, 2015 9:25 AM