Comments on Issues Raised by the DND/CF Ombudsman in Service-Delivery Model Report

Ottawa, ON - September 28, 2016

Commenting on the report released yesterday entitled Simplifying the Service Delivery Model for Medically Releasing Members of the Canadian Armed Forces by the National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman, Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent said: “There is no doubt that the transition process from military to civilian life is complex and time-consuming. I welcome recommendations that will help the transition for those who are medically releasing from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

“However, it is important to remember that there is a whole suite of benefits at both Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) and the Department of National Defence (DND) and I would have liked to have seen some mention of the serious time delays faced by releasing members around receipt of their first CAF pension payment.”

The Office of the Veterans Ombudsman is working with VAC to have them engage sooner with medically-releasing members so that they can have benefits in place prior to release. “I encourage any CAF members or Veterans who are having difficulties accessing VAC benefits to call my Office for assistance, as that is my mandate,” said Mr. Parent.

“Since the August 26, 2014 launch of our Joint Transition Project, I have been working diligently with the DND/CF Ombudsman on transition issues and we have made joint recommendations on how to close the seam between CAF and VAC benefits, as well as on how to reduce duplication between the programs offered by the two organizations.” 

“On Monday, we released a document entitled “Joint Transition Project - Closing the Seam” which speaks to this joint effort,” noted Mr. Parent. That report highlights the top three things to do now to make a real difference:

  1. Apply once to VAC for all benefits and services and have a navigator throughout the process.
  2. Reduce the CAF first pension payment delay and ensure VAC benefits are in place at release.
  3. Eliminate overlap and duplication of the CAF and VAC vocational rehabilitation and long-term disability programs.

The document can be found at http://ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/eng/reports/infographics/joint-transition-project

“At the end of September, I will be providing a brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs on how I believe service delivery can be improved and made more Veteran-centric. The Government is moving in the right direction, but there remains a lot of work to be done,” concluded Mr. Parent. 

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