2022 Report Card

Overview

Beginning in 2017, the OVO has published an Annual Report Card to track the progress by VAC in implementing the recommendations we have made over the course of our systemic reviews. The indication of “Implemented”, “Partially Implemented” or “Not Implemented” against each recommendation in the chart is based on our assessment of the actions taken by VAC.

Since the inception of the office in 2007, and as of 31 March 2022, the OVO has completed 21 systemic reviews resulting in 95 recommendations. While 20 of these are now considered to have been overtaken by events, we continue to track the remaining 75.

As of 31 March 2022, VAC has fully or partially implemented 69% or 52 of our 75 tracked recommendations, a slight improvement over last year. In the 2021-2022 fiscal year, we published two reports with four new recommendations, only one of which we can assess as being partially implemented based on the recent work that has gone into the establishment of a funded peer support program that meets the needs of Veterans who have experienced MST.
For this fifth Report Card we sought input from VAC on each of the 35 partial or not implemented recommendations, and are encouraged by their responses. VAC has indicated that they are monitoring or working to implement 18 of the partially or not implemented recommendations.

For the remaining recommendations, we acknowledge that legislative or regulatory amendments would need to be made in order to implement a number of these. To be clear, these recommendations reflect, in each case, a systemic unfairness or inequity that we had identified for resolution at the time in order for Government to wholly fulfill its obligation to those who have served their country.

In particular, we would highlight our continuing concern about the following outstanding recommendations:
 

Provide equitable access to timely decisions regardless of factors such as the applicant’s gender and language; and Triage applications upon receipt based on health and financial need.

Our 2018 investigation into wait times for disability claims found unreasonable delays for Veterans needing access to funded health care treatment for their claimed conditions. We also found that women and francophone applicants waited longer than others.

In 2021-22 VAC closed the equity gap in disability claim decision wait times for men and women applicants, and furthermore has reduced the overall wait times for RCMP applicants. But, the inequity for francophone applicants still remains, and on average, applicants are still waiting well beyond the 16 week service standard for decisions. While it must be acknowledged that VAC has taken significant steps to reduce the backlog and streamline the adjudication of disability claims, the number one complaint that we receive continues to be about wait times. The impact of this excessive wait time can be detrimental particularly for CAF Veterans who may be experiencing significant challenges in accessing the health care system.

With the average wait time still beyond the 16-week service standard, we urge VAC to fully implement our recommendation to triage disability benefit applications upon receipt based on unmet health needs.
 

Ensure that family members, including former spouses, survivors and dependent children, have access to federal Government funded mental health treatment in their own right when the mental health illness is related to conditions of military service experienced by the family member, independent of the Veteran’s treatment plan and regardless of whether the Veteran is engaging in treatment (three recommendations).

Our 2020 report found that when a family member suffers from an illness or injury related to the unique conditions and challenges of military service, they should have access to mental health treatment, independent of the Veteran’s treatment or rehabilitation plan. We know that military service affects the health and well-being of both Veterans and their family members for a number of reasons, including frequent postings and deployments as well as the inherent risk of military service.

VAC has demonstrated some progress towards meeting these recommendations by being flexible in addressing the mental health needs of family members. However, the legislative change that would be required to implement this recommendation has not yet been undertaken.
 

Amend New Veterans Charter legislation [Veterans Well-being Act] and regulations to permit a single CAF member with no dependent children to designate a family member to apply for and receive the Death Benefit.

Our 2016 report found that CAF members who are single and without dependents are unable to designate another family member to be the recipient of the Death Benefit in the case of service-related, sudden death.

The recommendation seeks to eliminate this unfairness based on the definition of “survivor” as it is described in the Veterans Well-being Act. We remain concerned about this inequity and will continue to press for resolution.
 

Over the past year, VAC has made important progress in reducing the backlog of disability claims and in eliminating the inequity in wait times between men and women applicants. However, the average wait time remains significantly beyond the 16 week service standard for disability benefit decisions and may be impacting the health of certain CAF Veterans.

All of our recommendations derive from systemic reviews of unfair or inequitable access to the benefits and programs provided by VAC in fulfilment of the Government’s obligation to those who have served Canada, whether in uniform themselves or as the families of a service member. The recommendations that remain unaddressed serve to shine a light on issues that must be rectified. Where VAC disagrees with our recommendation to rectify an unfairness, we will re-examine those and seek to determine whether and how they may need to be updated.

2021-2022 Progress Summary

The following table provides a summary of the progress made by VAC on our recommendations since our first Report Card issued in 2017.  Of note, over time, some of these have become redundant and therefore the percentage fully or partially implemented is based on those that are still valid.

 
Year Recommendations made since 2007 No Longer Tracked Still Valid Implemented by VAC Progress
2017 57 0 57 37 65%
2018 74 10 64 46 72%
2019 81 18 63 50 79%
2021 93 17 76 52 68%
2022 95 20 75 52 69%


2022 Progress Assessment Chart

Year

Report

Recommendation

2021 Status

VAC Position Statement

2022

Additional Monthly Amount

 

 

  1. That the Minister correct the financial unfairness between the two benefits at the crossover point. Increasing the Additional Monthly Amount payment to the same rate as the Pain and Suffering Compensation payment for Veterans who live beyond their crossover point would be one way of achieving this.

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

VAC does not agree with this recommendation and will not be implementing changes

2021

Peer Support for Veterans who have Experienced Military Sexual Trauma

 

 

  1. Provide a funded peer support program that meets the needs of Veterans who have experienced MST.

Partially Implemented

Partially Implemented
VAC continues to work with the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre towards implementing this recommendation
 
  1. Publish the Gender-Based Analysis Plus for the establishment of a funded peer support program for Veterans who have experienced MST.

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

VAC considers this recommendation partially implemented
  1. Establish a performance measurement system and report annually on all peer support program outcomes to ensure that the needs of Veterans and their families are addressed.

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

VAC considers this recommendation partially implemented

2021

Mental Health Treatment Benefits for Family members, in the Own Right, for the Conditions Related to Military Service

 

 

  1. Considering the unique impact of military service on the mental health and well-being of both Veterans and their family members as a result of frequent postings, long and multiple absences, and the inherent risk of military service resulting in illness, injury or death,  the Government ensure that family members, including former spouses, survivors and dependent children, have access to federal Government funded mental health treatment in their own right when the mental health illness is related to conditions of military service experienced by the family member, independent of the Veteran’s treatment plan and regardless of whether the Veteran is engaging in treatment.

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

VAC considers this recommendation partially implemented
  1. That VAC conduct and publish a Gender Based Analysis+ of the accessibility to mental health treatment benefits and services to family members, including spouses, former spouses, survivors and dependent children, to determine if there are barriers which make it difficult for certain groups to access the care they need.

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

VAC considers this recommendation partially implemented
  1. VAC continue to demonstrate flexibility to address the urgent mental health needs of family members.   Further, we encourage VAC to explore expanding and obtaining additional financial authorities to minimize the significant financial costs of obtaining mental health treatment for family members that some Veterans and their families experience. This may include expanding access to treatment sessions for some family members.

Partially Implemented

Partially Implemented

VAC considers this recommendation partially implemented

2020

Financial Compensation for Canadian Veterans
A comparative analysis of benefit regimes

 

  1. Clearly identify the financial outcomes Canada seeks to provide for ill and injured Veterans

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

VAC considers this recommendation partially implemented
  1. Harmonize existing financial compensation frameworks to meet identified financial outcomes

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

This recommendation is not part of any future policy/program considerations at this time
  1. Pending identification of financial compensation outcomes and to avoid further inequity, ensure that no Veteran with a Diminished Earning Capacity designation who submits their application under Pension for Life is financially disadvantaged compared to those who submitted their application under the Veterans Well-being Act prior to April 1, 2019

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

VAC will continue to monitor its programs and benefits
  1. Compensate Veterans for lost career progression as though the Veteran had served a full military career

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

This recommendation is not part of any future policy/program considerations at this time

2020

 

Supplementary Retirement Benefit Payout

  1. Review the SRB eligibility start date of all dual CAF-LTD and VAC Veterans released prior to 1 October 2016 and deemed TPI/DEC. Veterans released after this date are assumed to be in receipt of ELB because of the VAC outreach connected to the implementation of the 90% top up of CAF-LTD benefits

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

Unable to provide comments as it is part of ongoing litigation
  1. If a Veteran’s SRB eligibility start date is later than the payment commencement date for CAF-LTD, use the latter date as the eligibility start date for calculation of the SRB payout (going back as early as 1 April 2006)

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

Unable to provide comments as it is part of ongoing litigation
  1. From a fairness perspective, and to achieve equitable outcomes, it is recommended that the Minister of Veterans Affairs and VAC recalculate the SRB payable based on the adjusted eligibility date and pay the corrected amount to eligible Veterans

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

Unable to provide comments as it is part of ongoing litigation

2020

 

Income Replacement Benefit Calculation for Reserve Force Veterans

  1. Amend the Veterans Well-being Regulations to ensure that Income Replacement Benefits are fairly calculated for Veterans releasing from any class of Reserve Force service.

The OVO suggests the following change to the wording of paragraph 18(1)(b) of the Veterans Well-being regulations (and other relevant sections):

For a Veteran whose final release is from the Reserve Force, select the greater of:

  • the Veteran’s monthly military salary at the time of release;
  • the Veteran’s monthly military salary at the time of release from the class of service wherein the event that resulted in the health problem leading to the release occurred; or
  • the set minimum salary.

Partially Implemented

Partially Implemented

VAC continues to work towards implementing this recommendation
  1. Rectify unintentional systemic bias by applying a Reservist lens in policy development.

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

VAC will continue to monitor its programs and benefits

2018

Meeting Expectations: Timely and Transparent Decisions for Canada’s Ill and Injured Veterans

 

  1. Provide equitable access to timely decisions regardless of factors such as the applicant’s gender and language.

Partially Implemented

Partially Implemented

VAC continues to work towards implementing this recommendation
  1. Standardize Service Standard Start Dates to improve transparency and equity and facilitate accurate performance reporting.

Partially Implemented

Partially Implemented

VAC continues to work towards implementing this recommendation
  1. Triage applications upon receipt based on health and financial need.

Partially Implemented

Partially Implemented

 

VAC will continue to monitor its programs and benefits
  1. Reimburse all Veterans’ health care expenses for approved claimed conditions 90 days prior to their date of application.

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. When a Veteran dies with a disability benefit application in progress, continue to process the application and permit payment to the estate if the decision is favourable.

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

VAC does not agree with this recommendation and will not be implementing changes
  1. Provide each applicant with an individualized, expected turnaround time for their application, and inform them if the decision will be delayed and why.

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

VAC continues to work towards implementing this recommendation
  1. Provide clients with a checklist of all required documents on the application form and, upon receipt, immediately return applications if required documents are missing.

Partially Implemented

Partially Implemented

VAC continues to work towards implementing this recommendation

2017

Continuum of Care: A Journey from Home to Long Term Care

 

  1. Follow-up contact with Veterans Independence Program recipients should be made on at least an annual basis and more frequently for those at higher risk (with in-home assessments when necessary) to ensure timely and accurate identification of changing needs as Veterans age

Partially Implemented

Partially Implemented

VAC continues to work towards implementing this recommendation
  1. Eliminate the inconsistency in Veterans Independence Program eligibility for housekeeping and grounds maintenance for survivors and spouses so that they may all have access to the services they need, regardless of what the Veteran received or did not receive prior to their death or involuntary separation

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

Part of future policy considerations
  1. Adjust the eligibility criteria of the Caregiver Recognition Benefit to provide easier access to compensation for caregivers when service-related conditions inhibit a Veteran’s ability to perform Instrumental Activities of Daily Living and childcare.

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

This recommendation is not part of any future policy/program considerations at this time
  1. Introduce additional financial support that can be used to subsidize assisted living options for Veterans whose needs do not require Long Term Care, but who cannot stay in their own homes.

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

VAC will continue to monitor its programs and benefits
  1. Merge the Veterans Independence Program and Long Term Care program into one “Continuum of Care” program such that access is determined once, and criteria are transparent, understandable, and based on the physical and mental health needs of the Veteran.

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

VAC will continue to monitor its programs and benefits
  1. Reduce the complexity of 28 different eligibility groups, currently using service type, such that access to continuum of care support is based on the physical and mental health needs of Veterans.

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

VAC will continue to monitor its programs and benefits
  1. Develop and publicly communicate a strategy to ensure that the continuum of care needs of all Veterans are being met within the current context of the Canadian Health Care system.

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

VAC continues to work towards
implementing this recommendation

2017

Improving the New Veterans Charter The Actuarial Analysis – Follow up Report

  1. That the Minister of Veterans Affairs, by 1 April 2019, consolidate financial benefits to reduce complexity and better address the financial needs of Veterans and survivors

 

No Longer
Tracked

 
  1. That VAC assess the level of financial support it provides to Veterans who are not TPI to ensure that their financial needs are being met and publish the results of that assessment by 1 April 2018

No Longer
Tracked

 
  1. That VAC assess the level of financial support it provides to survivors to ensure that their lifelong financial needs are being met and publish the results of that assessment by 1 April 2018.

No Longer
Tracked

 
  1. That VAC review when financial benefits are being delivered to Veterans and their survivors to ensure that their financial needs are being met and publish by 1 April 2018 the benchmarks used to measure that financial support.

No Longer
Tracked

 

2016

 

Veterans’ Families: Caring for those who care

 

  1. Provide mental health treatment benefits to family members in their own right.

No Longer
Tracked

 

 

  1. Establish a caregiver benefit for families providing care to ill and injured Veterans.

No Longer
Tracked

 

2016

Joint Transition Project: Closing the Seam

  1. Apply once for all benefits.

 

Partially Implemented

Partially Implemented

VAC considers
this
recommendation
partially
implemented
  1. Reduce CF Pension payment delay.

 

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. Ensure that all VAC benefits in place at time of release.

Partially Implemented

Partially Implemented

VAC considers
this
recommendation
partially
implemented
  1. Provide Members/Veterans/Families with a navigator throughout the transition process.

 

Partially Implemented

Partially Implemented

VAC considers
this
recommendation
partially
implemented

2016

Fair Compensation to Veterans and their Survivors for Pain and Suffering

 

  1. That the Minister of Veterans Affairs provide compensation to Veterans and their survivors under the New Veterans Charter to recognize for the non-economic effects of exceptional incapacity.

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. That Veterans Affairs Canada develop new eligibility criteria for the non-economic benefit that compensates for exceptional incapacity (i.e. criteria that are not based on a specific minimum disability percentage).

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. That the Minister of Veterans Affairs amend New Veterans Charter legislation and regulations to permit a single CAF member with no dependent children to designate a family member to apply for and receive the Death Benefit.

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

This recommendation is not part of any future policy/program considerations at this time

2014

Supporting Severely Impaired Veterans:   A Report on the New Veterans Charter Permanent Impairment Allowance and Permanent Impairment Allowance Supplement

  1. That the Minister of Veterans Affairs amends section 40 of the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Regulations to include, “other permanent and severe injury or illness that affect employment and career progression opportunities” in the definition of a permanent and severe impairment.

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. That the Minister and the Department of Veterans Affairs  amend relevant Permanent Impairment Allowance regulations and policy to include specific loss of earning capacity criteria to ensure alignment between the determination  of the extent of impairment and the objective of the allowance.

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. That the Minister and the Department of Veterans Affairs amend the Permanent Impairment Allowance policy and the relevant regulations so that the assignment of grade levels is based on specific criteria (including the number of working years affected) that characterize the impact of a permanent and severe impairment on loss of employment and career progression opportunities.

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. That the Minister of Veterans Affairs amends legislation to provide the Permanent Impairment Allowance and the Supplement to a survivor at the full rate for a period of one year following the death of the Veteran, if the Veteran was in receipt of the benefits at the time of death.

No Longer
Tracked

 
 

2013

Investing in Veterans' Vocational Training

  1. It is recommended that the Department of Veterans Affairs develop appropriate program measurements to effectively monitor Veterans' progression and success in completing their Individual Vocational Rehabilitation Plan, including subsequent employment.

No Longer
Tracked

 
  1. It is recommended that the Minister of Veterans Affairs amend the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Regulations to ensure that all costs associated with post-secondary education are paid.

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. It is recommended that the Department of Veterans Affairs Canada amend its policies relating to vocational rehabilitation and assistance to ensure that the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Regulations are liberally interpreted with regard to the cost and duration of an Individual Vocational Rehabilitation Plan.

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. It is recommended that the Department of Veterans Affairs Canada amend its policies relating to vocational rehabilitation and assistance to ensure that the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Regulations are liberally interpreted to allow more flexibility for Veterans to acquire new skills and higher education while also taking into consideration the Veteran's aptitude and motivation in the development of an Individual Vocational Rehabilitation Plan.

Implemented

Implemented

 

2013

Improving the New Veterans Charter: the Report

Financial Support – Economic Benefits

  1. Providing additional financial support after age 65 to eligible totally and permanently incapacitated Veterans to ensure that their monthly benefits are no less than 70 percent of their indexed pre-release salary;

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. Increasing the Earnings Loss Benefit to 90 percent of pre-release salary

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. Providing the same Earnings Loss Benefit to former part-time Reserve Force members whose injury or illness is related to service

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. Calculating the annual cost of living adjustment to the Earnings Loss Benefit based on actual annual increases in the cost of living as measured by the Consumer Price Index

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. Providing the Permanent Impairment Allowance and Permanent Impairment Allowance Supplement benefits to all totally and permanently incapacitated Veterans who are in receipt of a Disability Award and an approved rehabilitation plan for the condition that is causing the total and permanent incapacity

No Longer
Tracked

 

Financial Support – Non Economic Benefits

  1. As a first step, increasing the maximum amount of the Disability Award to the maximum judicial cap for non-pecuniary damages awarded by Canadian courts

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. Conducting a comprehensive review, including consultations with Veterans’ stakeholders, to determine what the appropriate maximum amount should be to fairly compensate Canadian Armed Forces members and Veterans for pain and suffering resulting from an injury or illness in service to Canada

No Longer
Tracked

 
  1. Reviewing the adequacy of the $500 provided for financial counselling

Implemented

Implemented

 

Vocational Rehabilitation and Assistance Support

  1. Instructing the Department to develop appropriate program measurements to effectively monitor Veterans' progression and success in completing their Individual Vocational Rehabilitation Plan, including subsequent employment

No Longer
Tracked

 

 
  1. Amending the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Regulations to ensure that all costs associated with post-secondary education are paid

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. Instructing the Department to amend its policies relating to vocational rehabilitation and assistance to ensure that the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Regulations are liberally interpreted with regard to the cost and duration of an Individual Vocational Rehabilitation Plan

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. Instructing the Department to amend its policies relating to vocational rehabilitation and assistance to ensure that the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Regulations are liberally interpreted to allow more flexibility for Veterans to acquire new skills and higher education while also taking into consideration the Veteran's aptitude and motivation in the development of an Individual Vocational Rehabilitation Plan;

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. Increasing partnership opportunities to better help Veterans obtain good paying civilian jobs, in collaboration with the Minister of National Defence

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. Undertaking an independent review of the dual SISIP Financial Services and Veterans Affairs Canada income support and vocational rehabilitation programs to determine whether the current construct is effective, in collaboration with the Minister of National Defence

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

VAC will continue to monitor its programs and benefits

Family Support

  1. Providing proper counselling, information, communications and outreach to families

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. Extending access by families to Military Family Resource Centre programs after the medical release of the Canadian Forces member, in collaboration with the Minister of National Defence

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. Harmonizing Canadian Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada financial assistance provided to families

 

No Longer
Tracked

 

 
  1. Developing a caregiver compensation program to compensate the spouse or family member who acts as the primary caregiver to a seriously disabled Veteran

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. Providing the same access to the Treasury Board Pensioner Dental Service Plan to Veterans and their families as that provided to them by Veterans Affairs Canada under the Public Service Health Care Plan

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

VAC will continue to monitor its programs and benefits
  1. Eliminating the time limit for surviving spouses to apply for vocational rehabilitation and assistance services

Implemented

Implemented

 
 

2012

 

 

Veterans' Right to Fair Adjudication:  Analysis of Federal Courts decisions pertaining to the Veterans Review and Appeal Board

  1. That the Veterans Review and Appeal Board report to Parliament on its performance using the percentage of Federal Court judgments that uphold Board decisions as an indicator of fairness in the redress process, and on remedial measures to attain the 100 percent target.

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. That the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, Veterans Affairs Canada, and the Bureau of Pensions Advocates establish a formal mechanism to review each Federal Court decision rendered in favour of the Veteran or other applicant, for the purpose of remedial action to procedures and adjudication practices.

No Longer
Tracked

 
  1. That the Veterans Review and Appeal Board provide reasons for its decisions that clearly demonstrate that its obligation to liberally construe the legislation has been met, as well as its obligations under Section 39 of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board Act to draw every reasonable inference in favour of applicants, to accept credible uncontradicted evidence, and to give applicants the benefit of evidentiary presumptions (benefit of the doubt).

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. That the Minister of Veterans Affairs ensure that the Veterans Review and Appeal Board is sufficiently resourced so that the Board may publish all of its decisions on its Web site and all Federal Court judgments pertaining to Board decisions.

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. For the Minister of Veterans Affairs to mandate the Bureau of Pensions Advocates to represent applicants on judicial review of decisions of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board in the Federal Court.

Not Implemented

Not Implemented

VAC does not agree with this recommendation
and will not be implementing changes
  1. For the Veterans Review and Appeal Board and the Bureau of Pensions Advocates to review their processes and service standards for the priority treatment of cases returned by the Federal Courts for rehearing.

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. For the Minister of Veterans Affairs to put forward the necessary legislative and regulatory amendments to allow Veterans to be compensated retroactively to date of application under the Pension Act and the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act.

Implemented

Implemented

 

2012

Honouring and Connecting with Canada’s Veterans: a National Veterans Identification Card

  1. That the Minister of Veterans Affairs, in consultation with the Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Public Safety, amend the current definition of a veteran for commemoration purposes to include former members of the RCMP.

No Longer
Tracked

 
  1. That Veterans Affairs Canada broadly publicize and make prominent on its Web site and in appropriate publications the definition of a veteran for commemorative purposes.

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. That the Minister of Veterans Affairs, in consultation with the Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Public Safety, pursue, as a priority, the development of a National Veterans Identification Card that meets the standards for a government-issued identity document.

No Longer
Tracked

 
  1. That Veterans Affairs Canada, in consultation with the Canadian Forces and the RCMP, pursue a strategy for the issuance of a National Veterans Identification Card to Veterans and releasing members of the Canadian Forces and the RCMP.

Implemented

Implemented

 
 

2012

Veterans' Right to Disclosure - A Matter of Procedural Fairness

  1. That Veterans Affairs Canada modify the current procedure to retrieve service and health records by providing applicants with a copy of the records and all other information that will be considered by adjudicators in making decisions on disability benefit applications, along with a notice advising applicants of the importance of reviewing the information and notifying the Department of any errors or omissions

No Longer
Tracked

 
  1. That Veterans Affairs Canada clarify how service and health records required to process disability benefit applications will be obtained and by whom; and that this be included in a policy available to applicants.

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. That Veterans Affairs Canada more clearly inform applicants of its intent to retrieve service and health records upon receipt of the application, and the types of records that will be retrieved, and notify applicants that, notwithstanding the actions deemed to be authorized by the consent form, applicants remain responsible for the accuracy of the information.

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. That service and health records recovered by Veterans Affairs Canada in support of disability benefit applications be sent directly to disability adjudicators intact and without input by employees who do not have the delegated authority to render decisions on applications.

Redundant

 

2011

 

Veterans' Right to Know Reasons for Decisions: A Matter of Procedural Fairness

  1. For Veterans Affairs Canada to improve the mechanisms by which disability benefit assessment letters are generated to make sure essential information is captured for inclusion in letters. This information should be presented in a form that is understandable and is in relation to the decision made. An explanation of how this information has been used to arrive at the decision is required. The Department should also ensure that a notice of the right to appeal is contained in every disability benefit decision letter.

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. For reasons for decisions to be written in plain language. Any legal, medical, or administrative terms used should be explained. A separate brochure or other companion piece would serve this purpose and could be included with decision letters.

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. For procedure manuals and training modules to be examined to ensure that adjudicators are aware of the minimum information to be provided in letters and what is needed to substantiate the reasons for their decisions.

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. For quality assurance procedures to be put in place to ensure decision letters fully comply with standards for adequacy of reasons for decisions.

Implemented

Implemented

 

2009

Serve with Honour Depart with Dignity: An Administrative Review of the Funeral and Burial Assistance Program for Veterans Affairs Canada

  1. That the ceiling for Veterans funeral and burial expenses be raised to reflect industry standards and that an indexing formula be introduced to ensure that the rates keep up with the economic increases.

Partially Implemented

Partially Implemented

VAC will continue to monitor its programs and benefits.
  1. That the administration of funeral and burial benefits be simplified by using a discretionary lump sum approach for reimbursable expenses rather than the present itemized approach.

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. That Veterans Affairs Canada extend the Funeral and Burial Program to all Veterans.

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. That eligibility related to the Funeral and Burial Program be extended to include Veterans who suffer from multiple pensioned conditions where the total aggregate suffering and weakening of their body may contribute to the cause of death.

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. That the estate exemption (surviving spouse) for the means test be increased and aligned with present-day income and cost levels.

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. That Veterans Affairs Canada engage in a proactive multi-faceted communications campaign to raise awareness of the Funeral and Burial Program.

Implemented

Implemented

 
  1. That Veterans Affairs Canada be more flexible and allow for extraordinary circumstances to be considered when the established timeframe is exceeded.

Implemented

Implemented