Quicker Decisions + Transparency = Real Change for Veterans

Ottawa, ON - July 24, 2017

Delays in receiving disability decisions is the #1 complaint received by my office, and its importance is growing. Recently, we’ve received complaints from Veterans whose applications had been in process for anywhere from 22 to 51 weeks and counting. In fact, Veterans Affairs Canada’s (VAC) NCCN agents have informed my staff that they were currently working on applications from June of last year. Although VAC has a 16-week service standard for a Veteran to receive a decision on disability benefits, according to VAC’s website[1], it’s only hit 52% of its 80% target for this service standard in 2015-16. Although not yet published, VAC has advised us that 59% of its decisions were made within the service standard for 2016-17.  

Did You Know?

When measuring service standards:

  • The clock only starts when all information required from the applicant has been received[2] and ends when the decision has been made. 
  • It does not take into account the time between a Veteran submitting an application and the time that VAC determines it to be complete (which may require supporting medical information such as an audiogram or medical report and can take several weeks). 
  • Neither does it include the time after the decision is made, but before the Veteran actually receives their benefit. 
  • While My VAC Account allows a Veteran to track the status of their disability claim, it only advises where it is in the various stages of the process. It does not give any details on when a decision will be made. 

At no time in the disability benefit decision process does the Veteran have upfront information on exactly when their money will arrive and, then, be eligible for treatment benefits. Is that an efficient process? Is it transparent? I don’t think so on either count.

While it’s important for VAC’s credibility to achieve its published service standard targets, it’s essential for Veterans’ peace of mind to know that they will receive a decision in the specified timeframe, unless there is some extraordinary circumstance that prevents it.  

I know VAC has faced many challenges in recent years, but finding ways to provide quicker decisions to Veterans, who may currently be waiting up to a year or longer, needs to be a priority, along with a more transparent approach to communicating with Veterans.

Like a shipment from Amazon, VAC could use My VAC Account to communicate detailed information on application status, timeframes at each point in the process and changes to any timeframes during the process. In addition, posting wait times by condition would provide Veterans with a better understanding of timeframe expectations for what could be considered a simple versus complex case.

Every Monday for the next few weeks, I’ll be engaging with you on Facebook and Twitter about your experience with turnaround times. Your feedback is important and appreciated, and we will share with you what we have heard. The results from this conversation will be used to inform our work and to improve the Veterans’ Service Experience.

Guy

 

[1] VAC’s 2015-16 Departmental Performance Report, http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/about-us/service-standards

[2] Ibid; “Processing time for all VAC applications/requests is counted from the time we receive all required supporting information by the applicant. Information required from other parties/departments/agencies, etc. is included in the turnaround time.”

Comments

LPN said:

At stage 3, how long does it usually take?

December 4, 2018 4:31 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Hi LPN, thank you for reaching out. Please contact us at 1-877-330-4343 for more information.

December 27, 2018 3:37 PM

Mrs. K. said:

Hello, I am the spouse of a disabled veteran I believe we began his application to Veterans affairs for his ptsd and other medical conditions this year. We received the initial payment disability award of 10% and it is the process of the full assessment and reassessment stage 1. Is there going to be any changes to how it is deal with in April 2019. Or does the legislation and rules stand from the date of the application date. Or does the new rules for disability award apply after April 1, 2019? Will we then not have the disability award in cash if the application from this year if it is not finalized by April 1, 2019. This information will help with out financial planning and quality of life survival.

November 17, 2018 8:11 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Hi Mrs K., thank you for your questions. VAC will re-evaluate your award amount to determine if you are eligible for an additional monthly amount. In addition, any other benefits that you may be receiving (Career Impact Allowance, Earning Loss Benefit, etc.) will be converted to new benefits. If you need more information regarding your file specifically, we encourage you to contact us at 1-877-330-4343. Thank you.

November 20, 2018 9:54 AM

Windsor said:

Hello, My concern is for the veterans who are waiting for a cash disability and that the government is possibly dragging it out until April 1, 2019 so they do not have provide the cash payouts the veterans need. Although they are providing a new system of support for injured Veterans after April 1 2019.

November 17, 2018 7:18 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Hi Windsor, thank you for your comment. I agree that Veterans deserve timely access to the benefits they are entitled to. 

November 19, 2018 2:05 PM

Sally said:

I am feeling so discouraged for my spouse. A claim (resulted in his release) submitted 2016 aug and a decision made Oct 2017 given him only 5%. It has sat with appeals for 1 year to be told it should be sent to reassessment could take months - a year. That is disgusting ...

November 2, 2018 6:38 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Hi Sally, my Office may be able to help. Please contact us through our online form: http://ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/eng/complaint or at 1-877-330-4343. Thank you.

November 15, 2018 5:02 PM

TRIX said:

I have read all responses below and am glad im not the only one that has had trouble, my claim has been sitting on step 3 for over a year now and every time I call I am given different dates on what month of files there working on. When calling or sending a message on my VAC account your feel like your pestering them with the answers received back.

October 31, 2018 5:01 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Hi TRIX, thank you for your message. Please contact my Office for assistance through our online form: http://ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/eng/complaint or at 1-877-330-4343.

November 15, 2018 5:01 PM

Sgt said:

Why does VAC no longer have serving members receive a Initial Assessment Post Op (6 months after operation). The reason I ask is because I recently received my decision after starting my application on Aug 2017. The knee was assessed at 5%. The only problem is my other knee 2 years ago (same exact surgery/injury) received 16%. At that time VA sent me to see their doctor for initial assessment. This time no assessment. How can they assess my injury without a proper assessment. The table of benefits specifically states what percentage will be granted when certain degrees of motion are lost. Then, when I tried to get the Medical Unit on base to fill in a Med Questionnaire they said they do not do that for serving members. What the heck is going on here?

October 29, 2018 1:54 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Hi Sgt, please call us at 1-877-330-4343. We may be able to help.

November 15, 2018 5:05 PM

Dave said:

I submitted a PTSD claim on 12 April 2018 and a friend of mine submitted his around a month and a half later. His is already at step 2 and mine is still at step 1. I wonder why is VAC working on claims out of order of submission?

October 27, 2018 4:53 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Hi Dave, unfortunately the status of applications provided through My VAC Account isn’t very clear. Give my office a call at at 1-877-330-4343 and we’ll see if we can help.

November 15, 2018 4:58 PM

Bob said:

I simply don't believe that Canadian forces members should be drawing a disability pension while still serving. This should be applied for shortly before their voluntary release or on medical release. This would decrease the volume of claims and shorten the waiting time and also the process would be part of their release admin. and make moving to civilian street a little more easier.

June 5, 2018 8:06 PM

Sean said:

So I called VAC today for an update on my file status as I've been at Step 3 for 20 weeks now. I was told that I shouldn't expect an adjudicator to be assigned until August with a decision possibly forthcoming in September. This will bring the total time elapsed to 34 weeks, unless of course they have "a higher than normal volume of applications". So the new service standard is actually double the published one. When I asked what has been done to mitigate the backlog, I was told that the Harper government was to blame and that they couldn't retain trained staff. I am quite thankful to the agent with whom I spoke for actually being forthright and respectful enough to try to give me real answers. He even shared that they had complained numerous times of the posted 16 week service standard, complaints which have gone nowhere. it seems more and more that the issues with VAC are not the front line workers but the managerial staff. It would be nice to know who has been held accountable. Who has been reprimanded or lost their jobs for failing in their responsibilities as leaders. In any industry anywhere, leaders who fail to meet standards, face consequences...who has faced those consequences at VAC over the last couple years?

June 1, 2018 7:58 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Thank you for your comment. VAC wait times is a complaint we hear very often, and we keep pushing VAC to address their backlog. We're currently looking into this issue and will be providing recommendations which will hopefully help speed things up.

June 4, 2018 2:55 PM

Chris said:

I submitted all required information including medical records and Dr notes for a claim last summer. Aug 5 2017 I was at Step 1 and remained there until February 2018. I have been at the final stage Step 3 for over a month and was told by VAC that they are currently adjudicating or determining February 2017 claims. My claim is considered an Aug 2017 claim. I am hoping it will be processed within a year and a half as my med date of release is coming up fast

May 27, 2018 11:56 AM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Hi Chris. Unfortunately VAC has a sizable backlog, and that means some Veterans are waiting way too long for a decision. I keep pushing VAC to address their backlog. That said, my understanding is that certain types of claims are processed more quickly; for example, those with an urgent need and some simpler types of claims like hearing loss. 

June 5, 2018 4:51 PM

Anonymous said:

Good day. Submitted on line 21st December 2017. I just check online and still at stage 1. How can VAC provide the right information for pension for life April 2019 if they can't even get the first step within their own standard. They had a backlog in 2007, still have one 11 years later.

May 23, 2018 8:50 AM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Hi, thank you for your comment. I agree that VAC's turnaround times are a major issue that needs to be addressed. My team is currently doing a review into VAC's turnaround times and will be making recommendations shortly. Hopefully, this will help speed things up. If you wish to discuss your specific case with us, you can contact us by completing an online complaint form: http://www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/eng/complaint or by calling us at: 1-877-330-4343.
 

May 24, 2018 11:58 AM

K said:

VAC is currently taking over a year to make a decision, that's from the turnaround time...not from the time of application. Should the decision not be favorable to the applicant, it must be appealed, which also takes (at this point) a year. If the appeal is won, the application goes back into the hopper for a new decision....which also takes yet another year. It can take up to an astonishing 3 years for a veteran to receive disability benefits. ACT, stop talking about the problems with VAC and fix them. Like usual it will take a headline story on CBC before anyone actually does anything to rectify the situation. So disappointing that VAC is not properly resourced to actually support our veterans. Read the performance reports. Truly disheartening.

May 18, 2018 11:21 AM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Hi, thank you for sharing this with us. This is the number one complaint I hear, and I keep pushing VAC to address their backlog. In addition, my team is currently doing a review of turnaround times. We will be making recommendations that will hopefully speed things up.

May 22, 2018 10:50 AM

Sean said:

I am currently at the 18 week mark after the Service Standard Star Date. Every update request is met with a generic reply stating that they are working on files with SSSDs of September 2017. No information or estimation of timeline is given. I am the sole provider for my family and may be facing a medical release. It is extremely difficult to handle being told nothing but 'be patient'. I do not understand how a Reassesment can possibly take so long or how people can get away with not meeting deadlines and standards. The notice on My VAC that they are processing a "higher than normal" amount of requests has been there for over 2 years now. All I want is a decision or failing that, someone at VAC to care enough to give us real answers. At the moment, it seems as though no one there does.

May 17, 2018 12:39 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Hi Sean, thank you for your message. VAC's turnaround times are definitely an area that needs to be improved. My team is currently doing a review of turnaround times and will be making recommendations that will hopefully speed things up. In the meantime, you may wish to share the details of your case with us by completing an online complaint form http://www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/eng/complaint or by calling us at: 1-877-330-4343.

May 17, 2018 4:19 PM

Matt said:

Hello, I submitted a claim back in January for hernias. They required more medical info which is ok but where it gets messed up is both by the dates told. When I phoned to confirm all documentation was received, I was told everything was recovered by march 12th via vac msg. I waited until the beginning of may to see where things sat and was told they had received the stuff but a different date and no service standard date was set however the claims would take 38-40 weeks as soon as a service stardard date was set as it hadn't moved off step 1. A couple days passed on it occurred to me that would mean well over a year to find out let alone if I had to appeal anything so I msgd on facebook. VAC read the msg but no response, however when I checked on the tracker online hours later it had all of a sudden jumped from stage 1 to stage 3 and reflecting the info/paperwork I submitted with a received date of weeks prior to when questioned both via phone and secure msg on the VAC site. In reality, it feels like a lot of times we are being bs'd about the status or timings or where things actually sit with regards to anything submitted. The quality of service has diminished and not improved over the last 10 yrs, nor do we get accurate info. I know myself personally will probably never step foot in a VAC office again for assistance or guidance do to the fact if your visiting somewhere and not near your home (ie relative in hospital) but a VAC office is nearby and one stops in, you automatically get in crap and benifits threatened to be ceased as it happened to me last year as a result of a few trips out east do to dying family member which is now deceased. Yes, I did end up missing her last bedside moments (my mothers)passing, the funeral, the grieving process as a result that I couldnt risk what VAC would do should I not remain in my home area. Now I just keep to myself more, don't bother inquiring about any of the new programs and the services from VAC. This has directly made my progress revert backwards and not forwards with regards to my disabilities and my quality of life greatly affected. I'm sure others are in the same boat which in turn will in the long run create more issues, heartache then good.

May 15, 2018 2:33 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Hi Matt. Your situation is unfortunate and I understand your frustration. I suggest that you contact my office at 1-877-330-4343 to discuss the specific details of your case. Thank you.

May 16, 2018 2:53 PM

Ryan said:

The back log with VAC is something that they cannot control, I have a claim in for PTSD and it took almost 3 weeks just for them to receive it, which should take 3 days as stated on their website, so I called and was told for the 10% payout for ptsd it will take 16 weeks from the time I submitted it plus an additional 12 weeks for approval. I realize that the VAC staff is back logged, so it comes down to hiring more staff which comes down to budget and cost. which needs to be addressed as we have many ill/injured members with a varying of different circumstances, but the reality is NO one should be waiting 9 months for a claim, and as I have read below some members are waiting even longer. When will this "back log" be caught up?

May 9, 2018 11:18 AM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Hi Ryan, thank you for your comments. We're sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately this a complaint we hear all too often. We're currently doing a review into VAC's turnaround times and will be making recommendations that will hopefully help to speed things up. This is definitely an area that needs to be improved. We invite you to contact us so we can learn more about your case, by completing an online complaint form: http://veterans-ombudsman.gc.ca/eng/complaint, or by calling us at 1-877-330-4343. We will do our best to assist.

May 9, 2018 4:58 PM

JC said:

I'm at the 19-week mark since my application was accepted. It's at Step 3, has been so since mid-March. Reading these comments had squeezed every ounce of hope I had once I hit the 16-week mark, the time I was told by VAC over the phone when I began the process in September. I suffer from PTSD, have exhausted my employee benefits (I'm civilian now) and spent as much as I can from my personal finances on therapy, only to have to stop until (hopefully) my application is approved. I can't imagine waiting another year.

May 8, 2018 12:49 PM

Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Hi, thank you for your comments. We're sorry to hear about your situation. We invite you to contact us so we can learn more about your case, by completing an online complaint form: http://veterans-ombudsman.gc.ca/eng/complaint, or by calling us at 1-877-330-4343. We will do our best to assist.

 

May 8, 2018 3:52 PM

Lee said:

If you think you were frustrated before, now response times to email queries are taking longer as well. Not to mention most times you don't receive a proper answer, just a generic email without any pertinent information. I worked in different areas of policy and procedure over the years and I fully understand how easy it is for paperwork to pile up. It takes an inordinate amount of time and effort to submit the paperwork correctly so as it is not sent back requiring changes. That being said, if you don't keep on top of it, it will snowball and before you know it something that takes a week, now takes two and so on. If things continue this way, which I suspect they will, as I have not heard of any hiring to help with the backlog. A claim will take far longer than 32 weeks. Just an example, I stated my application On April 20th last year, In July they told me they had all the information. In November my application was at stage 2. Two weeks ago my application reverted back to stage 1. So essentially in a one year time frame, my application has not moved, and I am back to square one.

April 24, 2018 8:29 AM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Hi Lee, thank you for your message. We have taken note of your comments. For privacy reasons, we cannot accept complaints or inquiries about personal cases via our blog page. Please contact us by completing an online complaint form

http://www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/eng/complaint  or by phone at 1-877-330-4343
.

April 26, 2018 12:16 PM

Bill said:

Hi there, I just received a status change to stage 3 of the application process and am currently in the “16 week decision letter” stage.. I was wondering if it is worth talking with a case officer from your office before things get out of hand? Can this speed things up and or can it hurt my chances in any way. Best of luck to all the Veterans awaiting answers and thank you Guy for taking the time.

April 12, 2018 6:01 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Hi Bill. For privacy reasons we cannot accept complaints or inquiries about personal cases via our blog. Please contact us by completing an online complaint form http://www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/eng/complaint or by phone at: 1-877-330-4343. 

 

April 13, 2018 9:49 AM

ronepina542 said:

I was diagnosed in spring 2016 and received a 10% payment in Oct 2016. I was told I'd be reassessed in 15 months. 7 Dec 2017 I received a letter saying my medical records were requested by VAC. So what now? How long am I waiting for? I was told not to contact them, that when a decision is made, they'll contact me. Is that what I do, just wait?

April 1, 2018 1:08 AM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Sorry to hear about your situation. For privacy reasons we cannot discuss personal cases via our blog. Please contact us by phone at: 1-877-330-4343. 

April 4, 2018 10:36 AM

Greg said:

Just a quick question. Does anything we say on here actually have an impact or is this just a place to vent? I ask with all due respect. Do you actually do anything with our complaints?

March 28, 2018 12:41 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Hi Greg. We read all comments and questions posted on the blog. We also follow-up on all complaints and try to resolve them as quickly as we can. If you would like to make a complaint, please go to http://www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/eng/complaint or phone at: 1-877-330-4343. Once filed, an officer will be in communication with you for next steps.

March 28, 2018 4:18 PM

Greg said:

Latest and Greatest...My claim was submitted in June 2017. All supporting documents were received June 2017. I was told many many different timelines depending on which VAC rep I spoke to. Claim stayed at Step 1 until January of this year. Went to Step 3 and a VAC rep told me a decision was pending within a couple weeks. That was 8 weeks ago. Contacted VAC and they came back with a "sorry for the wait, now working on files from Jan 2017. Thank you for your patience." So, Im looking at August at best. Not 16 weeks but closer to 16 Months. Its easy for VAC to tell us to remain patient but when each VAC rep tells you something different its very frustrating and the hollow apology doesn't help. Basically VAC is saying...Stop asking, stop complaining...we will get to it when we get to it. Not much of an information site.

March 28, 2018 12:25 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

We hear you and agree that the situation is unacceptable. However, we cannot accept complaints or inquiries about personal cases via this blog, so please fill out the online complaint form http://www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/eng/complaint or call at: 1-877-330-4343. You will hear from us as soon as that is done. 

March 28, 2018 4:19 PM

Frank said:

My claim went in Oct 10 2017 and I'm still in step 1. I've asked for an update and all I'm told is they are working on it.

March 6, 2018 7:47 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

I wish I had an answer for that Frank. Unfortunately VAC has a sizable backlog that means some veterans are waiting way too long for a decision. That said, my understanding is that certain types of claims are processed more quickly; for example, those with an urgent need and some simpler types of claims like hearing loss.
This is the number one complaint I hear, and I keep pushing VAC to address their backlog.

If you wish, you may file a online complaint form http://www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/eng/complaint or by phone at: 1-877-330-4343. 

 

March 22, 2018 9:53 AM

Frank said:

My claim went in Oct 10 2017 and I'm still in step 1. I've asked for an update and all I'm told is they are working on it.

March 6, 2018 7:44 PM

Cheryl said:

My experience: I applied for benefits in July, 2015. In January, 2017 I was awarded 10% as an interim, and was asked to supply a final medical report in September, 2017. It was hand delivered to the office of DVA and I was told at the time I should expect a final decision within 12-16 weeks. After visiting the office of DVA to check on my application, I was told they were currently working on applications received in July 2017. After a month I phoned to check and again was told they were working on applications received in July 2017. I suffer with Anxiety and PTDS and waiting for decisions cause stress. Should we keep calling or sending them messages asking for updates or is this a waste of time?

March 5, 2018 2:53 PM

MWO Shatford said:

Step 3 Your claim is at the decision making level. All your supporting documentation was received on June 5, 2017. Although we strive to provide a decision within 16 weeks, we are currently experiencing a higher than normal volume of applications That's the only info I received almost 2.5 months ago. I have spoken with a VAC Rep and she told me that she is not able to determine where this disability claim is or how long it will take. Its going on 10 months. This claim is for COPD. The process is very painful and VAC, although doing their best, could provide much more detailed info which would help to alleviate some frustrations.

March 2, 2018 11:03 AM

Lee said:

As the decision process seems to be getting longer. I have a solution that might speed things up. For every application that has not been completed within the time frame, compensation for undue stress and hardship should be added. So for each week overdue each applicant receives a monetary amount equal to the loss of funds for that week. For instance, if your disability amount works out to 1200.00 per month, you would be compensated 300.00 per week for every week over and above the standard 16 week time frame. Of course every benefit would be different so it may be easier to have a set rate for each week. If VAC had to be accountable for the time spent making a decision...things might go faster.

January 22, 2018 9:57 AM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

That's an interesting option.

January 23, 2018 10:24 AM

Troy said:

I have had my appication in since April I am going on 37 week come this week. I was told the ptsd claims are fairly quick by people from vac. I ask the fb group 3b has anyone put application for ptsd lately I got one person who said they did in May. They had there money already and before Christmas. I am now being told I will be 3b in about a year from my condition. I would like to be able to prepare for my next step in life I need to prepare but I and at stand by.

January 15, 2018 12:10 AM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Hi Troy,

Sorry to hear that. I recommend submitting a complaint using our online complaint form http://www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/eng/complaint or contacting us at 1-877-330-4343.

January 16, 2018 11:29 AM

Lee said:

According to a recent conversation with VAC, the waiting period is now 32 weeks from the time all information is received. I understand that they are busy but I don't think they understand the implications of someone waiting 8 months for a decision. This system is failing, at this point I don't believe there is anything that can change things for the better.

December 7, 2017 10:07 AM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Hi Lee, I  met with the Deputy Minister and raised your concerns with him. I told him that lengthy turnaround times was the top complaint we receive, and I asked for a meeting with the senior departmental officials to discuss options to improve the situation. More to follow.

December 13, 2017 1:09 PM

Recce73 said:

I've had a claim in since August of 2016 it has sought at step 3 for well over a year I am now at 16 months it is increasingly frustrating every time I contact Veterans Affairs for an update on my file the only thing they are able to tell me is that it is at the decision-making level I'm pretty reasonable and I understand that they are busy but 16 months is absolutely 100% unacceptable. This system has to change and it has to change now soldiers who have served their country overseas on numerous missions are being kicked to the curb when we ask for help. I am being released from the caf as a result of my claim condition I need answers and I need answers soon as I have to plan for my next step post-military. I just like a previous poster have submitted it online complaint through the veterans ombudsman and I just like the previous poster have heard nothing either. It's a sad day when a soldier puts his life on the line for his country and when he asks for a small piece of assistance he is consistently ignored. I too suffer from PTSD I have asked for a reassessment of my PTSD and it to is now sitting at over 5 months. In my opinion it's brutally shameful the way veterans are ignored when they ask for help

December 5, 2017 1:01 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Thank you for your comment. Because of privacy reasons, we are unable to answer inquiries about your personal case; however, someone from our Office will contact you shortly. 

December 12, 2017 2:18 PM

Zara said:

Since last year none of my claim has been processed. Also, in the August I was approved for DEC. I had very financial difficulty and I was thinking the new CIA Supplement would come so fast to me. I was so wrong and I did call to Vac office couple times. Now its more than 12 weeks and nothing. Also, since couple months ago I had no case management and its very hard and she could help me a lot. So many of veterans are like me and please help all of us. Thank you,

November 7, 2017 9:47 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Hi Zara, I’m sorry to hear about your situation. For your circumstances, I recommend completing a complaint form http://www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/eng/complaint, or contacting my Office at 1-877-330-4343.  We are finding that VAC isn't meeting their service standard as they should be, so my team has begun analyzing the facts around VAC disability service standards, reviewing approximately 700 files. 

November 9, 2017 3:31 PM

Lyonhart said:

Why even have this blog as it nothing more than a place for venting. Your responses are like your office, no substance.

September 14, 2017 1:07 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Our blog, like our social media accounts, is a way of staying engaged with Veterans to hear their concerns and share information about the issues that affect them. 

September 18, 2017 11:27 AM

Freddy said:

My PTSD claim has been waiting 38 weeks to be initially processed, yet vac has a turn around time (TAT) of 31 weeks. I have submitted a complaint to your office (which never got answered). Tried numerous times to enquire as to why it's taken long and I continue to be kept in the dark on its status or progress. When suffering from PTSD, patience is always a challenge. It's even more so when you are told over a phone to Continue to be patient. Shouldn't take more then a few more months.

September 8, 2017 1:38 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Thank you for your comment. Because of privacy reasons, we are unable to answer inquiries about your personal case; however, someone from our Office will contact you shortly. 

 

September 8, 2017 4:02 PM

Cath said:

I have just heard from aN employee source, that VAC will soon be getting ride of all their Case Managers. This would be a disaster. What has your office heard on this?

September 6, 2017 12:54 AM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

 

Hi Cathyleen, we checked with the Director of Case Management, and there are no plans to get rid of case managers.

September 6, 2017 11:10 AM

Recce73 said:

Claim for Hidradentis Suppurtivia aggravated by military service submitted in Aug 16, 16 weeks is a joke, its almost one full year now waiting. The condition isn't even in the VAC Table of disabilities, so i fully expect a denial. Also have a PTSD reassessment in, was given 25% in 2010, never was made aware of a reassessment, or contact initiated by VAC since. It's a horribly broken system, VAC is an insurance company and doesn't care about soldiers.

August 16, 2017 2:00 PM

Donald said:

I started my new experience with VAC after a 17 year absence. VAC decisions do take far to long and in one case for me an over 7 month wait. Even though I was receiving treatments, these did not qualify until a confirmed disability decision was made. Communication from VAC email are often contradictory, never the same response to the same question! However my main area of concern is Blue Cross and how they deny every prescription submitted. VAC says I am entitled, but Blue Cross deny deny deny. Eventually Blue Cross approves but months later, and only after several attempts, faxes, calls from my CW and wife, emails to VAC and calls to Blue Cross. Once I called Blue Cross to ask why all the denials, the rep said oh we just approved, no more discussion here! Drugs another issue, there are 5 pages of back pain drugs, yet the one Tylenol my doctor prescribes is not on it, so just denied. Another wasted appointment with my doctor.

August 8, 2017 7:04 PM

Tony said:

Currently I am sitting at 11 months and 6 months for my claims. The 6 months claim is at stage one. I have never had a claim that took less than 6 months for a decision. That doesn't include the time it takes to assess a payout and actually get the money. The fact that the time doesn't start until VAC decides it starts means the 16 week metric is a useless metric. A unless metric that VAC still manages to fail to achieve.

July 25, 2017 12:59 AM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Agreed. Thank you for your comment.

July 26, 2017 3:42 PM

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