Facebook Live “Q&A with VAC on New Benefits”

Ottawa, ON - March 14, 2018

Thank you to all the Veterans and the families who joined us for our Facebook Live “Q&A with VAC on New Benefits”

March 14, 2018 – I want to thank all of the Veterans across Canada and their families who joined us during our Facebook Live “Q&A with VAC” on the new benefits. Over 300 tuned in live, but the video now has over 10K views. I thank you for your comments, questions, suggestions and shares. In all, we answered over 45 questions during the hour in addition to many online, but there are still many more to be answered. My team will be working with VAC to answer your remaining questions on Facebook that we couldn’t get to yesterday. 

If you weren’t able to tune in live, the video is available here: https://www.facebook.com/VeteransOmbudsman/videos/10160078677655035/

The impact of these new benefits on Veterans and their families is complex, and I hope that some of your questions were answered by our guests from VAC: Faith McIntyre, Director General, Policy and Research Division, Paul Thompson, Director General, Service Delivery Modernization, and the VAC staff answering questions online. I thank them for taking the time to participate in our Facebook Live. While some clarification was provided, I know there is still much apprehension around the implementation of these benefits, and further information is needed. I heard significant concern around how these new programs and their eligibility are being communicated to Veterans. I truly believe that an online calculator is needed to help Veterans understand what these changes mean for them.

More specifically, I heard:

• Veterans and their families are very concerned about the delays in disability benefit decisions and the impact that new benefits will have on potentially exacerbating an already too large backlog.  VAC needs to address the turnaround problem as soon as possible. It is unacceptable.

• It’s still not clear how the new Pain and Suffering benefits will be calculated for those who have already received a Disability Award. An online calculator would help address this.

• We had many questions about the future of the Career Impact Allowance (CIA) and CIA Supplement.  We learned yesterday that Veterans currently receiving the CIA will get the Additional Pain and Suffering benefit (APSC) at the same grade as their CIA and that Veterans in receipt of the supplement will have their amount protected for life.

• Veterans are unclear about the eligibility requirements for the new benefits being implemented on April 1, 2018, including the Education and Training Benefit, Career Transition Services and the Caregiver Recognition Benefit. Veterans need this information in a timely manner in order to be proactive and informed about what they’re eligible for.

• Lastly, Veterans are concerned about why gender is a factor in the calculation of the retrospective monthly amount for the PSC benefit.  I have raised this concern and will continue to do so. 

I will continue to work with you to ensure that the implementation of Pension for Life is fair and transparent, and that Veterans and their family’s needs come first.

Guy Parent
Veterans Ombudsman

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Comments

Mike said:

VAC are telling us to be patient, well 21 months (July 2016) and still no news on my disability claim, I wonder what would they say if they were in our situation.

April 8, 2018 4:24 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

I wish I had an answer for that Mike. 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.
You may want to file an online complaint form http://www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/eng/complaint or by phone at: 1-877-330-4343. 

April 10, 2018 9:18 AM

Pat said:

Il semblerait que les gens d'ACC ont menti sciemment et en public à m. l'ombudsman, lors des questions sur l'AIC et son supplément. En effet, lors de cette réunion, ils ont mentionné à plusieurs reprises que ce montant serait protégé. Or, depuis, ils ont apporté une correction sur leur site pour indiquer que finalement, non, le montant ne serait pas protégé, c'est le montant d'imposition qui devrait normalement faire en sorte qu'on garde le même montant. Ainsi, finalement, il est possible qu'un vétéran reçoive moins.Voici le texte dans les questions et réponses sur pension à vie: Anciens Combattants Canada n’est pas en mesure de déterminer si chaque vétéran va recevoir plus ou moins après impôt, car les taux d’imposition et les circonstances individuelles varient. Les vétérans admissibles à l’indemnité pour souffrance et douleur ne toucheront pas moins que ce qu’ils auraient touché sous forme d’indemnité d’invalidité. Les vétérans admissibles à l’allocation pour incidence sur la carrière (AIC) le 1er avril 2019 seront automatiquement admis dans le nouveau système d’indemnité supplémentaire pour souffrance et douleur (ISSD) – ils passeront au même niveau (1, 2 ou 3) et recevront le montant mensuel non imposable de l’ISSD correspondant (et non le montant mensuel imposable de l’AIC). Alors qu’en apparence, les valeurs pécuniaires pour les niveaux 1, 2 et 3 semblent inférieures, ACC souhaite que les vétérans obtiennent généralement un montant comparable, en comprenant la variabilité individuelle de l’imposition.

April 7, 2018 9:56 AM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Bonjour Pat,

En tout premier lieu, je vous remercie d'avoir souligné vos préoccupations.  Nous avons vérifié auprès de l'ACC, et voici donc l'information la plus actuelle a ce sujet.

À partir du 1er avril 2019, le Ministère veillera à ce que les vétérans qui reçoivent l'allocation pour incidence sur la carrière (AIC) reçoivent automatiquement l'indemnité supplémentaire pour souffrance et douleur (ISSD) ils passeront au même niveau de catégorie (1, 2 ou 3) et recevront le montant mensuel de l'ISSD non imposable correspondant (et non le montant mensuel de l'AIC).
Remarque : L'AIC est un avantage financier imposable, ce qui n'est pas le cas de la nouvelle ISSD. Par conséquent, bien que la valeur nominale des catégories 1, 2 et 3 apparaisse moindre, les vétérans recevront un montant net comparable.

Voici les catégories de l'allocation pour incidence sur la carrière (AIC) imposable (2018) :
Catégorie 1 : 1 828,67 $/mois
Catégorie 2 : 1 219,13 $/mois
Catégorie 3 : 609,56 $/mois

Voici les catégories de l'indemnité supplémentaire pour souffrance et douleur (ISSD) non imposable en 2019 :
Catégorie 1 : 1 500 $/mois
Catégorie 2 : 1 000 $/mois
Catégorie 3 : 500 $/mois

Je vous remercie de nous suivre sur notre blog.

 

April 11, 2018 10:34 AM

Tim said:

Everyone recognizes the delays (exceeding 1+ years in my case) waiting for a disability benefit decisions which VAC refers to as the SSSD date. To reduce the number of calls/emails to VAC on this specific item, would it not be beneficial to put the SSSD date that VA is currently working on their Home page or yours. At least this way, it may help veterans with the anxiety and/or realistically knowing when the next group of decisions should be forthcoming.

March 23, 2018 2:06 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Thanks, Tim. That's an interesting comment you made. We agree that the current situation is unacceptable, and we keep pushing VAC to address their backlog and find solutions. 

March 28, 2018 4:19 PM

Lyne said:

Est-ce qu'il y aura plus de réponses sur les questions posés lors de la présentation.

March 15, 2018 9:41 AM

Shane said:

The thank should go to you and your staff and those VA on the sidelines for putting The Q & A together. LOL I'm still confused, but slowly putting things together, I think.

March 15, 2018 9:40 AM

Anonymous said:

Je viens de lire ce que vous venez d’écrire et vous faite erreur quand vous dites que le (SIDS) va etre protégé. Ce n’est pas ce qu’il ont dit. Ils ont dit que ceux qui recoivent le supplément présentement le garderont ils sera protégé,car a partir du 1 avril 2019 il va disparaitre pour les nouvelles demandent. Dites moi si je me trompe

March 15, 2018 9:27 AM

1988-1996 said:

Hi, I served in the Canadian Air Force from 1988 to 1996. Am I entitled to any benefits such as education benefits? Thank you.

March 15, 2018 2:52 AM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

VAC do not answer questions on our blog. However they do answer the questions under the facebook publications related to March 12 Facebook live. 
Please, do not hesitate to consult and ask further questions there.

March 22, 2018 9:42 AM

Anonymous said:

Je l'envoi en Français car c'est ma langue maternelle. Pourquoi ancien combatant prends aussi de temps à analyser nos demandes. Ils disent 16 semaines après la dates de mise en services. J'ai des dossier qui date de juillet 2017 et je n'ai pas encore de réponse et on me dits d'etre patient. Après 26 ans de loyaux et bons services c'est ce que je mérites????? Et lorsque je leurs dit ca je passe pour un pas fin et ils me disent encore de patienter et me donnne les meme information qui ne servent a rien

March 14, 2018 8:00 PM

Pat said:

Bonjour, concernant l'allocation pour incidence sur la carrière et son supplément, lors de la première intervention sur le sujet, la dame précise que le montant de la nouvelle ISD sera ajusté pour correspondre afin de protéger le montant reçu par l'AIC. Or, plus tard, dans une autre intervention, ainsi que sur le site web d'anciens combattants, il est mentionné que ce montant sera protégé, mais par la prestation de remplacement du revenu. Voici d'ailleurs le copier coller du site web: Les vétérans qui touchaient l’allocation pour perte de revenus ou l’allocation de sécurité du revenu de retraite ou l’allocation pour incidence sur la carrière ou son supplément ne toucheront pas moins au titre de la prestation de remplacement du revenu (avant les déductions) que ce qu’ils touchaient avant le changement. La différence est énorme, en effet, selon qu'elle est protégée par la prestation de remplacement du revenu ou l'ISD, le montant variera grandement. Car, dans le cas ou c'est la PRR qui protège, alors l'ISD s'additionnera au montant actuel, au lieu d'un statu quo. Ce qui serait un avantage pour vrai, et non un coup d'éclat politique. Laquelle est la vraie réponse? Aussi, quand on parle que le montant est protégé, on parle du montant brut ou net? Encore une grosse différence, car les parties imposables changent. Merci pour votre bon travail M. l'ombudsman

March 14, 2018 7:22 PM

Ppedro said:

je suis présentement sur Allocation pour perte de revenu prolongé jusqu'au 2 mai 2024, que va t'il se passer avec ça , merci

March 14, 2018 7:17 PM

Tanker out west said:

CIA started as PIA: you were judged to have a permanent injury that impacted your ability to earn a living. Changed to CIA and to reflect the lost earning ability of soldiers injured on duty. Expanded to increase award value depending upon how many years left to serve. Very different than before when it was only injury related without a timeline. Now a young soldier, released 3B with more than 10 years left to serve will qualify for level 2. Under PIA, one needed an amputation which is the pain and suffering one needs to qualify for level 2. Now in order to qualify for level 2 one must have an amputation if injured within 5 years before best before date and retirement. How is this equal? A young soldier could be released with little pain and get level 2 APSC while a 150% disabled older soldier with chronic pain with all limbs is entitled to level 3?? This change is very fair to the younger soldier and not fair at all to the older disabled vet unless one can get level 2 with all limbs and level 2 is based on total disability vs years left to serve or having a service injury related amputation. Mixing CIA and APSC levels is apples and oranges comparison. CIA becomes extinct on 1 April 2019. It is not replaced. Those receiving CIA and its supplement today will be grandfathered for those already in receipt.

March 14, 2018 5:09 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

VAC do not answer questions on our blog. However they do answer the questions under the facebook publications related to March 12 Facebook live. 
Please, do not hesitate to consult and ask further questions there.

March 22, 2018 9:49 AM

kenboy said:

Pourquoi les pensionnés ne sont pas admissible pour allocation d'aidants naturels lorsque celui-ci est reconnu par revenu Canada et revenu Québec en plus de recevoir la RRQ pour invalidité. Reconnu par les ( 2 ) paliers gouvernementales besoin d'aide dans toutes les activités de la vie quotidienne à 90 % et ne pouvant vivre seul. Je recoit le CIPH...

March 14, 2018 4:56 PM

Ray said:

Great Job

March 14, 2018 4:49 PM

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