Veterans Ombudsman Releases Review on Long-Term Care

August 14, 2013

Ottawa, Ontario Guy Parent, Canada’s Veterans Ombudsman, today released a review entitled Veterans’ Long-Term Care Needs, which examines the eligibility, accessibility and cost of Veterans Affairs Canada’s Long-Term Care Program. Its aim is to foster a common understanding of Veterans Affairs Canada’s current role in the funding of long-term care benefits for Veterans under the Long-Term Care Program.

“The highest number of complaints received by my office relate to health care,” said Mr. Parent. “We are committed to ensuring that Veterans Affairs Canada’s Long-Term Care Program is well-understood and that any shortcomings in eligibility, accessibility and cost are identified so that Veterans have access to the care they need and deserve.”

The Long-Term Care Program financially supports eligible Veterans in various residential care situations, namely adult residential care, intermediate care, and chronic care. Eligibility for these different levels of care is complex and involves a determination of service and program eligibility. In the majority of cases, Veterans and other clients of the Department must first meet provincial eligibility criteria before being considered for the Long-Term Care Program. While provincial eligibility is based on health care need, the Department's eligibility criteria takes into consideration both health need and client type, which is dependent on where or when a Veteran served.

Veterans, especially those residing outside of urban or Veteran-population centres, experience continued difficulty finding long-term care within or close to the communities in which they reside, and are at times placed on waiting lists for beds funded by the Department in their preferred facility due to the provinces' determination of whom to provide priority access.

“This review is the first in a series on Veterans’ health care benefits and programs that Veterans may access depending on their level of need over the course of their life,” said Mr. Parent. “A review of the Veterans Independence Program, as well as a review of federal and provincial services available to Veterans in need of assisted living, will complete the continuum of care as offered by the Department and will offer a snapshot of the administration of these benefits and programs.”

In the future, the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman intends to release a follow-up report that will tie together information from the Long-Term Care Program review and upcoming reviews of the Veterans Independence Program and Assisted Living in order to provide recommendations for improvements for Veterans and their families.

The full review is available online at

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