CPC Accomplishments for Veterans 2006-2015
An operational stress injury clinic is announced for Calgary.
The position of the Veterans’ Ombudsman, which raises awareness of the needs and concerns of Veterans, is created.
Minister of Veterans Affairs announces a one-time, tax-free ex gratia payment to eligible recipients connected to testing of unregistered U.S. military herbicides, including Agent Orange, at CFB Gagetown.
An operational stress injury clinic is announced for Fredericton.
The Minister of Veterans Affairs announces a partnership to provide VAC’s Job Placement Program, now called Career Transition Services for Veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces.
A Veterans Bill of Rights, strengthening the ability to respond quickly and fairly to the concerns of Canadian Veterans is announced.
The Minister of Veterans Affairs inaugurates the Ste. Anne’s Hospital Pain Management Clinic.
VAC announces additional funding to support four of the operational stress injury clinics in the network.
The Minister of Veterans Affairs announces the hiring of an additional eight family peer-support coordinators as part of the Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) program.
An operational stress injury clinic is announced for Edmonton.
Created the Atomic Veterans Recognition Program to recognize Canadian military veterans and Defence science and technology workers who participated in allied nuclear weapons testing during 1946 to 1963 and/or the Chalk River decontamination efforts that were conducted in 1952, 1953 and/or 1958.
An outreach campaign is launched with community partners to identify and help homeless Veterans in the Montreal area.
The Minister of Veterans Affairs introduces legislation to extend the War Veterans Allowance benefits to Allied Veterans of the Second World War, the Korean War, and their family members.
The Minister of Veterans Affairs announces a contract to provide the vocational component for Veterans Affairs Canada’s Rehabilitation Services.
The Minister of Veterans Affairs announces the establishment at Ste. Anne’s Hospital of Canada’s first residential treatment clinic for complex operational stress injuries.
Established the Community War Memorial Program.
The processing of Veteran requests for reimbursement is fully centralized to VAC’s Health Claims Administrator Medavie Blue Cross resulting in improved claim turnaround times.
The Minister of Veterans Affairs announces the deadline for submitting an application for the Agent Orange ex gratia payment program is extended to June 30, 2011.
Benefits for seriously injured Veterans are implemented, including:
• an increase in the monthly financial support through the Earnings Loss Benefit;
• improved access to the Career Impact Allowance;
• introduction of a $1,000 monthly Career Impact Allowance Supplement for the most seriously injured Veterans; and
• payment options for men and women in uniform and Veterans receiving a Disability Award.
The Minister of Veterans Affairs announces implementation of a new policy related to disability benefits for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
VAC provides case managers with more authority to approve benefits for individuals who need timely access to treatment and benefits to facilitate recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration.
Department of National Defence and VAC announces the Legacy of Care program which includes services to support injured CAF members and their families.
Official launch of the Homeless Veterans Project for the Toronto area.
The Ministers of Veterans Affairs and National Defence announce $2 billion in improvements to support and care for Veterans and their families.
VAC begins to fast-track benefits for seriously injured Veterans. Wait times for Disability Benefits average eight weeks (60% faster than the current service standard), and in some cases, decisions are provided within days.
VAC eliminates a backlog of 2,500 claims and the number of calls to VAC’s national call centre about the status of disability claims drops.
Minister of Veterans Affairs announces a partnership in the Vancouver area to reach out to the homeless through the Homeless Storefront initiative.
VAC begins offering up-front payments for grounds maintenance and housekeeping services under the Veterans Independence Program (VIP), eliminating cumbersome paperwork for Veterans, survivors and primary caregivers.
Seventy-seven per cent of treatment benefits no longer require a repeat pre-authorization.
Eighty per cent of disability benefit claims with VAC are now processed within 16 weeks (former service standard of 24 weeks).
Veterans Affairs Canada introduces the convenience of direct deposit for Veterans receiving payments under both the Veterans independence Program (VIP) and the Treatment Benefits Program.
The Minister of Veterans Affairs welcomes the House of Commons’ swift approval of Bill C-55 legislation which significantly enhances financial support for injured CAF members and Veterans.
The Enhanced New Veterans Charter Act is passed. In doing so we:
• Improve access to monthly benefits for seriously injured Veterans;
• Create a monthly $1,000 supplement for life to help our most seriously injured or ill Veterans; and
• Provide veterans with the flexibility of receiving their disability award as a lump sum or monthly payment.
VAC and National Defence add five new Integrated Personnel Support Centres. VAC is present on 32 Canadian Armed Forces Bases and Wings in Canada.
The Minister of Veterans Affairs announces improvements to services including:
• Standard turnaround time for decisions on rehabilitation eligibility is two weeks, an improvement from four weeks;
• Veterans now have less paperwork to complete when applying for the Veterans Independence Program (VIP);
• Twenty additional case managers in areas of high demand across the country, to deliver one-on-one service; and
• National call centres equipped to improve response times. Eighty per cent of callers can speak with a Veterans Affairs Canada representative within two minutes.
VAC increases support for Veterans by ending the deduction of Veterans’ Disability Pensions when calculating the Earnings Loss Benefit and Canadian Forces Income Support.
A partnership with Service Canada adds approximately 560 points of service for Veterans and their families across the country. Service Canada provides general information on VAC programs and services as well as assistance when applying for disability benefits and the Veterans Independence Program.
Employment and Social Development Canada and VAC announce the Transitional Housing and Support for Homeless Veterans pilot project, providing transitional housing and support services, in four cities: Victoria, Calgary, Toronto and London.
Receipts are no longer required for Health Related Travel resulting in significantly reduced turnaround times for payments to Veterans and the process is fully centralized with Medavle Blue Cross in October 2012.
A new and improved My VAC Account is released. With one simple and secure sign-in, Veterans have with more options for self-service and the convenience and flexibility of doing business securely online with VAC, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Veterans now have the ability to go online to:
• have access to their account from mobile devices with internet access;
• securely communicate with the Department;
• submit and track the progress of their disability benefits application;
• see that a decision has been made on their application even before a letter is mailed;
• update their contact information;
• change their direct deposit information; and
• see a summary of their current services and benefits.
After working with stakeholder groups, VAC introduces a new streamlined application process to ensure Veterans across Canada have access to benefits, information, and timely service, wherever they reside.
VAC increases benefits to traditional war Veterans by no longer deducting disability benefits paid under the Pension Act from the War Veterans Allowance (WVA) payments.
VAC awards a contract to the Royal Canadian Legion for a new Long Term Care Outreach and Visitation initiative.
VAC announces changes to simplify training plan approval and claims processing, giving Veterans more flexibility in their vocational rehabilitation, providing Veterans with decisions more quickly, and increasing the chance of rehabilitation success.
The Government of Canada announces its commitment to a comprehensive review of the New Veterans Charter.
OSI Connect, a mobile application developed by the Royal Ottawa Operational Stress Injury Clinic with VAC support, is launched as a tool for understanding and managing operational stress injuries.
VAC announces a pilot project with partners to study the benefits of using animals, such as dogs and horses, in therapies to assist Veterans who are affected by operational stress injuries.
The Minister of Veterans Affairs announces the PTSD Coach Canada mobile app.
Hire a Veteran is launched to help connect employers with Veterans seeking employment. A number of organizations also offer support for Veterans transitioning to employment and entrepreneurship.
Seventy-eight per cent of disability benefit claims are now processed within 12 weeks.
VAC invites Veterans Transition Program participants to test the new PTSD Coach Canada mobile app.
The Minister of Veterans Affairs launches the Right to Fairness Implementation Plan to cut red tape for Veterans applying for VAC disability benefits.
A Legacy of Care is established to provide additional support to seriously injured military personnel and their families in the form of $52.5 million over five years. The funding went towards:
• Barrier-free transitional housing for injured soldiers undergoing treatment at one of the CF’s seven centres of expertise in rehabilitation;
• Support services such as wheelchair accessible transportation to medical appointments, caregiver respite, child care, and the delivery of medical supplies and groceries during rehabilitation;
• Up to $100 per day for family or close friends who leave their job to help provide care to the ill or injured soldier;
• Improving access to the Canadian Forces Spousal Education Upgrade Program; and
• Making it easier for seriously ill or injured veterans to access help, information, and individual attention, through enhanced case management support.
The Government of Canada introduces measures to move Veterans to the front of the line when hiring for federal public service jobs. Measures include $100,000 for each injured Military Veteran who needs vocational rehabilitation, education and training;
The Deer Lodge Operational Stress Injury Clinic receives additional funding to support added space for clinician consultations, telehealth, peer support meetings, and families.
An Operational Stress Injury Clinic is announced for Hamilton.
Minister of Veterans Affairs instructs the Department to assemble a “Veteran-centric Communications Task Force” to improve how Veterans Affairs Canada communicates with Veterans—and gives them 120 days to reduce the administrative paperwork burden for our Veterans and to ensure all letters and forms are easy to understand and necessary.
Expanded eligibility for the Funeral and Burial Program to ensure modern-day Veterans of modest means have access to a dignified funeral and burial.
Creation of the Retirement Income Security Benefit that provides Veterans receiving the Earnings Loss Benefit with continued assistance in the form of a monthly income support payment beginning at age 65. The Earnings Loss Benefit—upon which many moderately to severely disabled Veterans rely—is not available after the age of 65.
Eligibility criteria for the Permanent Impairment Allowance are broadened.
Enhanced benefits for injured part-time Reserve Force Veterans, who will now be assured the same minimum income support payment through the Earnings Loss Program as full-time Reserve Force and Regular Force Veterans.
Introduce the Family Caregiver Relief Benefit.
Introduce the Critical Injury Benefit intended to address the immediate impacts of the most severe and traumatic service-related injuries or diseases sustained by CAF members and Veterans, between the time the injury or disease occurs and the time when their condition becomes medically stable.
Minister announces that national standards will be set for service dogs which assist Veterans with mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The Veterans Hiring Act (Bill C-27) comes into July 1, 2015. The Act makes it easier for Canadian Armed Forces personnel who are leaving the military to secure jobs in the federal public service.
Minister of Veterans Affairs announces that Veterans Affairs Canada will hire more than 100 permanent case managers in order to provide improved one-on-one service. A 30-1 Veteran to Caseworker ratio is introduced.
Finalize the transfer of Ste. Anne’s Hospital to the Government of Quebec with a transfer agreement that ensures eligible Veterans would continue to have priority access to the Hospital.