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The Death Benefit For Single Members Merged Thread

Bruce Monkhouse said:
I believe some 'real facts', including testimony from 'TeddyBear', has been presented.....

Let's also remember that when reporters ask for facts or more material, what they often mean is, "will you say that into a camera/microphone for me?"  (esp. for TV).  I remember about a year ago, when a family statement was downplayed because it was done through the military, not face-to-face with a reporter.  High bar to get over, I know, but just thought I'd help decode the "reporterspeak" a bit.

Again, I've given one example of media that have gone for the other side and a little more information - let's see who follows suit....
I posted this as a comment at David Akin's blog--hope it is accurate:

'All CF members have the Supplementary Death Benefit (two years salary) which goes to the person they designate.

"11. The death benefit payable on the death of a participant who is a serving member is an amount equal to twice the member's annual pensionable pay, if that amount is a multiple of $250, or an amount equal to the nearest multiple of $250 above twice the annual pensionable pay of the participant, if the first mentioned amount is not a multiple of $250.

12. The death benefit is payable:
a. to the beneficiary where a deceased participant has designated a beneficiary under CFS Regs; or
b. if no beneficiary has been designated by the deceased participant under CFS Regs,
(i) to the estate of the participant.."

Same for Group Life insurance (SISIP), which apparently is compulsory for those serving in Afstan:

Meanwhile, Veterans Affairs Canada has "The death benefit...a tax-free, lump sum payment. It is paid to a spouse or common-law partner, and dependent children, if a CF member is:

* killed while in service; or
* injured while in service and dies within 30 days of the injury."

"For 2007, the maximum Disability Award is $255,729.25. It is adjusted annually based on the cost-of-living index."

If Master Corporal Dinnings had nominated either parent as beneficiary, that person would get around $90,000 tax free from the Supplementary Death Benefit, the same for whatever amount of insurance he had bought.

I find it odd that our media have not mentioned these other funds that flow from the death of a CF member.'

I must agree that the media again took advantage of a grieving families emotions and ran with it. Shame on them!

But it doesn't lessen the fact that this young man paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country and he should be remembered and honoured as a hero. Just as when a police officer dies in the line of duty, they are given a state funeral and so it should be the same for our soldiers. That means stop haggling over the cost, Pulling out all the stops and do what ever it takes to honour their sacrifice. For God sake, We are making it sound like we're out haggling over a used car! Shame on all of us for allowing this to turn into the fiasco that is has become. We are a rich nation and the least we can do is give our sons and daughters who sacrifice their lives for us a send off that is equal to the sacrifice thay made.

I feel this is disgracefull how this is being treated by all parties involved and I feel great sympathy for the family, who seems to be vultered over at their weekest moments. And to all who seem to think the family is taking advantage of the system, ask your self.
"what if it was your son or daughter lying in that casket"? If you can't answer this question without hesitation, don't bother.
So if I die I can rightfully ask to have my ashes sent into space at the cost of the gov't?

There are specified rules in black and white.  There shouldn't be any haggeling because the rules are and have been in place for some time.  The gov't and the CF don't want to look like the bad guys over the money and that is why they are staying quiet or some might say professional about the whole thing.
The whole thing about funerals is that no matter what rank you are during your career your send off is the same for all.
Lone Wolf: I am with you 100% on this. We are very, very lucky that our death rate is as low as it is so that the Govt can respond as generously as it is in this case. Imagine (God forbid...) that we were to start losing troops at the rate we did in WWII, or (far worse...) WWI. How would we sustain such generosity? What if we lose 100 men in a single fight? ( a morning's work in Flanders or Normandy). Somehow we have to balance respect for our dead and honour to their service with fairness and recognition of actual financial need vs grief-driven desire. We cannot buy back the dead.

pbi said:
We cannot buy back the dead.

Gen. Hillier offered me anything I needed. However, I don't think he'll go for the time machine so I can go back to the day my husband left and "help" him fall down the stairs. I am completely satisfied with the send off that my husband received. It was very much befitting who he was as a person and a soldier.
teddybear said:
Gen. Hillier offered me anything I needed. However, I don't think he'll go for the time machine so I can go back to the day my husband left and "help" him fall down the stairs. I am completely satisfied with the send off that my husband received. It was very much befitting who he was as a person and a soldier.
Teddybear, by your wisdom and your own personal loss you have established a position of great respect on this site. Your words cary weight. If you could speak to families that doubt the good intentions of the CF, or of DND, or VAC, what would you say to them? What would you say to those institutions? What is the right way to look at this?

pbi said:
If you could speak to families that doubt the good intentions of the CF, or of DND, or VAC, what would you say to them? What would you say to those institutions? What is the right way to look at this?


The military is an extension of my own family. And my husband's unit treated me as a member of their family - and still does. They do the best they can to try to ease the pain. They provide you with an Assisting Officer to help you plan the funeral, make travel arrangements for family members, coordinate timings, advise on what is covered by DND, help with the endless mounds of paperwork that follows the death of a member and act as go betweens with VAC.
Yes, my husband was killed while in service. Any other job, and I would have to pay for family members travel myself, coordinate and pay for the funeral, deal with the paperwork and contact life insurance myself. At 7 1/2 months later, my concentration is still not up to snuff to be able to deal with all of that - let alone at a time of crisis.
Pretty much my response to all the planning was tell me what I'm entitled to and tell me the timings. Maybe I'm just a good military wife but then, so are the other widows that I know. The caring and compassion that my family has been shown has been phenomenal. To attack the military is like attacking my own family members. They can't give me back my husband, BUT they have done everything they can to help ease my pain. That sincere level of caring has come from the top all the way down. The military has honoured my husband and our family at every step of the way. I will be eternally grateful for everything that they have done.

Something else good has indeed happened to me today. I just read your last post, and as I sit here now with tears streaming down my face, I can only say thank you so much for your dignity, grace and sacrifice.

We will not forget Ted, nor any others from our family who have fallen. Their honour and your sacrifice, reinforce that to us daily. It is your strength and compassion that allow members of the CF family such as myself, who remain carrying their torch, to put our uniforms with pride each day, no matter the adversity we will face.

Thank you once again.

From ctv.ca, Shared under the Fair Dealings Provisions of the Copyright Act, RSC

My italics added.


Military to pay couple short-changed on funeral
Updated Fri. Jun. 1 2007 4:38 PM ET
Canadian Press

OTTAWA -- A couple short-changed on the cost of burying their son killed in Afghanistan is finally getting compensation.

The chief of military personnel phoned the parents of Cpl. Matthew Dinning on Thursday to apologize after they were forced to go public this week to plead their case.

Rear-Admiral Tyrone Pile promised to send a cheque for the difference between what the funeral cost and what the military paid, as well as cover outstanding grief counselling bills, Lincoln Dinning said Friday.

"He did apologize, saying it should have never happened." Dinning said.

Matthew Dinning was killed in a roadside bomb attack on April 22 last year near Kandahar, one of four soldiers to die that day.

His funeral cost roughly $12,000 -- $6,400 of which was covered by the National Defence burial stipend. The couple will now receive another $4,700, including the cost of a hotel room in Ottawa where they stayed last fall when their son's name was added to the honour roll.

The Dinning family's request for full reimbursement languished in the military bureaucracy for months, even after two letters to National Defence and a written plea to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. They have yet to hear from Harper.

The Wingham, Ont., couple reluctantly came forward this week after Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor denied in the House of Commons that families had been left with bills after burying fallen soldiers.

A spokeswoman for O'Connor refused to discuss the settlement with the family.

"We are not going to talk about specific cases," said Isabelle Bouchard in an email note. "The minister said in the House that all families would be contacted so it would not be surprising that the Dinning family would have been."

The military took steps Friday to burnish away some of the tarnishing debate by honouring military spouses during an enrolment ceremony for 100 new recruits outside Ottawa City Hall.

The wives of 10 soldiers, including the widow of Chief Warrant Officer Robert Girouard, were presented with awards of recognition for their support of the military. Girouard was killed last November along with Cpl. Albert Storm, in a roadside bomb attack.

Among the others receiving recognition, Karen Boire and Lisa Miller, who started the wear red on Fridays campaign to support soldiers overseas.

In welcoming new recruits to all branches of the service, the country's top military commander pointed to the families of soldiers who gathered to watch the ceremony.

"You will be sustained by a military community and a family that does look out for you and that does support you," Gen. Rick Hillier, the chief of defence staff, assured the 100 trainees.

"You have some trepidation, some nervousness about putting the uniform on and, in fact, what you're going to face over these next days, weeks, months and several years. Let me just tell you: you can do it."

On Sunday, National Defence intends to declare 2007 the Year of the Military Family.
07:30 Hrs Mar 22 2006, I believe that moment in time will give me the right to comment in this forum.

First I believe a lot of you are belittling a man I believe is being used by the opposition parties. I met Mr dinning on three occasions due to the fact our sons were killed together. He did not appear to me to be any sort of the person most are making him out to be. We must remember that someone who knows little, a friend, a colleague or some politician looking for an brownie point can give a little misinformation that would be taken for gospel by someone who does not know better. maybe he was told he might be allowed these expenses as was the rumour here that NOK got whatever they wanted.
Next, I have the utmost respect for the Base Comdr, Padre and Randys OC from Wainwright in the way they handled two people at 12:30 AM  (I thought that only happened in movies) that were basket cases when they came to the door. I was lucky (unlucky) enough to be visiting my sons family at the time. During the next few days although we were going through hell the dedication of these three and the assistance given through the base was above reproach. We were informed as to what we could expect by way of assistance both monetary and materially from the military. The funeral was planned as per our wishes within guidelines that were given by the AO, all this by phone between Wainwright and Ontario. Randy had well over 1500 to 2000 people come to see him off, all were told of the limited number of seats available but came anyway. I know of no expense that we were billed for because we overspent. The people that attended the funeral made the funeral what it was, not chairs and air conditioning. It is said that there was close to 1500 people outside the church standing in the heat to pay their respects.
I also attended the Memorial Wall for the Police in Ottawa but this is not a military function but an honour bestowed upon Randy, we paid ourselves, last weekend Randy was inducted into the Veterans Hall of Valour in Ottawa also an honour bestowed but not a Military function. If Mr. Dinning was lead to believe these costs would be reimbursed, the one that gave him the info should cough up the money.
I suggest the fact that the ones that should be doing the explaining about this fiasco is the people that were in power when we were sent to Afghanistan. Why weren't these policies implemented prior to anyone being sent over?
As was noted before this is nothing but a political point getter, but it burns my butt (read ass) to see the CDS blindsided over something like this altho I'm sure he will weather the storm. (we can only hope)
As for the media that read these forums we can only hope they learn how to get the whole story and get it straight some day soon, and no I'm not interested in taking your calls.
For the NOK that are reading this please check your health benefit package to ensure you have dental coverage included as this item was mysteriously omitted from the benefit package. It has been noted but as usual bureaucracy will hold this up.

In closing sorry for the rant
God Bless
Keep Safe
Pro Patria  :salute:

David Payne

missing1 said:
For the NOK that are reading this please check your health benefit package to ensure you have dental coverage included as this item was mysteriously omitted from the benefit package. It has been noted but as usual bureaucracy will hold this up.

It is my understanding, though I may be wrong, that the member must have served 10? years for the dependents to receive dental benefits. I receive drug and dental coverage through my husband's pension. However, one of our widows does not qualify for dental coverage. She receives drug coverage through VAC but they do not offer dental coverage. Perhaps this is the case with your daughter in law?

missing1 I fail to understand how the family would be lead to believe anything other then what is on the books because as you know your given an assisting officer who should have those answers as to what the member's family is and is not entitled to.  Unfortunately the CF has done this enough times now that there should not be any grey area.
missing1's post wrt to the character or Mr Dinning is well founded.

The dimensions of grief are complex and much more than most people think. I suspect what drives Mr Dinning is a deep and profound anger, which in reality can find no target to come to bear on. The human mind is strange in that regard, it must have a target. The human heart is strange in that regard it must have some solace.

I strongly suspect that Mr Dinning's anger is driven as much as grief as by anything else, and I strongly doubt that he has any agenda to wring a few extra shillings out of anyone.

In that regard missing1 is correct to defend Mr Dinning.

I think, we must look more closely at persons who have sought to achieve a political agenda and to those members of the fifth estate, in both cases to sensationalize the situation and through laziness, stupidity or neglect failed to outline exactly what was paid. (Quite clearly members of this form have made 'pro forma' calculations, based on official, open source facts, all of which would clear up the misconception, that only 4675 was paid. I have yet to see any of that in the press or from the opposition benches said or writ.)

Shame on them.

Mr Dinning is living in a world that I hope none of you ever see. He is, to me, blameless.
For many who have contributed to this discussion, and haven't read the letters from the Dinnings laying out the costs of the funeral, and other requests, before you go any further, please read the letters in David Aken's blog on the link.

Lone Wolf Quagmire said:
missing1 I fail to understand how the family would be lead to believe anything other then what is on the books because as you know your given an assisting officer who should have those answers as to what the member's family is and is not entitled to.  Unfortunately the CF has done this enough times now that there should not be any grey area.
It is very easy to understand if you had ever been put into this sort of debate with people that know nothing of what the military is about. When Randy died it was rumoured that he was entitled to thousands more than what is paid, his wife's home was paid for, claim this claim that. We don't believe that for a second, but a lot of civvies did. If you are not aware of what the policy is, at this tumultuous time, it would very easy get out of hand. The family in question is not a military family, therefore you tell them they can get this or that someone might just believe it. Even tho you have an AO what you hear from others sometimes sounds gospel.
Hello all, I certainly do not know all the details of what benefits are paid or not and what has been promised or not. I have read through the entire post and the posted letters Lincoln has submitted. One thing I do know is the integrity of Lincoln and Laurie. As their current neighbor I can attest to their integrity. As a paramedic working along side Lincoln I can attest to his integrity. All the expenses are legitimate from what I can see. If he says they said they would pay for it, then they said it, if whoever said it was accurate or not. At a time like that I wouldn't expect the normal response to be "can I have that in writing". If their understanding is that the expenses are paid and the government of the day says they have paid all the expenses and they have not received payment, you can understand their frustration. I really, really think you have the wrong idea if you think they are going for a money grab, they are just not that type of people.
teddybear said:
The military is an extension of my own family. .. I will be eternally grateful for everything that they have done.

Thanks teddybear. Well said. I just wish more Canadians could hear this point of view, which I believe is the point of view of most of the bereaved CF families. Sadly, the media seems to want to give more play to the cases where either we have actually failed; or some family member (sometimes quite a distant family member...) judges that we've failed. I guess, though, to be fair, that if the media did not pick up on things like this (as clumsily and inadequately as they often do) then perhaps the story might not be told at all, and the pressure needed to make corrections in the system would never materialize.

Although I believe very strongly that we do the right thing almost every time, at this point I'll leave this line of argument: I think I may have strayed into casting aspersions where I didn't really mean to.

I’ve been thinking about this thread and the issues that it covers quite a lot over the last few days.  It certainly has brought up some painful memories for me, especially since the anniversary of my husband’s death is approaching.

Yet, I want to be able to say to the families especially the Dinnings that it does get better, it doesn’t get easier, but it does get better in time.  I am not judging you, nor will I and I’m glad that you have had a chance to say your goodbyes to your son and to the other families that have posted or are reading this thread, I mourn with you. 

Our Country  has made some mistakes in the managing of our fallen, the Dinnings, the Woodfields have all but become familiar with these shortcomings.  We, as a country are behaving as the individuals whom I had to deal with when my husband was killed on that day in June, 25 years ago.  I ran across those whose hearts were in the right places but they couldn’t manage to say the graceful comment and blundered through in their expression of condolences.  I met those who promised me the world of support, but disappeared after the bands stopped playing and the flags stopped waving and I met those who couldn’t understand why my grieving was taking so long, and felt it should be over and done with in a few short weeks.  I had others who spoke openly that they didn’t think the surviving family deserved any more than a weekly allotment and decried us tax burdens to the country.  People will always have an opinion and they will inevitably voice their opinion when they can. If I learned one thing during that time was to smile, be graceful and thank them for their comments.  We, as a country, have not yet learned to behave in dealing with our fallen’s families.  Our country is like the individual who understands what death is, but has never really come close to it.  When we do, we simply do not know how to behave.  We make the blundering promises of support because we simply do not know what to say to comfort these families.  We understand life, we don’t understand death. 

But then I met the widows of the Korea, Northern Ireland and the two great wars. I yearned to be able to speak as they did with the quiet dignity and pride that emanated from them.  I wanted to stop being angry in my grief.  Those women and families showed me how to survive my grief.  I felt akin to them and it was almost as if we spanned the eras in our collective grief.  Sadly, our families that now have to face their grief are not able to draw from others who share that they too, once loved and lost a soldier, sailor or airmen/woman. 

I am glad that our Country has tried to do the right and honourable thing with our fallen.  When my husband was killed, his body was not brought home, he is buried where he fell.  (Although to be fair, the UK did offer to repatriate the bodies a few years later). I had no say in any of the memorial services that followed.  The country, the Corps, the Unit and the Cities all had their own ideas of wanting to honour them.  I was simply to get in the car they sent and attend. I was a subject of interest for the media as there was always a need to print a shot of a tearful widow. That sold papers.  I never got to hear my husband’s favourite hymn, or biblical passage nor did I get to have my last goodbye.  I finally got to have a private memorial service for him one year later, when we dedicated a grave marker on the family plot.  We had to pay for those services although the govt paid for the tiny marker.  I pay a lady in the town next to where he is buried to make sure that there are fresh flowers on his grave for his birthday, Father’s day, Christmas and such.  I’ve been paying that for 25 years and it’s in my will to provide for a continued stipend so that his grave is never left uncared for. (not including the care that the war graves comm. provide.) Now I realize that all this was in a different country, in a different time period but that was the way things were done then. 

So when I read that we were to repatriated our fallen, I was relieved for the families.  I was relieved for them that they got to determine the details of the funeral arrangements and glad that those services did not turn into a dog and pony show for the media.  I was relieved for them that in their grief they would find great solace in the act of bereavement and remembrance and that they would be spared any additional pains of a long mourning period.  Although it appears in the aftermath that the MSM is finding the families still of exploitative value for a good cover story and that horrifies me. 

We need to do better as a country in learning how to approach the subject of our fallen.  We need to do better in understanding the magnitude of grief these families are experiencing and they do so without the ability to turn to a family of a past conflict and draw from them. We need to stop uttering empty words of condolences and step up to the plate to continue to support them.  If we, as members or former members of the CF, cannot earnestly support these families and by extension teach our fellow Canadians how to approach the issue of our fallen’s deaths and their families, then no one can.  Shame on us, if we continue to fail them.  Our words of condolences to them will cease to be filled with meaning, they will be - but an empty gesture.