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VAC Return to Lifetime Pensions Discussion

the 48th regulator

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Have your say

“Have Your Say” is an engagement tool to further involve Veterans, stakeholders and Canadians in a constructive dialogue on Veterans’ issues and priorities.

Your input will help ensure we are moving in a direction that will make a real and substantial difference in the lives of veterans and their families. Read the records of discussions from the Stakeholder Summits and VAC's six advisory groups and join the discussion!

To help answer those questions, a stakeholder summit and six Ministerial advisory groups have been established. Read the records of their discussions and tell us if you agree, disagree or have a brand new idea. Join the discussion.


All members for each commite can be found on the link above, by clicking on the appropriate advisory committee.

 

ModlrMike

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That article popped up on my feed today. While I generally try to avoid making snap judgements, i was pretty certain who was being referred to when I read through it. Good to see that my spidy senses are intact.
 

loadiecc150

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Just like prairiefire, I am both new and old charter! I would prefer the monthly pension hands down; however, I will wait to see the options on 4 Oct.

I am an open supporter of Mike Blais, he is fighting for what he believes, as do I about the return to the life long monthly pension.

Currently it's quite confusing to navigate the system and what's available. One needs a case manager who is willing to point us in the right direction as opposed to what seems the majority who keep it all a secret!

As some of you are aware I am well over the 100% limit, I also have numerous claims in appeal and two in first stage. I know things will end up in a positive way; however, it takes FOREVER to get there!

Even some of the case managers aren't fully aware of how the systems works. Why isn't there a definition for PIA levels and what are the criteria to get to those levels. I know I'm messed up pretty bad, both physically and mentally. I'm betting I will only get the lowest level of PIA with the supplement (hopefully).

Now things will change yet again, God, I hope for the better!

The way I see it, I REALLY APPRECIATE ALL WHO FIGHT THE FIGHT FOR US. I don't care how it gets done as long as it gets done!

I was a Regular member for 20+ years and my family and I suffer for those 20 years on a daily basis. Why should I have to fear living in poverty because of something that wasn't my fault? We all need to feel normal and not live pay cheque to pay cheque! Also when we turn 65, we shouldn't lose The benefits we currently receive, they should continue, just like the old charter is! Life long pensions.

Rant over, my brain is spent!
 

Lightguns

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Like many here, I am Old System and NVC and would prefer a monthly pension.  I will wait til 6 October before storming the gates. 
 

Teager

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Looks like the Minister wants everyone to be patient or as some think  the Liberals are waiting to see the outcome of the Equitas lawsuit.

Hehr: Be Patient With Veterans Lifelong Pension

Matt Carty
September 23, 2016 12:30 pm
Hehr: Be Patient With Veterans Lifelong Pension
WINNIPEG – Canadian veterans are being asked to be patient when it comes to the re-establishment of their lifelong pension.

Canada’s Veteran Affairs Minister Kent Hehr was in Winnipeg on Friday to meet with new office employees and service members.


He was asked about his party’s election promise to bring back the lifelong pension for veterans after it was eliminated in 2006 by the former Conservative government in favour of a controversial lump sum payment.

“We’re going to continue to work towards having a clearer option for a lifetime pension and I ask people to be somewhat patient,” Hehr said.

There is currently a lawsuit making its way through the courts in British Columbia that was filed by six severely disabled Afghanistan veterans in 2012.

It was halted in 2015 during the election campaign with the hopes that a new government would create new legislation on lifelong pension for veterans, but as of June the lawsuit is back on.

A judge is expected to make a decision some time in the fall.

“We can’t run government by lawsuit, but we can implement good public policy and that’s exactly what we’re doing and I can say we are very proud of the work we are doing,” Hehr said.

The lack of action on the government’s part has not sat well with veterans who preferred the lifelong pension over the lump-sum.

Winnipeg military reservist Harvey Gingras says he took the lump sum of about $93,000.

“You get a large check, does not last very long. Especially people who have PTSD or any psychological problems – impulses spend it. Especially the younger ones who are getting out now don’t really know how to manage funding,” Gingras said.

http://www.inews880.com/syn/107/161101/hehr-be-patient-with-veterans-lifelong-pension
 

Wookilar

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Have to add, Maj (Ret'd) Campbell is a stand up guy (no pun intended so none of you smartasses out there...) so I'll take his word for it. Note, the lawsuit is still on, so he obviously feels there is more to be done.

As for SISIP/ELB: SISIP is not regarding the top-up to be income, and therefore will not be reducing their payments in any way.

That's a direct quote from my case manager from about 20 minutes ago, and she seems pretty switched on.

Now, the old Log O Fin side of my brain says that computers do funny things and are only as good as the data we put into them...sooo I will wait and see for:
1) The calculation from VAC;
2) The actual payment from VAC; and,
3) if Manulife will be asking for income statements the month after.

If anyone on SISIP out there has not applied for ELB, get your ass in gear and fill out the paperwork. You have nothing to lose. I applied for ELB upon release (2013) and was granted it, but since SISIP fulfilled the 75% payment, no top-up.

Watch and shoot.

Wook
 

prairefire

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October 6th has come and gone and I was left with the impression from earlier comments in this thread that there was likely to be some sort of either stupendously horrible announcement or wondrous achievement. Especially with some individuals comments calling for a protest...........

So after all the donner and blitzen what real news is there?? :argument:

 

OldSolduer

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If you're holding your breath- don't.

The wheels of government turn extremely slowly, particularly on this.
 

cdnwo

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Was thinking the very same thing today. Nothing in the forums or news related.
 

cdnwo

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Not exactly sure what progress or decision this explains.

http://m.theguardian.pe.ca/Opinion/2016-10-13/article-4662487/KENT-HEHR:-Working-together-for-veterans/1
 

Lightguns

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I received a letter from Manulife about the top up yesterday and where to apply.  Not sure that is news but it is news!
 

The Bread Guy

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cdnwo said:
Not exactly sure what progress or decision this explains.

http://m.theguardian.pe.ca/Opinion/2016-10-13/article-4662487/KENT-HEHR:-Working-together-for-veterans/1
Based on this:
... I had three main objectives going into the Summit. I wanted to reach a common understanding of the challenges we face; I wanted all participants to hear and discuss the progress the Advisory Groups are making; and I wanted a solid understanding of their best advice and recommendations to help inform the government about the best way forward.

I am confident that we accomplished that.

(...)

I made a commitment to veterans’ organizations and stakeholders - and to all Canadians - to be more open and transparent and to engage them in a dialogue on how we can better support veterans. ...
... here's the plain text:
-- Held the big meeting 5-6 October - hoped to come away with everybody being on the same page, everybody updated on everyone's work and understanding exactly what participants wanted.
-- "I am confident that we accomplished that."
-- Minister promised to be open/transparent in working with them on how to improve the system.

I'd love to hear from anyone with better information from the meetings themselves -- especially given some social media ... static around what did or didn't happen.
 

RobA

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To me, it sounds like nothing got done, and it was just more political double speak.

I fully expect the next thing to happen is that, based on the "wonderful feedback" given at the meetings, the GoC has decided it's necessary to convene another dozen committees to REALLY put the boots to that dead horse for the next 18-24 months. Gotta beat it, and beat it, and beat it again.
 

brihard

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I was there at the summit in my capacity as a member of one of the six advisory groups (mental health in my case). What do you guys want to know? I'm happy to answer any questions about it, within the scope of what I can speak to.
 

Fishbone Jones

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Brihard said:
I was there at the summit in my capacity as a member of one of the six advisory groups (mental health in my case). What do you guys want to know? I'm happy to answer any questions about it, within the scope of what I can speak to.

Tanks! Brihard,

What has been said about the return to lifelong pensions (how and when) and what is the status of the 90% top up and how will it be applied.?
 

kratz

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Brihard said:
I was there at the summit in my capacity as a member of one of the six advisory groups (mental health in my case). What do you guys want to know? I'm happy to answer any questions about it, within the scope of what I can speak to.

So 60 days to answer medical questionnaire is normal for VAC?  With new medical staff? Of course I'm mad, this is my 3rd kick in over 800 days. The RCL has hurt my efforts more than helped....and I'm an ordinary member!

 

The Bread Guy

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Thanks, Brihard!

Meantime, here's what the Vets' Ombudsman says he thought of the summit:
Last week, I participated in the Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) Stakeholder Summit in Gatineau, Quebec. It had broad engagement from Veterans’ organizations and advocates from across the country. I was particularly impressed by the situational analysis and recommendations presented by the Ministerial Advisory Groups on Policy, Service Excellence, Mental Health, Families, Care and Support, and Commemoration as well as status updates from the leaders in the room.

As General Vance emphasized, we need to put as much effort, structure and support in place for serving members and their families at the time of release as we did at the time of recruitment. We also need to recognize that this is not a “one-size-fits-all affair” – particularly for the approximately 1,500 members who are medically released each year.

If you are told to leave the military because you can no longer meet the occupational requirements of the job – known as ‘universality of service’ – then the government has an obligation to ensure that you are supported and are able to transition to civilian life successfully.

The first thing that ought to be done is to make sure that the CF Pension of all releasing members is waiting for them when they take off their uniform for good. For many, this is the main contributor to financial security post-release.

Over the last two years, my team and the DND/CF Ombudsman’s team have worked together to fix the system. In our project summary “Joint Transition Project - Closing the Seam”, we map the transition process and highlight to government the top three things that need to be done now to make a difference: applying once for all VAC benefits and having a navigator help members through the process; reducing wait times for the Canadian Forces pension; eliminating duplication and overlap between the different programming offered by DND and VAC.

VAC also needs to improve how it delivers services to Veterans and their families. I recently submitted a brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs with suggestions on how VAC can modernize its service delivery and make it more Veteran-centric. I support change that would improve wait times for benefits, and I believe that there are other ways to improve the backlog.

I urge Parliamentarians to use all of their political will to reduce program complexity for Veterans. This would go a long way to improving service delivery so that Veterans get the services and benefits they need.

I and members of my team remain committed to ensuring fairness for ill and injured Veterans so that they obtain the care, support and compensation they need. While it is recognized that there are challenges, what is needed is constructive discussion and a focus on the end game. Now is the time to get it done.

That was also the broad consensus that I found amongst Summit participants and I am pleased that DND and VAC are working diligently together towards the desired outcome of successful transition. I will continue to monitor progress in this area and push for change.
 
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