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VAC Return to Lifetime Pensions Discussion

chrisf

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Has there been a petition started?

I'm don't have enough expertise to word it, but I'll certainly sign it.
 

kratz

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I'll sign the petition.

Sadly, the RCL and government know that serving members are restricted from signing such a petition.
 

mariomike

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kratz said:
Sadly, the RCL and government know that serving members are restricted from signing such a petition.

For reference,

Signing a Petition? Go or No Go?
https://army.ca/forums/threads/109788/post-1215292.html#msg1215292

19.10 - COMBINATIONS FORBIDDEN is discussed.

 

chrisf

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kratz said:
I'll sign the petition.

Sadly, the RCL and government know that serving members are restricted from signing such a petition.

Only with regards regulations pertaining to the canadian forces.

This will no doubt set off a lengthy argument about whether the out of date relationship between the legion and the government is related to the Canadian forces or not.

I would guess any petition would have to be written so as to address that directly, but then again.

Im a civilian, as are many (most?) veterans. We can sign what we damned well please.

Alternately, if petitions aren't your thing, you can certainly write your elected representative.

I'm just not clear on exactly what I should be complaining about, except that I don't want the government to be consulting with the local dart and bingo league on matters concerning health care and compensation.
 

Occam

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kratz said:
Sadly, the RCL and government know that serving members are restricted from signing such a petition.

Not a Sig Op said:
Only with regards regulations pertaining to the canadian forces.

This will no doubt set off a lengthy argument about whether the out of date relationship between the legion and the government is related to the Canadian forces or not.

I would guess any petition would have to be written so as to address that directly, but then again, im a civilian, as are many (most?) veterans. We can sign what we damned well please.

I don't think that issue falls anywhere in a grey area, for a couple of reasons.  The RCL is not mentioned in the NDA.  Even the Legion says it "is a not-for-profit organization funded by membership fees, and operating without government grants or financial assistance from the government for our operations".  How could anyone argue that the issue pertains to regulations concerning the Canadian Forces, when the RCL is at arm's length from government, and membership in the RCL is not mandatory?

If VAC's numbers are correct, there are around 700,000 living veterans in Canada.  Even if you took out serving members, that's still a formidable number.  Couple that with the Legion's claims that fewer than one third of its 270,000 members are veterans.  I think the number of veterans who are fed up with the Legion's ambivalence on the advocacy front is significant.

The above is straying off-topic a little.  But to put it back on track, looking at the current composition of the VAC Policy Advisory Group, at least two out of the nine are RCL members; one is (or was) the Director of the RCL Service Bureau, and the other is the current Dominion Secretary.
 

Gunner98

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Occam said:
Couple that with the Legion's claims that fewer than one third of its 270,000 members are veterans.  I think the number of veterans who are fed up with the Legion's ambivalence on the advocacy front is significant.

Am I right in saying, where things get confusing for non-veterans (i.e., the general public) is that the Pension for Life that many veterans are looking for is in addition to CAF pension and a disability pension, it is a sum of money to supplement those who do not receive a 35-year maximum CAF pension and therefore have a lower income level and cannot work due to health issues.  For me, a $60,000/yr CAF pension and six figure Lump Sum pay-out works fine as I am 50+. I was glad to take advantage (lump-sum) now rather than amassing monthly disability cheques until it was significant.

I wonder how true their statement, "While the majority of our members (Associates) are civilians, it’s important to note that these individuals are the wives and husbands, the sons and daughters, and the grandchildren of Veterans. They have lived with Veterans and are impacted by the care our Veterans receive. They are intimately connected to Veterans and the issues affecting them."

The SOHandbook (http://www.legion.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/SOHandbook2013_e.pdf) states that the Service Bureau has been operating since 1926.  Eliminating such an embedded entity will take more than a petition.  I was trying to find a newer statistic but the last one from around 2010 showed that only 25% of retiring veterans accessed Veterans Affairs after their transition interview.



 

Occam

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Simian Turner said:
Am I right in saying, where things get confusing for non-veterans (i.e., the general public) is that the Pension for Life that many veterans are looking for is in addition to CAF pension and a disability pension, it is a sum of money to supplement those who do not receive a 35-year maximum CAF pension and therefore have a lower income level and cannot work due to health issues.  For me, a $60,000/yr CAF pension and six figure Lump Sum pay-out works fine as I am 50+. I was glad to take advantage (lump-sum) now rather than amassing monthly disability cheques until it was significant.

For clarity's sake, the Disability Pension that I am referring to is the former Disability Pension awarded under the Pension Act, pre-NVC.  The Disability Pension and Disability Award are meant to compensate for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life - and not income replacement.  The Manuge class action lawsuit proved that VAC Disability Pensions were not income and should not be clawed back against SISIP-LTD benefits.

The two pensions you refer to above in yellow are one and the same.  Comparing the Pension Act and NVC benefits is a pain in the rear sometimes.  Using your scenario under the Pension Act, sure, you could be in receipt of a $60K/yr CFSA pension, and be eligible for a monthly Disability Pension as well.  However, it's possible there are also three year 1-hook Ptes who are getting $3K/yr CFSA pensions (assuming they qualify for CPP Disability, otherwise they have to wait until age 60 to start drawing CFSA), plus a Disability Pension.  You have to use apples to apples when comparing benefits between Pension Act and NVC. 

The lump sum Disability Award is great for older veterans, who are more likely to be better off financially, with small or no mortgages, and CFSA pension income.  It also works in their favour that because they're older, they would receive fewer Disability Pension payments, so having the money "up front" as a lump sum is advantageous to them.

However, for the younger veteran, who may not be eligible for much of a CFSA pension (if any, due to the CPP Disability rule for getting the CFSA pension before 60), and who is less likely to be well-positioned in life to be financially independent, the Disability Award falls way short of the Disability Pension.

Some of the enhancements made to the NVC have closed the gap for the more seriously injured veterans.  However, there's a huge inequity for mildly to moderately injured veterans when comparing the Disability Award and Disability Pension.  Remember that I'm talking about compensation for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life - not income replacement.

Using myself as an example - I have a 16% disability that was granted under the Pension Act.  I was awarded it when I was 40 years old.  Assuming I live to be 80, that means I will have been given approximately $240K in monthly disability pension payments, not counting annual CPI adjustments to the pension.  I also have a 10% disability under the NVC, and with the initial award and the recent top-up combined, it amounted to a lump sum payout of about $35K.  To compare apples to apples, a 16% rating under the NVC would have been a lump sum of about $57.6K.  That is a HUGE difference in pain and suffering compensation.  Why is my more recent disability worth so much less compensation than my first one?

The VAC Policy Advisory Group recommended some changes that benefit severely injured veterans, which is great.  However, like the Legion, they are against a return to a monthly disability pension, and appear poised to let the government off the hook for their election promise.  The Liberal election promise was "re-establish lifelong pensions as an option for our injured veterans".  I think that has a very clear meaning to veterans who know about the Pension Act - there is only one Pension to "re-establish", and that was the Pension Act pension.  Now it turns out that the government is exploring a "lifetime pension option", but it is based on the amount of the Disability Award.  Well, we already have that - you can take your Disability Award divided up into as many months as you like, but you won't get any more money.  Smoke and mirrors.
 

Occam

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cowboy628 said:
So! Isn't the Judge making some ruling in BC!!!

Eventually...on the government's appeal to have the case dismissed.
 

cowboy628

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So we wait, wait, wait and wait. The whole process is rigged. Govt always gets what it wants. All the decision makers are Civi's. We lose. Can Hardly wait next election not that it would matter.
 

PuckChaser

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cowboy628 said:
So we wait, wait, wait and wait. The whole process is rigged. Govt always gets what it wants. All the decision makers are Civi's. We lose. Can Hardly wait next election not that it would matter.

Much like Marc Garneau stated Canadians need to know what the actual costs of defense are, so to do they need to know what the actual costs of taking care of our wounded are. That care involves lifetime pensions at a similar pre-release salary.
 

Occam

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PuckChaser said:
Much like Marc Garneau stated Canadians need to know what the actual costs of defense are, so to do they need to know what the actual costs of taking care of our wounded are. That care involves lifetime pensions at a similar pre-release salary.

Neither the Pension Act Disability Pension nor any likely future abomination have been tied to salary at release.  The old Disability Pension was based entirely upon degree of disability and degree of attribution to military service.

Now income replacement benefits, like ELB, I believe are tied to the rank on release.
 

TCM621

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Occam said:
For clarity's sake, the Disability Pension that I am referring to is the former Disability Pension awarded under the Pension Act, pre-NVC.  The Disability Pension and Disability Award are meant to compensate for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life - and not income replacement.  The Manuge class action lawsuit proved that VAC Disability Pensions were not income and should not be clawed back against SISIP-LTD benefits.

The two pensions you refer to above in yellow are one and the same.  Comparing the Pension Act and NVC benefits is a pain in the rear sometimes.  Using your scenario under the Pension Act, sure, you could be in receipt of a $60K/yr CFSA pension, and be eligible for a monthly Disability Pension as well.  However, it's possible there are also three year 1-hook Ptes who are getting $3K/yr CFSA pensions (assuming they qualify for CPP Disability, otherwise they have to wait until age 60 to start drawing CFSA), plus a Disability Pension.  You have to use apples to apples when comparing benefits between Pension Act and NVC. 

The lump sum Disability Award is great for older veterans, who are more likely to be better off financially, with small or no mortgages, and CFSA pension income.  It also works in their favour that because they're older, they would receive fewer Disability Pension payments, so having the money "up front" as a lump sum is advantageous to them.

However, for the younger veteran, who may not be eligible for much of a CFSA pension (if any, due to the CPP Disability rule for getting the CFSA pension before 60), and who is less likely to be well-positioned in life to be financially independent, the Disability Award falls way short of the Disability Pension.

Some of the enhancements made to the NVC have closed the gap for the more seriously injured veterans.  However, there's a huge inequity for mildly to moderately injured veterans when comparing the Disability Award and Disability Pension.  Remember that I'm talking about compensation for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life - not income replacement.

Using myself as an example - I have a 16% disability that was granted under the Pension Act.  I was awarded it when I was 40 years old.  Assuming I live to be 80, that means I will have been given approximately $240K in monthly disability pension payments, not counting annual CPI adjustments to the pension.  I also have a 10% disability under the NVC, and with the initial award and the recent top-up combined, it amounted to a lump sum payout of about $35K.  To compare apples to apples, a 16% rating under the NVC would have been a lump sum of about $57.6K.  That is a HUGE difference in pain and suffering compensation.  Why is my more recent disability worth so much less compensation than my first one?

The VAC Policy Advisory Group recommended some changes that benefit severely injured veterans, which is great.  However, like the Legion, they are against a return to a monthly disability pension, and appear poised to let the government off the hook for their election promise.  The Liberal election promise was "re-establish lifelong pensions as an option for our injured veterans".  I think that has a very clear meaning to veterans who know about the Pension Act - there is only one Pension to "re-establish", and that was the Pension Act pension.  Now it turns out that the government is exploring a "lifetime pension option", but it is based on the amount of the Disability Award.  Well, we already have that - you can take your Disability Award divided up into as many months as you like, but you won't get any more money.  Smoke and mirrors.
The pain and suffering is definitely what is missing from the NVC. I am in a great deal of pain but actually pretty mobile considering all my injuries. I am in the middle of a shoulder claim and while I have reduced range of motion, the the real problem is that I am in pain every day, have trouble falling asleep most night and can't sleep all together some nights. The effects of pain on cognition are pretty well studied but we don't account for the detrimental effects it has and will continue to have for life. I got 10% for my knee but a strong case could be made for the fact that is cost me many times that in lost future earnings (long story) not to mention the mental anguish of having your career held up for years with no hope for advancement.



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The Bread Guy

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Still waiting ...
A group that advises Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr on policy issues has fired a warning shot over the Liberal government's plan to offer wounded veterans the "option" of lifetime pensions, CBC News has learned.

The panel, consisting of former soldiers and advocates, says the long-awaited overhaul must not be a simple redistribution of money that's already available.

(...)

The policy advisory group, which has acted as Hehr's sounding board, is getting signals that the Liberals mean to simply take the lump sum award and divide it into monthly payments.

In a May 12 letter, the panel warned that such a scheme "does not provide the lifetime financial security" that veterans were expecting from the Liberal campaign promise.

(...)

At the time of the budget, a senior government official speaking on background said the intention is to roll out the revised pension plan later this year and issue cheques to veterans by 2018 — a year ahead of the next election call.

The new plan, however, "would not seek parity with the old pension act," that pre-dates the Conservative changes, the official told CBC News last spring.

At the same time, the letter to Hehr expressed frustration that the advisory panel's recommendations were being ignored and "deliberately pushed down the line for further review and evaluation."

Specifically, the advisers pointed to their October 2016 report, delivered to Veterans Affairs, which suggested rolling a suite of already existing benefits and entitlements, including the Exceptional Incapacity Allowance and Attendance Allowance, into "a single stream of income for life." ...
Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice ...
 
J

jollyjacktar

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Still waiting ...Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice ...

Sure, why not?  They're pushing all their other commitments off the to the right and saving themselves a ton of money too boot.  Just like them to screw the guys further.
 

Lightguns

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milnews.ca said:
Still waiting ...Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice ...

Except they were not Conservative changes.  NVC was a liberal plan and they still cannot own it.  That is how far apart we are on this issue, they are still playing the blame game.  This is issue will never be resolved until there is an earnest outcry by a large majority of Canucks.
 

The Bread Guy

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Lightguns said:
Except they were not Conservative changes.  NVC was a liberal plan and they still cannot own it.  That is how far apart we are on this issue, they are still playing the blame game ...
Since your laying a touch of blame there, there's a case to be made that Team Blue voted unanimously for it, had a chance to fix it (even with a majority government), and didn't, so they wear it from the last round.  Now, Team Red can fix it - with a majority of their own - but they're not ...
Lightguns said:
... This is issue will never be resolved until there is an earnest outcry by a large majority of Canucks.
Sadly ... #LikelyCostsTooMuch  #SupportAMileWideAndAnInchDeep
 
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