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VAC Return to Lifetime Pensions Discussion

Rifleman62

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Posted the press release for info as many are waiting for details. I knew the announcement, as stated in the PR, was tomorrow vice previously speculated for today.
 

Rifleman62

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If you are having problems viewing https://www.facebook.com/pg/VeteransAffairsCanada/videos/?ref=page_internal

Click on "Live".
 

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Rifleman62

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http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/services/pension-for-life

 

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Rifleman62

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https://www.canada.ca/en/veterans-affairs-canada/news/2017/12/government_of_canadaannounceapensionforlifeforveterans.html

Government of Canada announce a Pension for Life for Veterans
News Release
From Veterans Affairs Canada

December 20, 2017 – Ottawa – Veterans Affairs Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canada’s Veterans and their families. Canada owes an enormous debt of gratitude to the men and women who have served in uniform and it is our responsibility to ensure that they have access to the resources they need.

Today, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence unveiled the Government’s Pension for Life plan. This monthly payment for life will reduce the complexity of support programs available to Veterans and their families. It will provide holistic benefits, including financial stability, for Canada’s Veterans, with a particular focus on those most disabled.

The Pension for Life plan has three key pillars:

monthly, tax-free financial compensation, with the choice of monthly payments for life, to recognize pain and suffering caused by a service-related disability with a maximum monthly amount of $2,650 for those most severely disabled with barriers to re-establishment;

income replacement for Veterans who are experiencing barriers returning to work after military service at 90% of their pre-release salary. In some circumstances Veterans may be eligible for an additional 1% career progression factor each year; and,

services and benefits to help Veterans in a wide-range of areas, including education, employment and physical and mental health.
These new elements represent an additional investment of close to $3.6 billion to support Canada’s Veterans. When combined with well-being programs already announced in previous budgets, the Government of Canada’s investments since 2016 add up to nearly $10 billion. These investments will help Veterans and their families as they transition to civilian life.

Quotes
“Our Pension for Life plan is a combination of benefits that provide recognition, income support and stability to Veterans and Canadian Armed Forces members who experience a service-related illness or injury. We are addressing concerns made by the Veteran and military communities by allowing those with a service-related injury or illness to determine the best form of compensation that works for them and their families. Combined with initiatives announced in Budget 2016 and Budget 2017, we are delivering a package of benefits, supports and financial security for those who need it.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
“Canadian Armed Forces Members and Veterans are highly skilled and must have with the right transitional support to find meaningful and fulfilling employment after the military. Working with the Minister of Veterans Affairs to reduce complexity for Canadian Armed Forces members and Veterans was a commitment to them, and I am pleased that we have made great strides in fulfilling it.”

The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence
Quick Facts
The Pension for Life plan includes the: Pain and Suffering Compensation, Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation and Income Replacement Benefit.
These benefits will come into force on April 1, 2019.

When compared to pre-2016 programs, the Pension for Life Change means that for example:
In 2019, a 25 year old Veteran who is 100% disabled could see her/his monthly support increase by approximately $1,700 when compared to figures before Budget 2016.
In 2019, a 50 year old Veteran who is 100% disabled could see her/his monthly support increase by approximately $1,700 when compared to figures before Budget 2016.

Veterans will now be able to make the choice of whether to receive a monthly, tax-free pain and suffering compensation for life or cash out their monthly payments for a one-time lump sum.
Six different income support programs will be consolidated into a single financial benefit to simplify and streamline access to VAC services.
Additional changes are also being made to survivor benefits. Support for spouses will move from 50% to 70% of the Veteran’s Income Replacement
 

Rifleman62

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http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/veterans-pension-disability-1.4457755

Ottawa pouring an extra $3.6B into veterans' benefits - 20 Dec 17
Liberals campaigned on promise to give veterans the option of taking the lump sum or a lifetime pension

The Liberal government today initiated an intricate overhaul of the system to compensate wounded ex-soldiers, but it remains to be seen whether it will be enough to placate a volatile community of Canadian veterans.

The plan, rolled out by Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O'Regan, is meant to address smouldering grievances among veterans that has led to protests and at one point spawned a class-action lawsuit.

As CBC News reported last week, the changes involve a two-part rejigging of the current system. Officials outlined how that would work on Wednesday and announced there will be an injection of fresh cash beginning on April 1, 2019.

Speaking on background before the announcement, officials estimated the changes would mean an extra $3.6 billion being poured into veterans benefits.

"We are delivering a package of benefits and supports, and financial security for those who need it," O'Regan said.

At issue is a tax-free lump sum payment, brought in a dozen years ago, to replace a system of pensions for pain and suffering injuries.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals promised in the last election to give veterans an "option" of taking the lump sum or a lifetime pension.

What the federal government is introducing Wednesday is a patchwork allowing the lump sum to be amortized out over a veteran's lifetime, delivering a maximum tax-free payment of $1,150 per month.

In additional, the Liberals will introduce another tax-free pain and suffering award on top of the existing one. It too will come in either lump sum or pension form that would give wounded veterans up to $1,500 per month, depending on their level of disability.

'Not everyone will receive the maximum award'

The second component involves a bundling of six existing income-replacement benefits — already available under the often-maligned New Veterans Charter — into one payment.

The new income replacement benefit will be taxable and it is meant for those "who are experiencing barriers to re-establishment due to a health problem resulting" from their service.

Significantly, it will be available to veterans, survivors for life, and orphans, should they need it.

The part of the plan that will draw the most scrutiny and perhaps political fire is the pain and suffering awards.

O'Regan was clear that "not everyone will receive the maximum award."

Under the current lump sum system, the maximum payout is $360,000, but documents obtained by CBC News under access to information show the average award is $43,000.

Translated to a pension, that means few wounded soldiers would ever see the entire $1,150 per month.
Under the old pension act, the most severely wounded soldiers would have received up to $2,700 per month.

Before Wednesday's announcement, some ex-soldiers were clear on what their litmus test for success is: more money in their pockets.

"The bar the government has to meet is parity with the pension act in terms of the net dollars in a veteran's pocket every month," said retired major Mark Campbell, who lost both legs in a blast in a booby-trapped ditch in Afghanistan.

"It can only be a real pension if the benefits are tax free and if there is no clawback of their military pension as part of the disability payment."

The Liberal government has long said its changes "would not seek parity" with the previous system, but officials emphasize that when the two tax-free benefits are combined, that would only mean a difference of $50 per month.

Veterans affairs officials used charts Wednesday to demonstrate that combining all all elements of the plan —  both tax-free and taxable benefits — soldiers would be better off financially.
 

Gunner98

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Indeed some of the funding promised under the last federal budget was to top up lump-sum payments to the new $360,000 ceiling.  This is not really new, increased benefits it is a matter of playing catch-up.  Yes it puts money in people's pockets but...my top-up was $17K based on $100K+ lump-sum pay-out in 2014 - it is not new pockets.
 

Rifleman62

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My first take away is eff date 1 Apr 17. The Liberals will probably call a election prior to that date before Trudeau's popularity falls too much more. Thus Vets will not have seen how this program will work for them as individuals, and will not be a factor in the election if this new scheme is not as billed.

How long did it take to deliver $10M + to Khadr? Fifteen months?
 

TCM621

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So I did the math and at my rate of disability under the pension act I would receive 1007 per month tax free. From now until 80 I would receive $507,528. I have received $90,000 as lump sums. To earn 507,528 over 42 years I would have to earn 4.2% per year and not touch the money. If I invested this money at 4.2% and took out 1000 dollars a month, I would be out of money inside ten years and I would be taxed on the investment, further lowering its value.

I can work so the additional monetary benefits are irrelevant to me although the Voc rehab is a great benefit. The educational allowance is available to anyone so it shouldn't factor into the equation of injured vets.

Under the new system, if I understand it right, assuming you only qualify for the main PSC and it is a simple division (ie 25% impairment = 25% PSC) I would earn a total of $144,900 ( (1150*.25) * 12 * 42) minus the 90k I have already received with would work out to  108 dollars a month (144,900 -90,000 /42/12).

So just on the face of it, there is a ~$350,000 difference between the pension act and the new system. Do the new benefits have a 350k value? Maybe I misunderstood something, the "factsheets" don't offer a ton of facts but it doesn't seem like much of an improvement. I will credit the liberals with the education allowance to all veterans. That has been a long time coming. I do think the idea of retraining someone to be a valuable and contributing member of society after medical release is good for the members and society.

 

57Chevy

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This is great news for soldiers and veterans alike, even though it comes into effect Apr 2019.

 

Amos

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What will that mean to current benefits? If someone is getting Earning Loss Benefits, sounds like it's going to be renamed and $$ will be different.  Does it mean that will change for current vets? What about DEC?
So many unknown
 

OldSolduer

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It’s a political ploy designed to shut people up. I think it’s smoke and mirrors. Pay no a attention to that man behind the curtain.
 

Amos

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Hamish Seggie said:
It’s a political ploy designed to shut people up. I think it’s smoke and mirrors. Pay no a attention to that man behind the curtain.

Yep, I'm afraid so.  I doubt veterans will be better off after all this is (if) implemented than now. 
 
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jollyjacktar

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Hamish Seggie said:
It’s a political ploy designed to shut people up. I think it’s smoke and mirrors. Pay no a attention to that man behind the curtain.

I don't believe it will change a thing for a run of the mill guy like me.  I've already taken my lumps, so to speak, unless it will change the amount of the one pension l do have.
 

Franko

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Funny how it wasn't even voted on, like the NVC.....
 

Halifax Tar

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57Chevy said:
This is great news for soldiers and veterans alike, even though it comes into effect Apr 2019.

Can you articulate the advantages that this change in veterans benefits has created ? 

Coming in and saying this is great news with out any supporting information as to why this is great news just makes you sound like a camp trumpeter.

I am honestly waiting from someone to show the awesomness this move has delivered.  And lets just leave out the fact this isn't coming into effect until Apr 2019 when it will be used as a campaign victory by the LPC. 
 

ChilliFe81

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As someone who is 50% disabled, released 4c.. so I don't have to deal with all that SISIP crap. I am totally confused.(I get confused easily)

I am on the rehab program, on ELB and CIA(grade 3) and currently applying for the DEC(Diminished Earning Capacity) which I have no clue if I'm going to get approved or not for.

Will all this be redundant April 2019 or will everything transfer over? I've read that they're getting rid of CIA and CIAS and making it some kind of tax free program. Will the same ELB(DEC) continue on? Whats this 1% increase every year, would that apply for me?

I know, so many questions and no one knows.
:(
 

Rifleman62

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This announcement, without any facts/tables/etc just leaves Vets in limbo adding stress for 15 months. Typical VAC.

For Vets who really need support to live day to day, this is cruel punishment, the waiting and wondering.

Why come out with an announcement that cannot be accomplished and must be passed into law/regulations for 15 months, then the process commences which will take how long for thousands of Vets?

IMHO still a political ploy as I posted above.

P.S. I don't think this will affect me too much so no iron in the fire.
 

TCM621

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57Chevy said:
This is great news for soldiers and veterans alike, even though it comes into effect Apr 2019.

I don't see the great news. Maybe because it's light on details. As I posted above, on the face it looks like it is way off expectations.
 

PPCLI Guy

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Tcm621 said:
I don't see the great news. Maybe because it's light on details. As I posted above, on the face it looks like it is way off expectations.

As far as I can see, expectations are a return to the previous levels of monthly pensions as well as all of the new features since then, focused on rehab, re-entry etc.

I am soon to be applying for a VAC pension, for a host of injuries and debilitating conditions based on over 35 years of service....every year of which I volunteered for.  Like the vast majority of VAC clients, I have not suffered these conditions and injuries as a result of enemy action, but rather from pursuing the career that I volunteered for.

So, not as a potential client but as a taxpayer, I ask myself: "when is enough going to be enough"? 
 

Eye In The Sky

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I'm really glad I am not in your CofC...seriously, it sure doesn't come across like you've much compassion for injured service people with the 'volunteered' line.  My back is degraded for life, with no chance of improvement, from an argument with a DZ that I lost.  Does it matter if that was during war or peace? I've been told my latter years are likely going to be spent in a wheelchair.  Is that not enough, or does it have to be from an IED or a enemy sniper round thru the spine 'during war'?

:facepalm:

So I'll ask you then...what is your belief/opinion on what is 'enough'?
 
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