Canadian soldiers may be hiding health problems to protect pensions

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Canadian soldiers may be hiding health problems to protect pensions

Post by Trooper on Sun 21 Sep 2014, 07:32

About one-sixth of Canadian Forces soldiers discharged from the military due to medical reasons are released before qualifying for their pension, CBC News has learned, leading some to fear that soldiers may be hiding health problems to protect their income.

Documents obtained through a CBC/Radio-Canada access to information request show that approximately 1,100 of the 6,200 soldiers discharged because of health conditions since 2009 left the military before serving the ten-year minimum required to collect a full pension.

Glen Kirkland, a former corporal and designated marksman who served in Afghanistan, said that many soldiers continue to suffer from physical and mental injury in silence for fear of losing their source of income, and that the consequences of the Canadian Forces’ pension policy could be dire.

"People are battling with a decision: if they speak up, then they lose their ability to keep food on the table," said Kirkland.

Kirkland himself sustained a serious brain injury and lost most of his hearing when a vehicle convoy he was travelling with in Afghanistan was ambushed and struck with a rocket in 2008, shortly before his deployment was due to end. Three of five soldiers travelling with Kirkland were killed.

He subsequently received notice that he would be discharged from the military. But after speaking out publicly and testifying before MPs to the Standing Committee on National Defence last year, Kirkland received a rare offer to stay in the Canadian Forces until he completed the ten year service term required to collect his pension.

"I couldn't accept something that wasn't offered to everybody else," said Kirkland who refused the offer and as a result was medically discharged like thousands of others.

But top officials within the Canadian Forces deny the policy could be causing wounded soldiers to suffer in silence.

"So far we've found no indication that such a policy is causing additional problems, mental health problems or causing people not to present for mental health care,” said Brig.-Gen. Jean-Robert Bernier.

I have a hard time understanding how they would be able to find any indication of any problems with respect to this policy when
individuals are hiding health problems, and are not speaking up, they would have to start by looking at the ones who were medically released at the ten year mark.
This is where I think they would see the problem.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/canadian-soldiers-may-be-hiding-health-problems-to-protect-pensions-1.2773090

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Re: Canadian soldiers may be hiding health problems to protect pensions

Post by Guest on Sun 21 Sep 2014, 19:36

The stigma is two fold Trooper. First by the Administration by medically releasing soldiers before 10 years with benefit entitlements  and secondly by some Ranks who view you as less than a soldier or weak. I experienced both and can concur that even now when asked how many years did I served it leaves me feeling degenerated.

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Re: Canadian soldiers may be hiding health problems to protect pensions

Post by bigrex on Sun 21 Sep 2014, 21:50

Trust me, the stigma of getting medically released is still there, regardless of how many years you serve. I served 15 full years, and when I look at the rest of my family, I still feel like I failed somehow, since my dad served 25 years, and my brother is going to have his 25th years in June. Even those with more than 10 years are hiding it when they are suffering, because they know that they will be severely penalized for getting released earlier, than 20 years. It may not sound like much, but losing 2% for every year under 20 served, really adds up, when salaries are several thousand dollars each month. Getting released after only 15 years, cost me almost $5000/year in pensions. So unless the CF changes the policy on pensions, so that members who are medically released, are not penalized on their pensions, at least not at the same rate as those who release voluntarily, (maybe losing 1% instead of 2% per year), you are going to have CF members trying to hide their illnesses and injuries.

This also has a negative impact when going for a VAC award, because they will say that it didn't get reported, or you didn't complain enough to the medical staff, so it must not have been serious, and use it to minimize, or even deny a disability award.
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Re: Canadian soldiers may be hiding health problems to protect pensions

Post by teentitan on Sun 21 Sep 2014, 22:16

Or how about letting the soldier "buy" his remaining years to get the 10 year pension? And of course if you get the 10 year you get to defer a % the person can afford to buy more years on the pension?

Best way out of this is to think outside the box...after all the bureaucrat, beancounting, cold hearted basterds thought outside the box to screw an injured Canadian over.
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Re: Canadian soldiers may be hiding health problems to protect pensions

Post by Guest on Sun 21 Sep 2014, 23:55

Agreed instead of getting my return of contributions in one lump taxable sum or versus rolling the amount over into an RRSP,  I could have re-invested into my future and bought out my remaining pensionable time allowing me to have a meagre 10 year pension but at least it would have been something to bank on for the future. Excellent point Teen and one that the GOC has made sure not to have made an option for soldiers with less then 10 years.

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Re: Canadian soldiers may be hiding health problems to protect pensions

Post by RobbieRoyal on Mon 22 Sep 2014, 08:01

I wish I had a comment but I am speechless, pro patria boys and fair winds to those that studied this phenomenal subject, sounds like a Tim Horton Hot Stove to me, nothing new
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Re: Canadian soldiers may be hiding health problems to protect pensions

Post by Guest on Mon 22 Sep 2014, 11:49

no nothing new to me I hid everything and was determined to do so till I hit my 20 and signed for another 5 . this is just what people did back then . however in 05/06 had some stuff you just couldn't hide and with the NVC coming on line shortly everything else was disclosed and pensions applied for . yup a release was coming but thanks to screwed up and lost paper work (im guessing intentional to get me to 20 )I got my 20. was it stupid to hide stuff ??? maybe..

should I have kept trying ti hide stuff with the NVC coming????

even I am not that stupid...

boys with the buyout in place it is even more necessary to hide things more than ever so although its nothing new im sure its more prevalent now than it was then.

its a brave cruel new world ..

again another one of the many issues ending the buyout can help fix.

end the buyout now.

propat

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Re: Canadian soldiers may be hiding health problems to protect pensions

Post by Rifleman on Mon 22 Sep 2014, 14:56

Agreed end the BUYOUT

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Re: Canadian soldiers may be hiding health problems to protect pensions

Post by Trooper on Mon 22 Sep 2014, 19:17

The thing that bothers me here is the lack of acknowledgement of those in a position to address these issues,
every time and individual brings up a problem, they always come back negative against what is being said.
It's almost as if some of those in a position of authority don't have the guts to stand up and address problems that are being suggested by the lower ranks.  

One could speculate and say that some of those in authority are looking after their well being, scared to put their own career in jeopardy
by fixing the problem, instead of avoiding it.
A good leader must be able to stand for what they believe, if they don't, they are not a good leader,
if they don't, they are putting themselves in front of others.

Here we have Mr. Kirkland who spoke up, and presented a real factual problem,
instead of them listening, and addressing the problem, what is the response,
they give him  a rare offer to stay in the Canadian Forces until he completed the ten year service term required to collect his pension.
Why was this offer offered to him, because after speaking out publicly and testifying before MPs to the Standing Committee on National Defence.
If it wasn't for him publicly standing up for himself, nothing would have been done to address his problem, this is where I think the problem lies,
if you view a problem that is widespread, and stand up publicly, you may have a chance at getting some results for yourself, as they just want to shut you up,
but the results only helps the one person, it does not deal with the problem in general.
We here at CSAT know full well that this is a real problem, most, if not all of us has seen it first hand,
we all see it, but I think they see it to, and they know full well that it is unfair, but they come back with this :
"So far we've found no indication that such a policy is causing additional problems, mental health problems or causing people not to present for mental health care,” said Brig.-Gen. Jean-Robert Bernier.

Ladies and gentlemen they look after themselves, why be a good leader and stand up for your subordinates, because they fear for their own security,
they see those speaking out not as someone raising a problem, but as trouble makers.

What I will say is this, for those who are in a position of authority, and don't address such problems for fear of their own security,
are individuals who will go to there grave with that conscience, I have no time for them, and certainly have no respect for them.
And those individuals know who they are, they can't hide that from themselves, they must live with it.
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Re: Canadian soldiers may be hiding health problems to protect pensions

Post by Jeffery M on Fri 26 Sep 2014, 00:34

We are good people, hard working and loving individuals. Our disabilties are service related; not chosen. The standard of compensation dictates closed minds. These are closed minds that are directly punishing us, you and most certainly me.

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