Veterans Affairs alleges some ex-soldiers exaggerating their injuries

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Veterans Affairs alleges some ex-soldiers exaggerating their injuries

Post by ArtyRMS on Thu 01 Jan 2015, 23:27

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/politics/veterans-affairs-alleges-some-ex-soldiers-exaggerating-their-injuries

The Veterans Affairs department says some veterans are exaggerating their injuries to continue receiving financial benefits from the government and to avoid joining the work force.

The explosive allegation is contained in a recent internal report on a Veterans Affairs rehabilitation program designed to help injured ex-soldiers transition to civilian life, which found thousands of veterans are staying in the program much longer than anticipated — or not finishing it at all.

The claim is sure to spark fresh anger among veterans groups and opposition critics who have previously complained about an insurance company attitude when it comes to Veterans Affairs Canada’s treatment of veterans.

But Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino’s office, asked about the report, said this week the government will continue to support injured veterans as long as they require assistance.

“Our government makes no apologies for ensuring that veterans receive urgent rehabilitation care when they need it, and that they receive this support for as long as they and their medical practitioner deem appropriate,” Fantino spokeswoman Ashlee Smith said in an email.

NDP veterans affairs critic Peter Stoffer was critical of the department’s emphasis on potential abuse.

“In my experience, the vast majority of veterans don’t want to be sick. They would love to be working full time. I think they’re trying to shift the blame for the problems they have in their own program.”

Nearly 1,000 injured veterans enrolled in the rehabilitation program when it was created in 2006, according to the report. Demand was expected to drop off over the following years, but more than 5,800 vets were enrolled in the rehab program in March 2013, and 9,100 are expected by 2018.

In a background briefing with the Citizen this week, a Veterans Affairs official attributed the growth to pent-up demand among veterans who had served after the Korean War. But the report also shows that veterans, once they are in the program, aren’t leaving.

More than 2,800 of the 5,800 veterans in the program at the end of March 2013 had been participating longer than originally expected, the report found. In fact, of the nearly 1,000 who originally joined in 2006, nearly one-third were still enrolled.

Reviewers who prepared the report acknowledged some problems with the program. They found weaknesses in determining veterans’ needs, including delays in consultations with health care professionals. And only 28 per cent of veterans who sought help finding a job actually landed a career they wanted.

They also found the department had little information about how the program was actually functioning because it relied almost exclusively on voluntary surveys filled out by participants. This, they suggested, opened it up to abuse.

“Research indicates respondents may inflate the incidence and severity of health problems and disability in order to rationalize labour force non-participation and/or receipt of disability benefits,” the report said.

Meanwhile, only 22 per cent of the 5,800 injured vets in the program were taking advantage of services to help them find a civilian job. Part of this was because about about 32 per cent were receiving similar assistance from National Defence.

But a full 30 per cent were deemed currently unsuitable for such help or simply had no interest. The remaining 16 per cent were veterans determined to be too ill or injured to find gainful employment. That number has tripled since 2011 — which reviewers noted coincided with a hike in cash benefits for injured ex-soldiers.

The reviewers concluded that veterans were not very successful in meeting their employment goals. Furthermore, the financial benefits available to injured veterans “may be deterring veterans from actively participating in the vocational aspects of the program and the labour force.”

Veterans Affairs Canada spokeswoman Kate Murphy said the department “is working to develop new data collection tools and methodologies for measuring veteran outcomes.”

Stoffer acknowledged that in any group of people, there will be those who abuse the system. But he said veterans are in close contact with health professionals, and he accused the department of “finding excuses and blaming the victims rather than fixing the system.”

lberthiaume@ottawacitizen.com

Twitter.com/leeberthiaume

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Re: Veterans Affairs alleges some ex-soldiers exaggerating their injuries

Post by bigrex on Fri 02 Jan 2015, 12:21

If you ask me, VAC are inventing an issue with the rehab program themselves by making the rehab program a prerequisite to accessing every other financial program offered under the NVC. You cannot get ELB or PIA, unless approved for the Rehab program first. The SRB can only be approved, if you've received ELB. The CFIS is only approved once you are no longer eligible to collect the ELB. The only program that is not tied directly into the Rehab Program, is the lump sum award. So every veteran who collects EELB, or PIA, will always be considered enrolled in the rehab program. And it's not like Veterans can just lie to VAC about the severity of these medical conditions in order to get approved. We are scrutinized at every step by health care professionals, who are experienced enough to see whether or not they are being lied to, and have no reason to falsify the reports they send to VAC.
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Re: Veterans Affairs alleges some ex-soldiers exaggerating their injuries

Post by Trooper on Fri 02 Jan 2015, 13:01

Veterans Affairs is suppose to be in place to support Veterans - not to make such allegations painting us to be untruthful in our attempt to receive benefits.

I can with certainty say that a great number of employees from Veterans Affair are really good individuals, and have our best interest in serving all of the Veterans.

It is those who for whatever reason find it to focus on making these types of allegations that makes it look like they are looking for ways to take benefits away from us.

If a large number of Veterans who were not entitled for further assistance due to latest medical evaluation - this would not be and allegation - this would be fact.

So to me they should choose their words more carefully when making their reports of what they are saying - as this allegation serves only to make it look like they are out to take benefits away from Veterans.

They should be making their decisions, and reports on what is coming from the medical reports provided to them - anything outside of this would in my mind not only be inappropriate - but would also show lack of competence on their part.
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Re: Veterans Affairs alleges some ex-soldiers exaggerating their injuries

Post by Guest on Fri 02 Jan 2015, 17:24

The writing is on the wall. Don't trust them, EVER! Thank God I'm on PA , this whole Rehab thing was planned from the beginning to get people off benefits no matter what

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Re: Veterans Affairs alleges some ex-soldiers exaggerating their injuries

Post by Brasidas on Fri 02 Jan 2015, 18:32

It's shameful that the very people who's jobs depend on Veterans would attack them. Their soul purpose in employment is to go to work and find ways to help veterans. They would not have a job without us. I would love to have them interview me for, and train me for one of their jobs.

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Re: Veterans Affairs alleges some ex-soldiers exaggerating their injuries

Post by teentitan on Fri 02 Jan 2015, 23:11

Funny how they say "veterans" are exaggerating NOT doctor reports are exaggerated???

Easier to slander the vet then the medical profession.  If I was the head of the College of Doctors and Physicians I would be screaming for a detailed explanation to these "observations".

Furthermore wasn't the NVC brought into legislation because, as stated by Mr. Jack Stagg VAC bureaucrat back in 2004/5, that under the PA veterans were making it a "job" in appealing decisions? Thus the NVC would stop this?

Come on now which is it...doctors exaggerating, sorry veterans, or is the NVC have a flaw that was supposed to stop veterans from making it a job to appeal poor decisions????

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Re: Veterans Affairs alleges some ex-soldiers exaggerating their injuries

Post by Brasidas on Sat 03 Jan 2015, 07:52

Once again I see the people with great jobs and no brains in charge of everything. This is why the economy is the way it is and no one can get a job. I get offered 5 or 10 hours every two weeks and on call 24/7. How can I live with that.

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Re: Veterans Affairs alleges some ex-soldiers exaggerating their injuries

Post by Guest on Sun 04 Jan 2015, 09:54

teen you are absolutely right .

as a soldier at the time this very situation was discussed when the NVC info came out ;what little that did come out that is; and everyone that read it knew this would happen .

I posted a piece a while back discussing this very matter after talking to a lot of disabled vets and doctors.

will some exaggerate ??

you bet they will!!!

and they do!!!!!

under the PA you get your monthly pension weather you work or not as long as it is not a job that conflicts with your disability.

under the NVC its hard to get on the rehab program and if you get a job then come off the rehab program . following that you can no longer continue to work due to your condition its almost impossible to get back on.

it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the result of this if a few infantry TROOPS could figure this would happen before its implementation the franker's that wrote this monstrosity very well knew before they finished writing it.

ya its not the ones with minor disabilities or the totally disabled its the ones on the bubble. some exaggerating but most not even trying to improve their condition for fear of loosing everything and be left with no way to feed their families .

talk to doctors near a military base that deal with these guys a lot on the QT. they will tell you to a man that guys on the PA have a far better record of improving and ore stabilizing their condition far better than the NVC guys . they believe it is lack of will due to that fear .

the buyout part of this makes sure the NVC does the complete opposite of what it was publicly intended to do .

but then again in reality it was really intended to save money on the backs of disabled vets and it has accomplished that.

again most of the issues with the NVC can be solved with just one change not a whole list of stuff .

END THE BUYOUT NOW!!!!

propat




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Re: Veterans Affairs alleges some ex-soldiers exaggerating their injuries

Post by johnny211 on Sun 04 Jan 2015, 12:16

Propat well said. I am sure there are some. My story is a bit different, or maybe not?  I would like to see the numbers of Vets, who started on the Rehab, did a crse, or part off, and due to there illness could not go on to a job, or did go to a job, but the monsters returned and they had to leave work.
I was diagnosed 2 years ago with severe ptsd, due to another homefront battle called Swiss Air. I went on the Rehab, did 9 months of trade school, which was damn hard all the way thru with this shit. But did finish and get a job. The stress which makes the monsters worse returned, and I could not do the work anymore.
 I am now still on a holding pattern, under rehab, on elb, and doing a reassessment for PIA. So I question this article. Some chair pilot in DVA, has no clue how hard it is mentally for us to retrain. As I told my psyc, I am not lazy , would luv to work, but mentally I know I cannot do it.
 When I finally admited to myself, which us Vets know is damn hard, that I could not do it any longer it was a real blow. But shit happens in life. I think the DVA chair pilots have no F-in clue. After that I even had a CanVet rehab person tell me on the phone, go see a pscy, take some pills and return to work. Clueless  Twisted Evil . Us with ptsd would luv to make it all go away, no pill will do that.
 Ok now I am venting, but the real # of what is going on in this article is not broken down. Thanks for the rant guys, this 211 will sign off now. Over and out. VVV...


Last edited by johnny211 on Sun 04 Jan 2015, 13:27; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Veterans Affairs alleges some ex-soldiers exaggerating their injuries

Post by teentitan on Sun 04 Jan 2015, 13:00

To the PMO staff, VAC staff do not go down this road!! You are trying to "polish" VAC's image and the Conservative Parties image by portraying veterans as lazy, lying cheaters who are abusing the system.

If you are so damn sure that veterans are abusing the system then publish the internal report for all to read and make up their own minds if vets are playing the system or VAC is not delivering the help they need in a timely fashion to help them physically and psychologically.

Also tell your MP's to stop with the "All the vets I talk to say they are happy with what they receive from Veterans Affairs." Again they are talking to the vets that are able to leave their house. Why not be honest and have your MP's go from veteran to veteran house and check up on them? That would be a more truthful campaign to improve your parties image.

Veterans Affairs made the top 10 newsmakers for 2014 because you finally got caught how slow your party is to improve the living charter called the New Veterans Charter. You want to fix VAC then get to work with the audits, actuaries and the Veteran Ombudsman's reports and implement what they have been recommending, nay, demanding for the last 9 years!!
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Re: Veterans Affairs alleges some ex-soldiers exaggerating their injuries

Post by Guest on Sun 04 Jan 2015, 13:54

johnny buds thanks and great post and you are so right buds they do not understand AT ALL!

how could they??? maybe some day they will all get paper cuts that get infected and end up losing limbs maybe then they will understand or at least understand how it is on the PA system as they chose to keep that for themselves the same time they chose to give the NVC to the military.

but they will never truly know what it is like on the NVC .

I truly wish you the best of luck buds .

END THE BUYOUT NOW!!!!

propat


Last edited by propat on Mon 05 Jan 2015, 11:30; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Veterans Affairs alleges some ex-soldiers exaggerating their injuries

Post by pinger on Sun 04 Jan 2015, 18:58

In the Ottawa Citizen article Peter Stoffer is quoted...
   “In my experience, the vast majority of veterans don’t want to be sick. They would love to be working full time. I think they’re trying to shift the blame for the problems they have in their own program.

My underlines. He hit the nail on the head. GoC/VAC is smelling their own shyte in a bad way so they "shift the wind". It's all PR, spin doctors in a thinktank somewhere. Kinda like... if I can make you look like crap, I might just end up smelling more rosy in comparison and in the publics perception for my advantage. Lil' hint... an election beckons Smile

Exaggerating injuries? Fraud would be lower than a snakes belly in our circles. But medical reports and missing body parts don't lie esp. when it happens while serving. Yet, when the " benefit of doubt " is supposed to be deemed in our favour... many have been discounted. Why? And if one deteriorates further post-service on civie street then what?

Don't know all the answers but after dealing with VAC for 30 yers I am fortunate.

You see in that time, lawyers, bpo's, couple of service officers, gov't people all told me the same damn thing. Emphasize your worst day (is that an exaggaration as opposed to?), and they know system. Now I do, but it never does sit well, just gets thing accomplished. Why can't everyone be just damn straight? Too many footsies like bureacratic algebra that only harm many in the process.

GoC should eat some of their VAC sop protocols/document policies for humble pie breakfast.

Fair winds, pinger.
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Re: Veterans Affairs alleges some ex-soldiers exaggerating their injuries

Post by pinger on Sun 04 Jan 2015, 19:42

Forgot the GoC : A rightful veterans perserverance for "benefit of doubt" you should not miscontrue for an exaggeration. Could be aka more raisen pie in your face. pinger.
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Re: Veterans Affairs alleges some ex-soldiers exaggerating their injuries

Post by Guest on Sun 04 Jan 2015, 21:39

saying the NVC is FAR BETTER than the pension act . is that an exaggeration ???

no its not .

its an out right lie !!

propat

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Re: Veterans Affairs alleges some ex-soldiers exaggerating their injuries

Post by Jeffery M on Mon 05 Jan 2015, 02:02

The lump sum will never be picked over a pension for life by those other than disabled veterans either over 65, or those that are possible terminally ill with little time. The lump sum should be an option to supplement the Pension act.

A disabilty pension can never be burnt through, it comes every month. A disabilty pension does not discriminate between working disabled and non working disabled. A disabilty pension is an incentive to explore a career without fear. Because PTSD comes with 2 very real ingredients; depression and anxiety. When mixed with fear and the prospect of potential failure, the agony of asking for help from the department a second time may be too much.

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