Vets will need to verify lost limbs every three years, instead of annually

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Vets will need to verify lost limbs every three years, instead of annually

Post by Guest on Sat 28 Feb 2015, 05:21

OTTAWA -- A wounded soldier who lost both legs in Afghanistan will have to verify his condition and the kind of support needed, including his wheelchair, to Veterans Affairs every three years, rather than annually under a policy change.

The revision was quietly unveiled in the House of Commons on Friday by Pierre Lemieux, parliamentary secretary to the veterans minister.

In addition, Lemieux told opposition parties that veterans who are required to complete these renewals under the veterans independence program will have six months to hand in the paperwork, considerably longer than under the current system.

Paul Franklin, who was a master corporal when he lost his legs in a 2006 roadside bombing in Kandahar, has long complained about the veterans system and its annual review.

He says he was well looked after at National Defence, but has faced a bureaucratic nightmare since retiring almost six years ago and coming under the veterans department.

His plight caused a political sensation and even drew the attention of comedian Rick Mercer, who devoted a rant to the subject.

A spokesman for Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O'Toole stressed the process is not meant to reconfirm the injury, but to track changes in the condition of ex-soldier.

"Veterans who have been granted entitlement for a disability benefit from (Veterans Affairs Canada) for any service-related injury or condition are not asked to prove their disability again once they have been granted entitlement," said Marton Magnan in an email statement.

"Veterans who face serious injuries face potentially a fluctuating health condition related to the original injury. Veterans Affairs has a responsibility to proactively update the government to ensure they have the necessary support and treatment for their current condition."

Magnan also said the government "places the highest priority on making sure Veterans and their families have the support and services they need, when they need it."

Franklin wasn't immediately available to comment Friday.

In early February, he told CTV's Canada AM that veterans affairs treats him and other ex-soldiers as though they are trying to cheat the system.

The department required him to justify annually why he still qualified for home-care services and income replacement because of his disability.

The disputes got so bad, Franklin had his wheelchair taken away from him twice because it wasn't clear which department should pay for it and which doctor's notes were needed.

Lemieux told the Commons that O'Toole has spoken to Franklin personally.

NDP MP John Rafferty called the situation "unbelievable."

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/vets-will-need-to-verify-lost-limbs-every-three-years-instead-of-annually-1.2257567

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Re: Vets will need to verify lost limbs every three years, instead of annually

Post by georges on Sat 28 Feb 2015, 08:14

Sure the gouv want to make sure you get every service possible. That is wy they remind us once a year to check if we are still sick. It's very logical, logical,logical,logi.............

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Re: Vets will need to verify lost limbs every three years, instead of annually

Post by Guest on Sat 28 Feb 2015, 17:38

The way in which I read this change in policy is as follows - it not only includes Veterans with lost limbs, but also includes all Veterans who are receiving the VIP to change from a one year review letter, to now receiving this review letter every three years.

Also it will give the Veteran up to six Months to fill out and send back the letter.

I don't know why they even bother to even send these letters out, if a Veterans needs changes, all the Veteran has to do is call it in, even with this letter being sent out every three years, or even once a year for that matter, it's highly unlikely that a Veteran will wait for the letter to arrive before addressing their needs in the form of contacting DVA.

There must be something more in the reason why they are sending out these letters - then what they are saying.

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Re: Vets will need to verify lost limbs every three years, instead of annually

Post by RCN-Retired on Sat 28 Feb 2015, 19:05

Ya, it is that most VIP are most likely suffering from a mental illness and will not call in when things like lawn care increase or housekeeping etc. When they send the firms out now the veteran would say what it is so most would be perhaps a year behind. Now they will be up to three years behind. Anyone who things these crooks do something that does not bring more gain to VAC then the veteran themselves, well the proof is in the pudding.
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Re: Vets will need to verify lost limbs every three years, instead of annually

Post by Teentitan on Sun 01 Mar 2015, 13:04

I know it's hard to try and understand the logic of this info.  But there is no 'conspiracy' around this.

It proves VAC is doing what they promised...reducing red tape.

I am glad I don't have to do this annual questionnaire.  I'm also happy that vets who do need changes are going to be given the proper attention as the VAC staff member now is getting more time to research and actually understand what is needed for the client.  

Imagine if you get 2000 questionairre's dumped on your desk every year and you have to process them before the next year?  Will you be able to really 'read between the lines' and help the vet?  Now that person has 3 years to process the 2000 questionairre's before the next batch.

Also I have always been pissed off (and told many VAC staff in Stakeholder meetings) that putting a 30 day deadline on a form is stressful and damn near impossible to meet if I have to go to a doctor.  I always got the standard you can call for an extension and I would shoot it right back at them to put the damn extension on the deadline to begin with!

Well the extension is now on the deadlines.  Win win as the pressure is now off the vet to meet the deadline and it gives the vet a chance to disucss with the doctor to make sure that all medical reports are gathered.  Also if a specialist re-evaluation is needed, and we all know how long it takes to get a specialist appointment, there is still 2 1/2 years left of the 3 years to get the report.

I know it's hard not to think everything VAC is doing is suspicious...it's what we have been used to when dealing with VAC.  We have all dealt with problems before and cursed the damn paperwork.  I'm hoping that this new rule is the start of more red tape reduction.
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Re: Vets will need to verify lost limbs every three years, instead of annually

Post by bigrex on Sun 01 Mar 2015, 13:49

The only problem is, this change was brought about because of something that had nothing to do with VIP. The Vet talked about having his wheelchair taken, and proving a requirement for Home Care and income replacement, which sounds more like the questionnaire for rehab program and ELB, not VIP. So while the changes made are good, it did nothing to address his actual complaint. This guy will still need to prove he has lost both legs every two years, in order to get those continued benefits.
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Re: Vets will need to verify lost limbs every three years, instead of annually

Post by Teentitan on Sun 01 Mar 2015, 13:56

I understand what you are saying Rex. I have sleep apnea and I have to prove it everytime I need parts.

But being an optimist I see these changes as baby steps for VAC. Eventually they will stop looking at their feet when walking and actually hold their heads up and learn to run.

So now that the paperwork is every 3 years I can now encourage VAC to put their 'heads up' and recognize the fact that Paul Franklin will never grow his legs back and sleep apnea is not
cureable.

I just hope vet organizations have to potty train VAC. That could be real messy!! LOL
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Re: Vets will need to verify lost limbs every three years, instead of annually

Post by georges on Sun 01 Mar 2015, 16:33

I get thous VIP questions once a year, it is stress full because of doctors available. Even with a familly doctor and with not urgent cause it takes about 45 days for a RV. This said all that is needed is a word from the doctor saying NO CHANGE. VAC pays for the doc's RV and life geos on. VAc is evolving remerber the days when we had to get reevaluated for PTSD every year!!!! THAT eas stressful!!!!! Will my mental and physical situation due to militaty life ever get bette, NO. Should VAC know this YES. But let us not forget not all vet's are 13 years out of the sevice and some, yes some get better after time that is wy I guess this yearly questions are important for some VIP's. Only thing I do not get is that not a hole many of us are over the 98% bar. And thous of us that are would need a miracle to get better. The guy how lost his legs did this on a question of how is how and demonstraded that in some cases the questions where stupid. Thanks

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Re: Vets will need to verify lost limbs every three years, instead of annually

Post by Guest on Sun 01 Mar 2015, 18:07

baby steps just suck!!!! why the frack these guys cant just straighten things out you just need half a brain to see right from wrong . I get the three year thing for VIP but while you got your hand in the paperwork jar make the three year thing for everything else as well clothing equipment and what-not . throw in no more continuing paperwork for those declared TPI for the reason they were declared TPI and the ancillary conditions resulting from that conation.

ya the thee year thing is good for them and us but while they were at it they could have made it a crap load better for all .

I mean this is like pulling fracking teeth it really is these guys really need to wake up and find a fracking clue somewhere.

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Re: Vets will need to verify lost limbs every three years, instead of annually

Post by Teentitan on Sun 01 Mar 2015, 20:11

Well propat this is what you get when you are dealing with union paid bureaucrats...resistance, resistance and a boat load of stubborness.

I don't want to come off looking like I'm pro-VAC but for the politico's to convince the union bureucrats to start reducing red-tape is big.

I just hope that in the future when the politicians (insert any political party here) go up against these entrenched bureaucrats they hit back when the union plays the dirty hand.

Like the story said the 44 employees knew 2 years ago they were going to shift to the front line and leave the benefits paperwork for the insurance company that the government contracted to do.

The politicians have never fought back by giving the details on why the 44 were moved. So I say to the staffers at the Ministers office keep telling the other side of the story and you will not be trying so damn hard to keep your head above water.
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Re: Vets will need to verify lost limbs every three years, instead of annually

Post by Guest on Sun 01 Mar 2015, 20:51

here is the thing the party in power can legislate anything and just do it even bureaucrats have to follow the law of the land. yup harper SHOULD have controlled the message better as he is all about that he is the best ive ever seen .

I mean look at Mulroney and the GST . 14 different taxes on a car and I think it was 12 on a fridge all these taxes you as a buyer never seen and had there own tax department and required a crapload of paperwork by the seller . GST actually lowered the taxes (an unintended benefit ) but you seen it . thousands of been counters and bureaucrats eventually removed. save the buyer taxes and save the GOC a fortune in salaries , bonuses , benefits and what-not ; win win absolutely genius they just made the law and passed it toooo fracking easy.

but he never had the spin doctors harper has not even close as a matter of fact they sucked OUT LOUD to the point people believe to this day the GST added 15% or whatever to their sales taxes .

just make the law and pass it . that's it that's all . but yes get your guys out ahead of this with the message and how to spin it before you even start.

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Re: Vets will need to verify lost limbs every three years, instead of annually

Post by Guest on Tue 12 Apr 2016, 06:04

I thought this was taken care of by our previous MVA ?

Ottawa makes it cumbersome to prove disability: Edmonton veteran

An Edmonton veteran is asking the federal government to streamline its processes so veterans don’t have to fill out as many forms to prove permanent disability.

Mast.- Cpl. (Ret’d) Paul Franklin told Global News the pile of paperwork he has to fill out for different organizations on an annual basis is nearly a foot high.

“Every year I have to sign the forms, find the forms and write the forms saying I have no legs,” he said.

Franklin is a former medic who served in the Canadian Forces for 11 years. In 2006, he had just two weeks left in his six-month mission in Afghanistan when he became the victim of a suicide bomber.

“My buddy Jeff yelled ‘car right,’ so I shifted left and he (suicide bomber) detonated his car,” Franklin said about the attack. “Boom! We get hit with 56 kilos of explosives.”

Franklin lost both of his legs in the attack and said the care he received afterwards was outstanding.

“With my doctors and team, we changed everything,” the former medic beamed as he spoke about the progress that had been made while he was still in the military.

Franklin retired in 2009 and the paperwork piled up.

“You’d think a simple form you have to fill out every year… no problem.”

But that’s not the case. The veteran said he has to go to the doctor and have him fill out pages of paperwork after being put through a series of physical tests. The amputee said he also has to fill out similar forms for different government departments and the insurance company Manulife.

“There’s a lack of common sense. The organizations involved have to learn to start sharing information.”

It’s about more than just one person as well. Franklin wants all veterans with permanent disabilities not to have to fill out the forms again and again.

“They can send me a form that says ‘in the last year, has your medical condition changed?'” Franklin said, explaing that only if the answer is yes should someone have to go through the paperwork and doctor’s notes. If the answer is no, he wants it to be a simple process that just involves checking off a box, signing it and sending it in.

In 2015, the veteran went public with his story. The minister of veterans affairs at the time, Erin O’Toole, promised Franklin he would only have to fill out the forms every three years, but Franklin said he’s back to filling them out annually.

“The solutions are so easy and that’s why they aren’t being done,” the veteran said.
There’s a new minister in charge now, since the Liberal party formed government and Veterans Affairs told Global News the issue in question falls under the Department of National Defence and Minister Harjit Sajjan, a veteran himself.

The Department of National Defence said the program in question is the Service Income Security Insurance Plan, where injured members are eligible to receive coverage. In a statement, a spokesperson told Global News part of Minister Sajjan’s mandate from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is bridging the gap with Veterans Affairs Canada to ensure Canadian Forces members and veterans get the care they need.

“We are a new government with a new mandate and these issues won’t be solved overnight,” Sajjan’s press secretary, Jordan Owens, said in a statement.

When asked about the annual forms and streamlining the process, the Department of National Defence said it’s an opportunity for them to flag any changes to a veteran’s condition “without leaving ill and injured members in a situation where they need to go out of their way to track down someone within the bureaucracy in order to get the assistance they need.”

The Department of National Defence said an announcement would be coming soon regarding the issues faced by veterans when it comes to red tape.

http://globalnews.ca/news/2632143/ottawa-makes-it-cumbersome-to-prove-disability-edmonton-veteran/

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You Can Do Better!

Post by Dannypaj on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 15:00

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Paul Franklin's article

Post by johnny211 on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 18:46

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Re: Vets will need to verify lost limbs every three years, instead of annually

Post by 6608 on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 23:26

"PM says he's 'listening to veterans' but avoids commenting on disability paperwork"

Mulcair blasts Trudeau over paperwork for disabled veterans

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would not say Wednesday whether he plans any changes to disability benefits paperwork, after a veteran expressed frustration that the government has repeatedly forced him to fill out forms confirming he is still a double-amputee.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair demanded during daily question period to know what the prime minister is doing for veterans like retired Master Cpl. Paul Franklin, who lost both legs serving in Afghanistan in 2006, but is still required to get forms signed by a doctor in order to continue receiving his disability benefits.
Trudeau said that the “Liberal party has always stood up for and with our veterans to defend their interests.”

“That is why we have pledged historic investments in our veterans in our last budget,” the prime minister added. “That is why we are always listening to our veterans.”
Mulcair blasted Trudeau for going “straight to his talking points.”
“Master Cpl. Paul Franklin lost both legs bravely serving this country in Afghanistan,” Mulcair said. “The question to the prime minister was what has he done to put an end to this intolerable situation for our veterans?”
Trudeau responded that he “put forward a mandate letter for our minister of veterans affairs that asked him to respect the sacred obligation we have, as a country, towards those who have served.”
Trudeau also pointed out that the Liberals had already reopened nine veterans affairs offices closed by the Conservatives.
Mulcair later told CTV’s Power Play he believes it is “pretty obvious” that “if someone’s lost their legs, you don’t ask them to keep filling out forms.”
“It would have been an easy thing for the prime minister, who must know about the story, to simply say, ‘this was a mistake and it will never happen again’,” he said. “But instead we got talking points and he just dug in his heels.”
Franklin isn’t the only veteran frustrated by the paperwork. Retired Maj. Mark Campbell, who lost his legs in a 2008 roadside bombing in Afghanistan, says he dreads getting the long-term disability benefit forms sent about every 18 months or so by the insurance company Manulife.
Campbell said the six pages include “prying questions” about which work-related activities he is capable of performing, and a segment for his doctor to fill out to confirm that his condition hasn’t changed.
“I thought it would have been abundantly clear to everybody involved that legs don't grow back, along with testicles and other missing body parts that I have,” he said. “But that fact seems to have been lost on the insurance corporation.”
Campbell said the process is not only frustrating, but also has a “psychological impact” because it involves having to “relive the injury.”
National Defence Ombudsman Gary Walbourne said Tuesday that there are between 2,400 and 2,500 “permanently incapacitated” veterans like Franklin who shouldn’t have to face so much paperwork.
“Can we call these folks?” he said. “Can we pick up the phone and ask, ‘Has anything changed, can we do more to help you?’”
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan defended the policy Tuesday, calling the form a generic one needed “for making sure we can provide the right service and that we can continually assess, because things may change for other veterans as well.”
Sajjan stressed that he was “in no way trying to minimize the sacrifice that has been made.”
Manulife, which administers the program on behalf of the government, points to some changes made to the forms last year.
Lt.-Gen. Christine Whitecross said the military is “trying very hard to be able to sort out this situation.”


http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/mulcair-blasts-trudeau-over-paperwork-for-disabled-veterans-1.2867872




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