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Deputy Veterans Ombudsman - Senate Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs

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Re: Deputy Veterans Ombudsman - Senate Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs

Post by Guest on Mon 23 May 2016, 12:08

I agree that past history has proven SISIP to follow suit from changes to the ELB.

There could be a couple of reasons why we haven't heard anything from Manulife (SISIP) on the 15% increase , one could be that SISIP is waiting for implementation to occur before proceeding with their announcement , and SISIP falls under the Treasury Dept for funds , where as the ELB falls under VAC for funds.

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Re: Deputy Veterans Ombudsman - Senate Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs

Post by 6608 on Mon 23 May 2016, 11:40

Navrat, No they haven’t said anything yet but im sure they will in time. for example for the base rate change in 2011 we found out that it will probably effect us SISIP people through the REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT for the changes to ELB made in July 2011(see below). The people on ELB saw the increase that Oct 2011 when it came into force where we had to wait till April of 2012 for the defence minister to make it official back dating it to Oct of 2011.


http://gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2011/2011-07-09/html/reg2-eng.html



http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/news/article.page?doc=enhancements-to-the-canadian-forces-long-term-disability-income-replacement-benefits/hgq87xuz




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Re: Deputy Veterans Ombudsman - Senate Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs

Post by Guest on Mon 23 May 2016, 10:08

Has it been written anywhere that Sisip ltd will be receiving the increase to 90 percent of a senior private release income?

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Re: Deputy Veterans Ombudsman - Senate Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs

Post by 6608 on Mon 23 May 2016, 08:13

Bigrex, It would be interesting knowing how many of us SISIP Ltd veterans are approved for both however I don't believe we are counted as part of the EELB number.


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Re: Deputy Veterans Ombudsman - Senate Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs

Post by bigrex on Mon 23 May 2016, 07:40

That is the rub of the situation. How many of those SISIP clients are also approved for ELB, but not getting any money? Are the zero summed recipients included in with the 2000?
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Re: Deputy Veterans Ombudsman - Senate Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs

Post by 6608 on Mon 23 May 2016, 05:24

johnny211,The last report i read stated that their was approximately 1800 persons on EELB (numbers from last year) and it sounds about right that approx 3000 are on "temporary" ELB so i think the numbers are right...........The last numbers i saw for SISIP LTD was around 3500.So there is only about 5500 veterans from both programs receiving long term support in total.




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Re: Deputy Veterans Ombudsman - Senate Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs

Post by johnny211 on Sun 22 May 2016, 20:42

Trooper - Do you think the Dept is low balling this statement - "According to Veterans Affairs Canada’s numbers, this will provide increased short-term financial support to approximately 3,000 Veterans while they participate in the Department’s rehabilitation programs. It will also provide increased long-term financial support to around 2,000 of the most seriously impaired Veterans for life.
It could be just me but I would think there are more than 2,000 seriously impaired Vets. So does that mean there are only 2,000 TPI Vets across the country? Or 2,000 Vets that are 100% or more disabled? Or maybe my head spacing is reading this wrong.. Just my thoughts for the wknd from this old Rad-Op..VVV...
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Deputy Veterans Ombudsman - Senate Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs

Post by Guest on Sun 22 May 2016, 18:18

Speaking Notes: Sharon Squire, Deputy Veterans Ombudsman - Senate Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs
Ottawa, ON - May 18, 2016

Chair, Committee Members,

Thank you for your invitation to appear today to discuss Bill C-15, The Budget Implementation Act, as it pertains to Canada’s Veterans.

I am appearing on behalf of Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent. Yesterday, he shared his opinion on Bill C-15 at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. However, today he was committed to be in Quebec City for the Annual Director General Meeting of Military Family Resource Centres, so I am appearing for him.

The Veterans Ombudsman and his team frequently meet with and listen to the concerns of Veterans and their families across Canada. Whether in individual meetings, at town halls, events, or via Twitter chats, we hear upfront what is and what is not working for Canada’s Veterans and their families.

We believe that Bill C-15 addresses several of our key recommendations in both the 2013 Report on the New Veterans Charter and the 2014 Report on the Permanent Impairment Allowance and the Permanent Impairment Allowance Supplement.

Although it is too early to provide you with an evidence-based analysis on the effectiveness or fairness of the proposed legislative changes in Bill C-15 – because we simply do not have the details – we do consider it to be a movement in the right direction, albeit with some reservations.

Division 2 of The Budget Implementation Act takes steps to help Veterans and their families by:

Increasing the Earnings Loss Benefit to 90 percent of an eligible Veteran’s military salary. According to Veterans Affairs Canada’s numbers, this will provide increased short-term financial support to approximately 3,000 Veterans while they participate in the Department’s rehabilitation programs. It will also provide increased long-term financial support to around 2,000 of the most seriously impaired Veterans for life. However, what we do not know is for those Veterans in receipt of the SISIP Long Term Disability Benefit – which is at 75 percent of their pre-release salary– will this be increased to ensure fairness?

Changing Permanent Impairment Allowance grade determination. Although we do not have the details of what this change will be, we are hopeful that it will better support Veterans with career-limiting service-related injuries by providing access to higher grade levels. Also, we are pleased to see the program renamed Career Impact Allowance in order to better reflect the original intent.

Replacing “Totally and Permanently Incapacitated” with “Diminished Earnings Capacity”. There is no definition of Diminished Earnings Capacity, so it is difficult to assess the impact of this change without knowing the details. However, we need to clearly understand how it will be defined and applied to ensure it meets the needs of Veterans.

Raising the Disability Award to $360,000. This change will align the Disability Award with what Canadians can receive through the courts. It will also provide retroactively to approximately 55,000 Veterans a one-time increase to the Disability Award that they have already received.

Increasing the Death Benefit to $360,000. Once implemented, this will provide better support to the family members of those who have paid the ultimate price.

These changes, especially those to the Disability Award, will have a positive impact on all Veterans receiving benefits under the New Veterans Charter. Other changes, such as those to the Earnings Loss Benefit and the Permanent Impairment Allowance, will provide greater life-time financial security to the Veterans who are the most vulnerable and have the greatest need for support.

However, although many of the initiatives announced in the Budget may indirectly support Veterans’ families, no action was taken to provide financial compensation for family members who give up their employment to become the primary caregivers for severely impaired Veterans. And, it is paramount that we define and achieve the desired outcome for Veterans for lifetime financial security. These are priorities for the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman and are critical to ensuring that our most vulnerable Veterans and their families are supported.

In closing, we believe that Budget 2016 is a promising start; now we need a clear action plan and an evidence-based evaluation approach to determine what the impact of these changes will be on Veterans and their families. Veterans and their families deserve no less.

Thank you.

http://www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/eng/media/speeches/post/21

Guy Parent Veterans Ombudsman - House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance

Ottawa, ON - May 17, 2016

Chair, Committee Members,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share with you my thoughts on Bill C-15, The Budget Implementation Act, as it pertains to Canada’s Veterans.

In my five and a half years as Veterans Ombudsman, I have met with and listened intently to the concerns of thousands of Veterans and their families across Canada. On October 1, 2013, I released my Report on the New Veterans Charter, which was evidenced-based and for the first time in relation to any report of this nature, it was supported by an independent, actuarial analysis that pinpointed exactly where benefits were failing Veterans and would continue to fail them unless changes were made. In addition, on August 19, 2014, I released another evidence-based Report on the Permanent Impairment Allowance and the Permanent Impairment Allowance Supplement and recommended changes in order to better support severely impaired Veterans.

Bill C-15 addresses several of my key recommendations in both of these Reports. Although it is too early to provide you with an evidence-based analysis on the effectiveness or fairness of the proposed legislative changes – because we do not have all of the details yet – it is not too early to say that it is movement in the right direction.

Division 2 of The Budget Implementation Act takes steps to help Veterans and their families by:

Increasing the Earnings Loss Benefit to 90 percent of an eligible Veteran’s military salary. According to Veterans Affairs Canada’s numbers, this will provide increased short-term financial support to approximately 3,000 Veterans while they participate in the Department’s rehabilitation programs. It will also provide increased long-term financial support to around 2,000 of the most seriously impaired Veterans for life.
Changing Permanent Impairment Allowance grade determination. Although I do not as yet have the details of what this change will look like for Veterans, I am hopeful that it will better support the most seriously impaired Veterans with career-limiting service-related injuries. Also, I am pleased to see the program renamed Career Impact Allowance in order to better reflect the original intent.
Replacing “Totally and Permanently Incapacitated” with “Diminished Earnings Capacity”. There is no definition of Diminished Earnings Capacity, so it is difficult to assess the impact of this change without knowing the details. However, I am hopeful that it will lower the threshold for access to certain benefits.
Raising the Disability Award to $360,000. This change will align the Disability Award with what Canadians can receive through the courts. It will also provide retroactively to approximately 55,000 Veterans a one-time increase to the Disability Award that they have already received.
Increasing the Death Benefit to $360,000. Once implemented, this will provide better support to the family members of those who have paid the ultimate price.
These changes, especially those to the Disability Award, will have a positive impact on all Veterans receiving benefits under the New Veterans Charter. Other changes, such as those to the Earnings Loss Benefit and the Permanent Impairment Allowance, will provide greater life-time financial security to relatively few Veterans; but they are the Veterans who are the most vulnerable and have the greatest need for support.

I believe that it is important for you in your deliberations to put Veteran-program spending into context. Expenditures on Veterans are approximately 1% of the current federal expenditures, and current estimates suggest they will decline over the next decade due to a decrease in the Veteran population.

As the Veterans Ombudsman, my office evaluates fairness through the principles of adequacy (Are the right programs and services in place to meet the needs?), sufficiency (Are the right programs and services sufficiently resourced?), and accessibility (Are eligibility criteria creating unfair barriers, and can the benefits and services provided by VAC be accessed quickly and easily?). While it is difficult to evaluate the fairness of the proposed changes without more detail, as I said earlier in my remarks, they do reflect the recommendations I have previously made for improvements to the deficiencies of the financial benefits in the New Veterans Charter.

In closing, I believe that the proposed changes represent an important step forward in Canada’s support to Veterans and their families. They deserve no less in return for their service and sacrifice to Canada and Canadians.

Thank you.

http://www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/eng/media/speeches/post/20

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