An Area of Major Dissatisfaction

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An Area of Major Dissatisfaction

Post by teentitan on Thu 15 Sep 2011, 11:01

Ottawa - September 14, 2011
Last year almost 8 percent of our total complaints, 137 of 1823 cases, were on the decisions arising from the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB).

In fact VRAB complaints were rated as number five in the Office’s top seven issues that caused Veterans concern.

For the most part, the Office can do very little with regards to an individual decision as the Order in Council that established the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman does not allow the Ombudsman to 'review any decision of the Board'. However, the Order in Council does allow the Ombudsman 'to review systemic issues related to the Board'. So although the Office couldn’t help individual Veterans complaining about the decision they received from VRAB, the Office has been keeping track of those complaints and looking at them to determine if these individual decisions point to a larger problem that affects all Veterans (a systemic issue). One of the things we did notice was the number of Veterans that have had to go to Federal Court multiple times for the same issue.

Accordingly, since May of this year, the Office has been working on conducting a systemic investigation of Veterans Review and Appeal Board decisions that have been the subject of Judicial Review in the Federal Court. After many months of preliminary work, the contract was finally awarded on Friday, August 12, 2011 to the law firm of Borden, Ladner and Gervais and the work has begun. The statement of work provides for a review of these VRAB decisions and will include an analysis of the consistency of decisions, an assessment of the evidence as well as identify any legal trends. In addition, the review will also identify systemic issues having a negative impact on veterans.

The work is scheduled to be completed by the end of October 2011. Affected parties will be provided a copy of the draft report for comment prior to publication and the report will be published 60 days after it has been submitted to the Minister.

I believe this report is timely and I look forward to sharing with you the findings of this systemic investigation which should provide an objective review of a major area of concern for Veterans that is now starting to receive public scrutiny.

For additional information: http://www.vrab-tacra.gc.ca/Facts/Applications-demande-eng.cfm.

Guy Parent

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teentitan
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Re: An Area of Major Dissatisfaction

Post by bigrex on Thu 15 Sep 2011, 12:31

Now all they need is to hire a medical professional, like a former Surgeon General,to work with the lawyers. Their job would be to review the medical evidence and Doctors testimonies that have been dismissed by VRAB, and determine if there was clear contradicting evidence, or if they just made assumptions based on their own medical experience(which is none).

IMO, if it is deemed that they acted wrongfully, and in contradiction to the spirit of the Pension Act, they should be heavily fined and fired. No cushy severance packages,and barred from all public office jobs for life.
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Re: An Area of Major Dissatisfaction

Post by teentitan on Thu 15 Sep 2011, 13:23

Can't blame the people in the job BUT I say get rid of the department!

Either way hopefully we find out if this department is doing their job or not. But at least the New Ombudsman is doing something.
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Re: An Area of Major Dissatisfaction

Post by bigrex on Fri 16 Sep 2011, 05:08

Oh, I blame the people, since it is their decision to throw out medical evidence if it means they can deny pensions.

The Idea of a board that is completely independent of VAC is the right way to go, but the manning of it is important. There shouldn't be lawyers and businessmen on the board, just because of who they know in politics. The board should consist of two people, one from the element of the claimant, so that they understand the military aspect of what we are talking about, and a doctor that is a GP or preferably a specialist in the area that the claimed condition falls under.

ie; a psychiatrist hears claims for PTSD, and an Orthopedic surgeon hears cases involving knee injuries.

Maybe a third member could consist of a social worker who would deal with the social and family aspect of disabilities.
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Re: An Area of Major Dissatisfaction

Post by Guest on Fri 16 Sep 2011, 10:41

I agree Bigrex. The whole VRAB group should be abolished and hung. They deny claims where doctors letters and evidence. Its bullshit to say the least, and do not apply benefit of doubt. The benefit of the doubt issue is massive and legislated.

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Re: An Area of Major Dissatisfaction

Post by teentitan on Fri 16 Sep 2011, 15:35

Glad to see that the OVO is getting a independent 3rd party assessment on VRAB.

The only thing I don't like is the 60 day period the Minister has before the Ombudsman can release the report to the public.

So Minister Blaney over the last 3/4 years veterans have been called "stakeholders". So as the government head of all stakeholders do not use your 60 days to release the investigation. Be transparent, like your politiacal party states they want to be, and wave the 60 day wait period and allow the Ombudsman to release the findings to the public immediately.

Mr. Parent when the results are sent to the Minister please inform us stakeholders that you have done so via a quick blog or email to all veteran organizations.

That way we stakeholders can "urge" the Minister to immediately waive the 60 day wait period. Afterall if this issue is "starting to recieve public scrutiny" shouldn't the answers be more spontaneous then rehearsed?
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