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Veterans Ombudsman to hold a public town hall with Veterans in Petawawa on January 25, 2017

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Meet the Veterans Ombudsman

Post by Guest on Sat 25 Feb 2017, 05:59

Meet the Veterans Ombudsman - Calgary and Edmonton, AB




All Veterans, RCMP members, military members, their families and other interested parties are invited to attend the Veterans Ombudsman's upcoming town halls. Please check back to this page as we share the planned locations for future town halls.

Executive Royal Hotel Calgary
2828 23 Street NE
Calgary, AB T2E 8T4


https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Executive+Royal+Hotel+Calgary/@51.0774063,-114.0034904,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xe2bd2db7c1d896c7!8m2!3d51.0774063!4d-114.0034904

Date: Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM 8:30 PM MST

Hilton Garden Inn West Edmonton
17610 Stony Plain Road
Edmonton, AB T5S 1A2


https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Hilton+Garden+Inn+West+Edmonton/@53.542249,-113.6253694,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x8c96220f4eca61d0?sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0ahUKEwjW3ICJ1oPSAhVE6YMKHUtGBfYQ_BIIhAEwCg

Date: Thursday, March 9, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM 8:30 PM MST


http://www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/eng/about-us/ombudsman/town-halls

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There is life after service, says Ombudsman

Post by Bruce72 on Mon 30 Jan 2017, 22:13

GARRISON PETAWAWA - While the plight of those who have proudly served in our military continues to grab headlines, there have been some successes, according to Canada’s Veterans Ombudsman.

Guy Parent was at the garrison Wednesday to reassure not only veterans of the military and the RCMP but those currently serving that he is listening and will do what he can to ensure there are no longer gaps in the benefits and services they can access once their time in uniform is done.

“There is life after service and you should have been proud to have served,” said Parent, who has the ombudsman since 2010.

The retired Chief Warrant Officer joined the forces in 1964 training as a Search and Rescue Technician. He rose to the position of Canadian Forces Chief Warrant Officer before leaving the service in 2001. His office identifies and reviews systemic issues related to the Department of Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). He can address compliants by VAC clients and facilitate access by stakeholders to programs and services by providing them with information and referrals.

As of 2016, the nation has 670,000 veterans including 92,617 serving regular and reserve force personnel. In total, VAC looks after 88,301 clients. There are currently 69,700 veterans of the Second World War and Korea, of which 29,740 are served by VAC. The department also handles 11,439 RCMP veterans, as well as 65,505 receiving survivors’ benefits.

Pointing to the last federal budget, Parent said veterans’s concerns are being heard. The disability award has been increased to $360,000, while the increased income eligibility excemption for the Last Post Fund has gone from $12,000 to $36,000. Nine VAC offices have been re-opened including new offices in Surrey, B.C. and Fredericton. Parent added the controversial decision by the former Conservative government didn’t make sense because aging veterans are living longer and need access to services. More case managers are being hired as well as veterans services being expanded to the north. In some areas, Parent indicated there is already a shift in philosophy including the view that red tape is holding up claims.

“You shouldn’t have to fill out 86 forms just to transition from the military into VAC,” said Parent adding there are still folks out there who don’t realize they are entitled to veterans’ benefits. “There is no limitation on the time that you can apply for benefits.”

That’s not to say there aren’t challenges. Benefits continue to be complex, fragmented and not well understood by veterans. There remains a culture at the department of layering regulations, policies, programs and services which makes the process for applying for benefits more confusing.

The ombudsman also heard from the audience about the concerns that are weighing heavily on veterans’ minds. One soldier who will soon be leaving the forces lost his right leg in Afghanistan. He said that if he were to have released from the military without a disability he would be entitled to $75,000 to pay for education. However, as a wounded warrior he won’t receive such assistance.

Another veteran who uses medicinal marijuana sharply criticized the department’s new policy. In November, Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr announced new restrictions on the medical marijuana reimbursement policy. Effective this May, veterans, who are currently reimbursed for up to 10 grams of cannabis per day, will only be eligible for a maximum three grams a day. According to the department, 3,071 veterans have claimed $31 million in medical pot from April to September this year, a significant increase from the five veterans who claimed $19,088 when the program first started in 2008. The veteran said that he required 10 grams a day to manage his level of pain. Parent responded that it was a recommendation from Health Canada that determined three grams was the safest dosage but understood the veteran’s point.

“It’s a miracle cure for some people but not for all,” said Parent.

Others pointed out that the claims process has proven to be so long that case managers are forcing veterans to get another medical assessment, which in some cases has physicians contradicting the diagnosis of the doctor who conducted the original examination.

Many in the audience also asked why more is not done to resolve homelessness among veterans. Parent said they have come a long way in the eight years since his predecessor, retired Colonel Pat Stogran, was told by the government that there were no veterans who were homeless. He said he is pushing for a veterans identification card.

“A recognized government identification that gives veterans an identification number and registration with Veterans Affairs,” said Parent explaining the concept. “You would have status. You would be a veteran of Canada with an identification card.”

Addressing the town hall, Chief Warrant Officer Bill Richards, 4th Canadian Division Support Group formation sergeant-major, thanked the ombudsman for meeting with the veterans as well as serving members. He said this was the first time in his 33-year career he has had the opportunity to attend such a session. While the garrison will be doing more to help personnel transition out of the military, Chief Warrant Officer Richards encouraged the veterans not to give up as they deal with their individual trials.

“Don’t stop. Keep going,” he said. “We won’t make change unless you keep going. Advocate for yourself. It will help us. It truly will.”

SChase@postmedia.com 



http://www.thedailyobserver.ca/2017/01/26/there-is-life-after-service-says-ombudsman

Bruce72
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Number of posts : 675
Location : Newfoundland
Registration date : 2014-03-13

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Re: Veterans Ombudsman to hold a public town hall with Veterans in Petawawa on January 25, 2017

Post by Dannypaj on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 06:18

While the garrison will be doing more to help personnel transition out of the military, Chief Warrant Officer Richards encouraged the veterans not to give up as they deal with their individual trials.

“Don’t stop. Keep going,” he said. “We won’t make change unless you keep going. Advocate for yourself. It will help us. It truly will.”


TRUE! and never walk away from a fight!!!!
I walked away and was almost left homeless (in financial ruin).
When my claim was denied for no other apparent reason, but to have you either fight or flight, I strongly suggest you fight for what you are entitled to, period.
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Dannypaj
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 1127
Age : 40
Location : Halifax
Registration date : 2015-01-29

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There is life after service, says Ombudsman

Post by Guest on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 06:05

There is life after service, says Ombudsman


By Sean Chase, The Daily Observer

Thursday, January 26, 2017 6:21:41 EST PM


Sean Chase/Daily Observer Canada's Veterans Ombudsman, Guy Parent, speaks to an audience at the Petawawa Golf Club Wednesday night. The retired Chief Warrant Officer heard about veterans issues surrounding the use of medical marijuana, the lengthy amount of time for benefits to be processed and homelessness among veterans. Parent is conducting several town halls like this across Canada in 2017.

GARRISON PETAWAWA - While the plight of those who have proudly served in our military continues to grab headlines, there have been some successes, according to Canada’s Veterans Ombudsman.

Guy Parent was at the garrison Wednesday to reassure not only veterans of the military and the RCMP but those currently serving that he is listening and will do what he can to ensure there are no longer gaps in the benefits and services they can access once their time in uniform is done.

“There is life after service and you should have been proud to have served,” said Parent, who has the ombudsman since 2010.

The retired Chief Warrant Officer joined the forces in 1964 training as a Search and Rescue Technician. He rose to the position of Canadian Forces Chief Warrant Officer before leaving the service in 2001. His office identifies and reviews systemic issues related to the Department of Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). He can address compliants by VAC clients and facilitate access by stakeholders to programs and services by providing them with information and referrals.

As of 2016, the nation has 670,000 veterans including 92,617 serving regular and reserve force personnel. In total, VAC looks after 88,301 clients. There are currently 69,700 veterans of the Second World War and Korea, of which 29,740 are served by VAC. The department also handles 11,439 RCMP veterans, as well as 65,505 receiving survivors’ benefits.

Pointing to the last federal budget, Parent said veterans’s concerns are being heard. The disability award has been increased to $360,000, while the increased income eligibility excemption for the Last Post Fund has gone from $12,000 to $36,000. Nine VAC offices have been re-opened including new offices in Surrey, B.C. and Fredericton. Parent added the controversial decision by the former Conservative government didn’t make sense because aging veterans are living longer and need access to services. More case managers are being hired as well as veterans services being expanded to the north. In some areas, Parent indicated there is already a shift in philosophy including the view that red tape is holding up claims.

“You shouldn’t have to fill out 86 forms just to transition from the military into VAC,” said Parent adding there are still folks out there who don’t realize they are entitled to veterans’ benefits. “There is no limitation on the time that you can apply for benefits.”

That’s not to say there aren’t challenges. Benefits continue to be complex, fragmented and not well understood by veterans. There remains a culture at the department of layering regulations, policies, programs and services which makes the process for applying for benefits more confusing.

The ombudsman also heard from the audience about the concerns that are weighing heavily on veterans’ minds. One soldier who will soon be leaving the forces lost his right leg in Afghanistan. He said that if he were to have released from the military without a disability he would be entitled to $75,000 to pay for education. However, as a wounded warrior he won’t receive such assistance.

Another veteran who uses medicinal marijuana sharply criticized the department’s new policy. In November, Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr announced new restrictions on the medical marijuana reimbursement policy. Effective this May, veterans, who are currently reimbursed for up to 10 grams of cannabis per day, will only be eligible for a maximum three grams a day. According to the department, 3,071 veterans have claimed $31 million in medical pot from April to September this year, a significant increase from the five veterans who claimed $19,088 when the program first started in 2008. The veteran said that he required 10 grams a day to manage his level of pain. Parent responded that it was a recommendation from Health Canada that determined three grams was the safest dosage but understood the veteran’s point.

“It’s a miracle cure for some people but not for all,” said Parent.

Others pointed out that the claims process has proven to be so long that case managers are forcing veterans to get another medical assessment, which in some cases has physicians contradicting the diagnosis of the doctor who conducted the original examination.

Many in the audience also asked why more is not done to resolve homelessness among veterans. Parent said they have come a long way in the eight years since his predecessor, retired Colonel Pat Stogran, was told by the government that there were no veterans who were homeless. He said he is pushing for a veterans identification card.

“A recognized government identification that gives veterans an identification number and registration with Veterans Affairs,” said Parent explaining the concept. “You would have status. You would be a veteran of Canada with an identification card.”

Addressing the town hall, Chief Warrant Officer Bill Richards, 4th Canadian Division Support Group formation sergeant-major, thanked the ombudsman for meeting with the veterans as well as serving members. He said this was the first time in his 33-year career he has had the opportunity to attend such a session. While the garrison will be doing more to help personnel transition out of the military, Chief Warrant Officer Richards encouraged the veterans not to give up as they deal with their individual trials.

“Don’t stop. Keep going,” he said. “We won’t make change unless you keep going. Advocate for yourself. It will help us. It truly will.”

http://www.thedailyobserver.ca/2017/01/26/there-is-life-after-service-says-ombudsman

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Veterans Ombudsman to hold a public town hall with Veterans in Petawawa on January 25, 2017

Post by Guest on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 16:05

Veterans Ombudsman to hold a public town hall with Veterans in Petawawa on January 25, 2017


Ottawa, Ontario - Canada's Veterans Ombudsman, Guy Parent, will host a public town hall in Petawawa, Ontario, for Veterans, military and RCMP members, their families, and other interested parties. This is an opportunity for the Ombudsman to hear the concerns of the Veterans’ community. Mr. Parent will provide information about the work his office is doing to help Veterans, and his priorities for addressing the gaps in the benefits and services that are provided to Veterans and their families.

Before the town hall, between 8:00 and 16:00, Veterans can schedule a consultation with an Ombudsman Service Representative to discuss their case privately. Consultations are made in 20-minute time slots on a first-come, first-served basis. Veterans are asked to schedule a consultation in advance by emailing: communication@ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca by January 24, 2017. Personal cases cannot be discussed during the town hall due to privacy concerns.

Town Hall - January 25, 2017

Time: 18:30 - 20:30

Location: Petawawa Golf Club

3 Festubert Blvd,

Petawawa, Ontario

http://www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/eng/media/media-advisories/post/38

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Re: Veterans Ombudsman to hold a public town hall with Veterans in Petawawa on January 25, 2017

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