Follow Up on the SISIP Federal Court Decision Blog

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Follow Up on the SISIP Federal Court Decision Blog

Post by Teentitan on Fri 13 Jul 2012, 15:51

On May 2, 2012, I blogged about the positive news from the Federal Court, which ruled that the offset of Pension Act disability pensions from long-term disability benefits payable under the Canadian Forces Service Income Security Insurance Plan (SISIP LTD) contravened the SISIP policy. Then on May 30th when it was announced that the Government would not appeal the Federal Court decision, I commended Minister Blaney and Veterans Affairs Canada for doing the right thing by proactively committing to harmonize the Department’s policies and regulations to reflect the planned changes to the SISIP LTD. Since that time, there has been very little communications as to when or how the changes are going to be implemented.
The Office has engaged with Veterans Affairs Canada to determine how the Department will move on a “go forward” basis. The issue of retroactivity and legal fees is a legal matter between the Canadian Forces as the policy holder and those involved in the class action lawsuit, which is likely going to take some time to negotiate. While we wait to see what the outcome of the negotiations will be and how it will affect the Department’s programs, the Office is recommending to Veterans Affairs Canada that they communicate clearly to Veterans how they are going to implement the “go forward” aspects of this decision that the Minister has committed to.

In the meantime, to help overcome the current information void, I thought I should share a few points from our discussions with the Department:

The Department is committed to ending as quickly as possible the practice of offsetting Pension Act disability pensions from its programs, namely the War Veterans Allowance, the Canadian Forces Income Support Benefit and the Earnings Loss Benefit.


Unlike the Canadian Forces, which can quickly change the wording of the SISIP policy, Veterans Affairs Canada has to work through the “machinery of government” to change the regulations. This takes some time. The Minister has committed to communicating the way forward and I will continue to press for the clear and timely release of information. I would expect that regardless of when the revised regulations come into effect, there would be retroactivity to the date at which SISIP stopped the practice of reducing long term disability (LTD) benefits payable to disabled Canadian Forces members under the SISIP policy by the monthly amounts payable to them under the Pension Act. The Department was very receptive to communicating their timelines to the Veterans community.
The Office is aware that payments under both SISIP LTD and the Department’s Earnings Loss Benefit are reduced to zero as a result of offsetting, in cases where a Veteran’s disability pension and/or military pension (under the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act) exceeds 75% of his or her salary at release. In such cases, referred to as ‘zero sum clients’, there is no requirement for SISIP or Veterans Affairs Canada to provide for income loss. (Note that the offset of payments under the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act will continue).
The Office has confirmed that SISIP has, on a go forward basis, made the payment adjustments resulting from the Federal Court decision to LTD claimants who are receiving payments and to ‘zero sum clients’ who applied for LTD benefits within the last 24 months. However, SISIP has also decided that zero sum clients who applied for LTD benefits more than two years ago will have to wait until the negotiations are settled before receiving a monthly payment. This means that all those under SISIP LTD receiving maximum disability pensions, which are the most seriously disabled individuals, will have to wait the outcome of the negotiations while the less seriously disabled individuals benefit immediately. On a positive note, Veterans Affairs Canada anticipates that ALL ‘zero sum clients’ under the Earnings Loss Benefit will be paid on a “go forward” basis irrespective of when the class action negotiations are completed.
I expect that Veterans Affairs Canada will be communicating with the Veterans community shortly and I will continue to encourage the Department to do so regularly.

Guy


http://www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/blog-blogue/post-eng.cfm?172

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Teentitan
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Re: Follow Up on the SISIP Federal Court Decision Blog

Post by spongebobqc on Sun 22 Jul 2012, 14:06

does enyone know to who we (zero sum clients) most give our informations, like new adress or phone number so we can be contacted befor we die of old age if they ever pay us? Since i got the Quebec RRQ, sisip is not paying me anymore eaven if I was on long term disable.

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Re: Follow Up on the SISIP Federal Court Decision Blog

Post by Teentitan on Sun 22 Jul 2012, 16:06

Here's the contact link to SISIP

https://public.cfpsa.com/en/AboutUs/SISIPFS/ContactUs/Pages/default.aspx

You should be able to do a change of address or at least they will direct you to the right phone number
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