OTTAWA, Dec. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of
Veterans Affairs, today joined Brian Forbes, Chairman of the War Amps
Executive Committee and of the National Council of Veterans
Associations in Canada (NCVA), to announce new Cutting Red Tape
measures to help Canada's most seriously disabled Veterans and their
families. The announcement was made following a meeting between
Minister Fantino and Brian Forbes at the War Amps National
Headquarters, and reflects recommendations put forward by the War Amps.
Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) is now making it easier and quicker for
seriously disabled Veterans to get authorization for some health care
benefits, and simplifying their application process for New Veterans
Charter (NVC) benefits. Veterans with prostheses will also find
noticeable enhancements to their health care benefits. VAC worked with
stakeholders, including the War Amps and the National Council of
Veteran Associations in Canada, to develop the new improvements for
"Veterans who are leaving the Canadian Armed Forces because of a serious
injury deserve easy access to the supports they need to manage their
disabilities and adjust to civilian life," said Minister Fantino.
"These practical, common sense changes are a tangible example of how
Veterans Affairs Canada is modernizing and updating the way it delivers
services to better serve Veterans and their families. We will continue
to listen to Veterans and stakeholders in order to improve services and
assistance to meet the needs of Veterans and their families."
"We welcome Minister Fantino's announcement today, indicating that the
greater majority of the recommendations emanating from the War Amps
Task Force have been accepted by Veterans Affairs Canada," said Mr.
Forbes. "We have been fully engaged with the Minister in identifying
other areas where red tape and undue bureaucracy can be substantially
reduced, and will continue to work with Veterans Affairs Canada to
improve the administration of the Department's prosthetic policy and
related health care programs."
The Department is committed to making it easier for all Veterans to
apply for NVC benefits by streamlining the application process through
enhanced online navigation, reusing information already gathered from
Veterans, and simplifying forms.
The changes will also simplify the approval of health care benefits such
as chiropractic care, physiotherapy and massage therapy, and will
improve access to the prostheses benefits.
These changes to cut red tape for Canada's seriously disabled Veterans
build upon the Veterans Transition Action Plan, launched last fall. The
plan consists of new measures for cutting red tape for Veterans,
enhancements to service delivery, post-military career opportunities
for Veterans, ground-breaking research on the needs of releasing
Canadian Armed Forces personnel, and enhanced cultural awareness.
Veterans Affairs Canada's support and services offer the right care at
the right time to achieve the best results for Veterans and their
families. Find out more at veterans.gc.ca.
Cutting Red Tape for Seriously Disabled Veterans
As part of Veterans Affairs Canada's (VAC) Cutting Red Tape initiative,
the Department is streamlining policies and processes to make it easier
and quicker for seriously disabled Veterans to get what they need. VAC
is making a number of changes that could provide all Veterans,
including those who require prostheses, with easier, hassle-free access
to benefits. On receipt of the recommendations from the War Amps of
Canada Task Force, the Department began to prepare for full and
comprehensive implementation of these improvements as outlined below.
Veterans Affairs Canada is simplifying the approval of health care
benefits. The Department has eliminated annual pre-authorization for
the majority of benefits and reimbursements. Pre-authorization is only
required the first time a Veteran receives a benefit. Previously,
service providers were required to submit a request for
pre-authorization each year. This change is reducing wait times and
giving Veterans what they need much quicker.
Veterans Affairs Canada's Prosthetic Policy will be adjusted so that an
expanded list of medical professionals (including prosthetists) can
recommend prosthetic devices for war amputees. Previously, a medical
specialist was required.
The requirement for a doctor's prescription for replacement prosthesis
is being eliminated, allowing the prosthetic provider to make the
determination on what is needed. This will eliminate wait times of
months, if not years in some areas, to obtain such a prescription.
Veterans who have a demonstrated need can now access various types of
prostheses including a primary device for daily use, a back-up
prostheses, a limb for specific activities such as showering, and a
recreational prostheses (skiing, swimming, golfing, etc.).
Prosthetic repairs and/or replacement will not require a doctor's
prescription, accelerating the process for Veterans, streamlining their
access to the support they need and reducing the amount of time spent
Veterans Affairs Canada has updated its annual funding limits for
services such as chiropractic, physiotherapy and massage therapy,
allowing Veterans greater flexibility to manage within the overall
limits. VAC will post extension request forms online to make it easier
and quicker to submit requests for Veterans who require benefits beyond
the annual funding limits. If the ceiling is reached, then the
Department pre-authorization approval mechanism will be retriggered to
exceed the approved annual funding limits. This annual allowance will
empower the Veteran, reduce workload, and exclude the requirement to
obtain a doctor's prescription.
Veterans with service-related amputations can now be reimbursed for
over-the-counter prosthetic supplies without a prescription (e.g.
sleeves, stockinets) making it easier for Veterans to be reimbursed for
the cost of these necessary items. This will speed up the prosthetic
service providers' work and reduce the workload on family physicians
who are routinely asked for a prescription for these sorts of items.
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
Executive Director of Communications
The War Amps in Canada