OTTAWA, Oct. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today launched the newly created Benefits Browser, a new e-service to help Veterans quickly and easily find information on the benefits, services and programs offered by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC).
"Across the country I have spoken to Veterans and have heard time and again that they want better and more flexible access to the information that matters to them and that's why our Government is delivering the information they need in more modern and convenient ways," said Minister Blaney. "The Benefits Browser is a significant step forward in our continued efforts to bring more of the Department's services online. Veterans will see a real difference in how easily and quickly they can access the information they need, all in one place."
Initially created by the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman (OVO), VAC and the OVO worked together to further develop the tool. The easy-to-use Benefits Browser is another measure that is part of the Minister's "Cutting Red Tape for Veterans" initiative. Veterans and their families can find the Benefits Browser online at veterans.gc.ca and have the option to browse "Benefits at a Glance" or select information specific to their military service. Based on their selections, the Browser will automatically sort through the many VAC services, benefits and programs to display those relevant to them.
"I am pleased and encouraged by today's announcement. In my role as special advisor to the Minister, the Benefits Browser was an idea we raised and the Minister personally advanced," said Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent. "This is a positive step forward in continuing to cut red tape and to make it simpler for Veterans to access the services and benefits that they so rightly deserve. I see the Benefits Browser as a win-win initiative."
"It's good to see that this idea has come from a Veteran and that Veterans Affairs Canada was very cooperative to see it through," said Ron Cundell, Co-publisher of VeteransVoice.info. "This will provide continuity and consistency to the Veterans community, especially for benefits applications and entitlements."
Minister Blaney also spoke of progress that has been made in having the Department use simpler language in policies, clearer explanations in decision letters, and fewer consent forms so Veterans no longer have to fill out a separate consent form each time they need to access the same benefit, program or service.
As Minister Blaney's "Cutting Red Tape for Veterans" initiative continues, more improvements will be introduced. Today's announcement builds on the progress toward a hassle-free system with fewer bureaucratic roadblocks while overall, the cutting red tape initiative focuses on making policies and programs less complicated and making access to services and information easier.
Check out the Benefits Browser at veterans.gc.ca.
Veterans Affairs Canada has launched the Benefits Browser, a new e-service to help Veterans quickly and easily find information on the benefits, services and programs suited for them.
Initially created by the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman (OVO), Veterans Affairs Canada and the OVO worked together to improve the tool. The easy-to-use Benefits Browser is another measure that is part of the "Cutting Red Tape for Veterans" initiative. Veterans and their families can find the Benefits Browser online at veterans.gc.ca. This new tool will make it faster and easier for Veterans to find out how VAC can help them.
The Benefits Browser puts more personalized information at Veterans' fingertips and it can be accessed from anywhere in the world, including from a mobile device. Users have the option to browse "Benefits at a Glance" or select information specific to their type of service. Based on their selections, the browser will automatically sort through the many VAC services, benefits and programs to display the relevant ones to them.
Veterans and their families are receiving clearer, more concise information from Veterans Affairs Canada. For example the Department is using:
- simpler language in its policies and brochures; and
- clearer explanations in its most commonly used decision letters including letters on Disability Benefits, the Earning Loss Benefit, the Rehabilitation Program, the Veterans Independence Program and Treatment Benefits. Easier-to-understand decision letters will benefit more than 30,000 Veterans within the next year alone.
As part of VAC's ongoing effort to provide Veterans with even better and faster service, consent forms have been simplified:
- Sixteen program consent forms have been streamlined into just two forms.
- Nine commemoration consent forms have been streamlined into three.
- The Bureau of Pension Advocates has also revised and simplified its only consent form.
By simplifying our consent forms, Veterans will no longer have to fill out a different consent form each time they want to access certain benefits, programs and services. These simplified forms can be found on veterans.gc.ca under "Forms" on the left-hand menu as well as on My VAC Account.
These improvements are all part of Minister Blaney's ongoing "Cutting Red Tape for Veterans" initiative, which focuses on ensuring Veterans have easier and faster access to services and information.
Image with caption: "Minister of Veterans Affairs Steven Blaney (5th from left) is joined by Veterans and representatives of Veterans organizations, Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent (4th from right) and Eve Adams, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs (3rd from right) at the launch today of Benefits Browser, a new e-service to help Veterans find information on the benefits, services and programs offered by Veterans Affairs Canada. (CNW Group/Veterans Affairs Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121015_C6863_PHOTO_EN_19323.jpg
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
Jean Christophe de le Rue
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
Director of Communications
Office of the Veterans Ombudsman