OTTAWA, May 4, 2017 /CNW/ - Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent released today a follow-up to his 2013 Actuarial Analysis of the New Veterans Charter (NVC). He noted that since 2011, and prior to Budget 2017, Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) introduced four new benefits and implemented eight enhancements to the NVC. While there has been a resulting increase to lifetime compensation for many Veterans, there remains gaps requiring further improvement. As well, the layering of additional benefits has resulted in increased complexity for Veterans.
"The most recurring complaint I hear from the Veterans' community is the length of time it takes for Veterans to receive benefits and services from VAC," said Mr. Parent. "VAC needs to streamline benefits and reduce complexity to ensure that the financial needs of all Veterans and their survivors are being met."
Furthermore, the Veterans Ombudsman noted that while the focus has been on totally and permanently incapacitated (TPI) Veterans, the 96 percent of Veterans who are disabled as a result of their service, but who are not deemed TPI, are not necessarily being adequately supported. "To address this gap, VAC must assess the level of financial support it provides to these Veterans who are not TPI to ensure that their financial needs are also covered," said Mr. Parent.
While lifetime compensation to survivors has increased since the earlier 2013 analysis, compensation to survivors after age 65 has not been studied to determine if the annual dollar amounts provided are meeting their financial needs. As a result, the Veterans Ombudsman is asking that VAC assess the level of financial support it provides to survivors to ensure that their lifelong financial needs are being addressed.
Mr. Parent emphasized that both lifetime and annual compensation totals are important: "When you receive compensation is as important as how much you receive," he emphasized. Therefore, VAC needs to look at when financial benefits are being delivered to Veterans and their survivors, along with the level of compensation being provided over their lifetime.
In conclusion, the Veterans Ombudsman stated that implementing the recommendations made in this Report will make a difference towards ensuring that ill and injured Veterans and their families receive the lifetime financial compensation they need and deserve as a result of their sacrifice and service to Canada.
SOURCE Veterans Ombudsman
For further information: Media inquiries: Lucille Hodgins, Office of the Veterans Ombudsman, 613-943-7884, [email protected]