Status Update on OVO Priorities & ACVA Recommendations

Transition - Release Process

  Government Action Meets Intent Status
OVO n/a
ACVA

Recommendation #1

That military members seriously disabled as a result of service not be medically released until the following conditions are met:

a. The individual is in a stable medical condition.

VAC Update (May 14, 2015) - Complete, this is an entrenched practice as outlined in the National Defence Framework "Caring for our Own".

Government Response 1

October 1, 2014

Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence Mandate Letter

Accepted
Meets intent
Accepted
Implemented
b. i) The individual's medical records have all been transferred to Veterans Affairs Canada in accordance with privacy legislation, ii) an official copy of the medical files has been given to the veteran, and iii) the initial application for services and financial benefits provided under Part 2 of the New Veterans Charter has been adjudicated by Veterans Affairs Canada.

VAC Update (May 14, 2015) - (i) and (ii) - with the Department of National Defence (DND), (iii) In progress: Authority to make eligibility decisions for still serving personnel is included in the Economic Action Plan Act.
Accepted
Meets intent
In Progress
In progress
c. The individual's file has been assigned to a Veterans Affairs Canada case manager who has already established contact with the individual.

VAC Update (May 14, 2015) - Complete, prior to release, all releasing Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members have a transition interview with VAC. For those releasing members who require case management services due to their re-establishment challenges, a VAC Case Manager is assigned and makes contact with the releasing member.
Accepted
Meets intent
Accepted
Implemented
d. The healthcare and rehabilitation professionals who will be supporting the individual during transition have been identified in the area where the veteran is planning to live once medically released and their respective responsibilities have been defined.

VAC Update (May 14, 2015) - In progress, through its third party health services contractor, VAC is ensuring that key rehabilitation professionals, including physiotherapists and occupational therapists are there to help our Veterans. In addition, once VAC has authority to adjudicate NVC programs pre-release, releasing members approved for VAC's rehabilitation program will have the health care and rehabilitation professionals identified to ensure their seamless transition from military to civilian life.
Accepted
Meets intent
In Progress
In progress
And that an internal committee be struck by Veterans Affairs Canada and the Canadian Forces to:

Develop a unified list of service conditions to be used interchangeably by Veterans Affairs Canada the Department of National Defence.

Government Response 1

October 1, 2014

Accepted
Meets intent
In Progress
In progress
Ensure to the greatest extent possible that the service-related condition, identified by the Canadian Armed Forces and that led to a veteran's release on medical grounds, be recognized by Veterans Affairs Canada for adjudication purposes.

VAC Update (May 14, 2015) - In progress, awaiting approval of work plan and funding.
Accepted
Meets intent
In Progress
In progress
Establish a follow-up protocol for all military members who have been released for medical reasons.

VAC Update (May 14, 2015) - In progress, authority for pro-active contact post-release is in the Economic Action Plan 2015 Act.
Accepted
Meets intent
In Progress
In progress

Government Obligation

  Government Action Meets Intent Status
OVO Canada's Recognized Obligation to Veterans

Introduction of Bill C-58

Accepted
Meets intent

The OVO believes that the intent of the recommendation has been met with the proposed legislative changes. The Veterans Bill of Rights does not have to be legislated to meet the intent.

Fully implemented
Implemented

ACVA

Recommendation #2

That the Veterans Bill of Rights be included in the New Veterans Charter and in the Pension Act, and that a modified version of section 2 of the Pension Act be incorporated into the New Veterans Charter, and read as follows: The provisions of this Act shall be liberally construed and interpreted to the end that the recognized solemn obligation of the people and Government of Canada to provide compensation to those members of the forces who have been disabled or have died as a result of military service, and to their dependants, may be fulfilled.

Economic Loss Benefits - Financial Security for Life

  Government Action Meets Intent Status
OVO

Financial security for life for those with greatest need (Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Veterans and their families) (NVC Report)

Retirement Income Security Benefit (RISB)
July 1st, 2015

Retirement Income Security Benefit - Backgrounder

Re-establish lifelong pensions as an option for ill or injured Veterans.

 

In Progress
Partially meets intent

Includes survivor benefit.

Fully implemented
Implemented

ACVA

Recommendation #3 - Part 1 (continued)

That the most seriously disabled veterans receive financial benefits for life, of which an appropriate portion should be transferable to their spouse in the event of death...

Economic Loss Benefits - Allowances Eligibility

  Government Action Meets Intent Status
OVO

Better access to allowances for those with the greatest need (PIA Report)

  • increase eligibility to allow for other medical conditions

PIA Eligibility
March 17, 2015

New Regulations
April 1, 2015

Commitment to expand access to PIA

Fully meets intent
Meets intent eligibility

Fully implemented
Implemented

ACVA

Recommendation #3 - Part 2 (continued)

... that Veterans Affairs Canada consider the use of a probable earnings approach in determining the amount of the benefits, and include better access to the three grades of the permanent impairment allowance, for which eligibility criteria must be clarified.

Economic Loss Benefits - Allowances Grade Determination

  Government Action Meets Intent Status
OVO

Better access to allowances for those with the greatest need (PIA Report)

  • base awarding of grades on lost career opportunity rather than level of disability (time remaining to serve should be a determinant in awarding a grade level)

Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence Mandate Letter

 

No changes proposed
Unclear if commitment to expand is to provide greater eligibility accessing PIA or addressing grade level assignment or both.

Limited progress
Limited progress

ACVA

Recommendation #3 - Part 3

...and include better access to the three grades of the permanent impairment allowance, for which eligibility criteria must be clarified.

VAC Update (May 14, 2015) - VAC has committed to work with the OVO to clarify outstanding questions regarding the PIA.

Economic Loss Benefits - Income Support during Transition

  Government Action Meets Intent Status
OVO

Improve income support during rehabilitation and transition.

  • Provide ELB at 90% rather than 75% during transition. (NVC Report)

Commitment to increase ELB to 90% of pre-release salary indexed to CPI

Fully meets intent
Meets Intent

In Progress
In Progress

ACVA

Recommendation #4

That the earnings loss benefit be non-taxable and set at 85% of net income, up to a net income threshold of $70,000, that it be adjusted annually to the consumer price index, and that for veterans who participate in a rehabilitation program, the disability award be paid once the program is completed.

Reservists - Income Equity

  Government Action Meets Intent Status
OVO

Income support equity for Veterans who served as reservists (NVC Report)

  • Provide same minimum salary with indexing

ELB Equity for Reservists

March 13, 2015

New RegulationsApril 1, 2015

Fully meets intent
Meets intent

Fully implemented
Implemented

 

 

ACVA

Recommendation #5

That all veterans with service-related disabilities, and their families, be entitled to the same benefits and support as part of their rehabilitation program, whether they are former members of the Reserve Force or of the Regular Force.

Families - Access to Community Support

  Government Action Meets Intent Status
OVO

Better support to families

  • Improve integration with community support services (NVC Report)

MFRC Pilot Project

November 28, 2014

Partially meets intent
Partially meets intent

For OVO, the MFRCs are one aspect of the larger issue of providing better transitional support for families.

For ACVA, seven MFRCs are in pilot project.

In Progress
In Progress

October, 2015
MFRC Pilot Project Implementation

ACVA

Recommendation #6

That the Canadian Forces work with Veterans Affairs Canada to make Military Family Resource Centres available to veterans and their families in order to support them in their transition to civilian life.

Families - Enhanced Support

  Government Action Meets Intent Status
OVO

Better support to families

  • Enhance mental health support for families (NVC Report)

Mental Health First Aid
November 28, 2014

OSI Clinics
December 1, 2014

OSISS Peer Support
November 28, 2014

VAC Assistance Services Session Increase

Provide greater education, counselling, and training for families who are providing care and support to veterans living with physical and/or mental health issues as a result of their service.

Treatment
Partially meets intent

Does not provide treatment benefits specifically for family members in their own right beyond the increase to VAC Assistance Services Sessions.

Treatment
In Progress

ACVA

Recommendation #7 - Part 1

That independent access to Veterans Affairs Canada's psychosocial and vocational rehabilitation services be given to spouses or common-law partners of veterans with a service-related disability, that access to psychological counseling be also given to parents and children of veterans with a service-related permanent disability... (continued)

Families - Caregiver Support

  Government Action Meets Intent Status
OVO

Better support to families

  • Improve Support to Informal Primary Caregivers (including compensation) (NVC Report)

Family Caregiver Relief Benefit

July 1st, 2015

Family Caregiver Relief Benefit - Backgrounder

Partially meets intent
Relief Support

No wage compensation for informal primary caregivers.

Fully implemented
Implemented

ACVA

Recommendation #7 - Part 2

...and that financial support be provided to family members of seriously-disabled veterans acting as "primary caregivers" as defined under section 16.(3) of the Veterans Health Care Regulations.

Non-Economic Benefits - Pain and Suffering Compensation

  Government Action Meets Intent Status
OVO

As a first step, increasing the maximum amount of the Disability Award to the maximum judicial cap for non-pecuniary damages awarded by Canadian courts.

Conducting a comprehensive review, including consultations with Veterans' stakeholders, to determine what the appropriate maximum amount should be to fairly compensate Canadian Forces members and Veterans for pain and suffering resulting from an injury or illness in service to Canada. (NVC Report)

 

Commitment to increase value of disability award.

Partially meets intent
Review has been funded by VAC, details are unavailable

 

Partially meets intent
In Progress

 

ACVA

Recommendation #8

That Veterans Affairs Canada undertake a comprehensive review of the amount of the disability award to more adequately reflect awards in civil liability cases for personal injuries, implement a transparent and clear process for determining its value, and improve support for financial counseling throughout the process.

VAC Update (May 14, 2015) - Review in progress, internal funding has been allocated to conduct this review.

  New benefit

Critical Injury Benefit
July 1, 2015

Government of Canada delivers for Canadian Armed Forces personnel and Veterans

Partially meets intent
Partially meets intent

The CIB addresses one aspect in pain and suffering compensation but does not address the overall compensation for non-economic loss.

Fully implemented
Implemented

Vocational Rehabilitation - Service Provider Review

  Government Action Meets Intent Status
OVO

Undertake an independent review of the dual SISIP Financial Services and Veterans Affairs Canada income support and vocational rehabilitation programs to determine whether the current construct is effective, in collaboration with the Minister of National Defence. (NVC Report)

DND and VAC have initiated process to contract the review.

Fully meets intent
Meets intent

In Progress
In Progress

ACVA

Recommendation #9

That the Service Income Security Insurance Plan (SISIP) Long Term Disability program be provided only to veterans medically released for a disability not related to military service, that all veterans released for service-related medical reasons benefit from the programs offered under the New Veterans Charter, and that the Canadian Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada work together as quickly as possible to eliminate overlap between Service Income Security Insurance Plan (SISIP) programs and those provided by Veterans Affairs Canada.

VAC Update (May 14, 2015) - Review in progress, internal funding has been allocated to conduct this review.

Vocational Rehabilitation - Increased Flexibility

  Government Action Meets Intent Status
OVO

Ensure that Regulations are liberally interpreted to allow more flexibility for Veterans to acquire new skills and higher education (Investing in Veterans' Vocational Training Report)

New Regulations
April 1st, 2015

Fully meets intent
Meets intent

Fully implemented
Implemented

 

ACVA

Recommendation #10

That eligible vocational rehabilitation training programs be allowed greater flexibility, and be less strictly related to skills acquired during military service.

Case Management

  Government Action Meets Intent Status
OVO

n/a

Increase Case Managers

April 13, 2015

 

Fully meets intent
Meets intent

Case Ratio

Success
Implementation to be completed by April 2016

VAC has made some progress with hiring of new case managers.

ACVA

Recommendation #11

That Veterans Affairs Canada establish a more rigorous case manager training program, and review the standard under which one case manager is assigned to 40 veterans, to determine if the ratio is appropriate, and to provide necessary resources for its adjustment if required.

VAC Update (May 14, 2015) - In progress, VAC is in the process of developing a comprehensive staff development program in support of case management. Once funding is approved for the hiring of more than 100 new Case Managers and moving to a 30:1 ratio of Case Managers to Veterans, VAC will also have a national training program in place to ensure Case Managers are delivering consistent and professional case management delivery across the country.

In Progress
Case Manager hiring in progress.

In Progress
Case Manager hiring in progress.

Research

  Government Action Meets Intent Status
OVO

n/a

Mental Health Research

November 28, 2014

 

Partially meets intent
Partially meets intent

In Progress
In Progress

ACVA

Recommendation #12

That Veterans Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence build on their existing collaborative efforts by providing adequate resources for research and understanding of known and emerging manifestations of operational stress injuries.

Service Delivery

  Government Action Meets Intent Status
OVO

n/a

Government Response 13

October 1, 2014

Success
Meets intent

Success
In Progress

ACVA

Recommendation #13

That Veterans Affairs Canada consider moving towards a payment system that results in one comprehensive monthly payment that clearly identifies the source of funding, while ensuring the net benefit to the veteran is not reduced.

Reporting

  Government Action Meets Intent Status
OVO

n/a

January 30, 2015

Completed
Completed

Success
Reported on Progress to ACVA

ACVA

Recommendation #14

That Veterans Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence, after they have tabled their official response to this report within the next 120 days, also table, by 30 January 2015 a report outlining the progress made on implementing the recommendations in this report, and that the New Veterans Charter, as a "living document", be amended to include a mandatory review of its provisions to be undertaken by the appropriate parliamentary committees as required.

Other Announcements of Government Actions

Announcement Date of Announcement Status
Federal Government Priority Hiring June 30, 2014

Fully implemented
Implemented

ELB/CFIS/WVA Retroactive Payment March 28, 2014

Fully implemented
Implemented

Service Dog Pilot Project June 1, 2014

In Progress
In Progress

Expansion of RCL Long Term Care Partnership June 16, 2014

In Progress
In Progress

At-risk Veterans Outreach initiative with VETS Canada July 3, 2014

Implemented
Implemented

Immediate Action Initiatives Response to ACVA Report October 1, 2014

In Progress
In Progress

New Operational Stress Injury Satellite Clinic to open in Hamilton, ON January 30, 2015

In Progress
In Progress

Veteran-centric Communications Task Force March 6, 2015

In Progress
In Progress

Service excellence for Veterans - Hiring new disability benefits employees

April 14, 2015 - Hiring new disability benefits employees

July 16, 2015 - Government of Canada update on efforts to improve service to Military Veterans

July 29, 2015 - Government of Canada hires new staff to support Veterans in Québec

July 29, 2015 - Government of Canada confirms new hires to support Veterans in Ontario

July 29, 2015 - Government of Canada hires new staff to support Veterans in Western Canada

In Progress
In Progress

OSI Clinics

July 17, 2015 - Government of Canada expands mental health services and hires new staff to support Military Veterans in Atlantic Canada

Network of OSI Clinics

In Progress
In Progress

Equine Therapy Research

July 27, 2015 - Government supports further research on equine therapy

Backgrounder

In Progress
In Progress

Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence Mandate Letter
  • Provide access to financial advice and support
  • Create a new Veterans Education Benefit
  • Improve career and vocational assistance for Veterans
  • Deliver a higher standard of service and care
  • Re-open the nine Veterans Affairs service offices
  • Create two new centres of excellence in veterans' care
  • End the time limit for surviving spouses to apply for vocational rehabilitation and assistance services
  • Increase the Veteran survivor's pension amount from 50% to 70%
  • Eliminate the "marriage after 60" claw-back clause
  • Double funding to the Last Post Fund to ensure that all Veterans receive a dignified burial
  • Work with the Minister of National Defence (MND) to develop a suicide-prevention strategy for CAF personnel and Veterans.
  • Work with the MND to reduce complexity, overhaul service delivery, and strengthen partnerships between Veterans Affairs and National Defence.

In Progress
In Progress

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