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Injured soldiers to get improved benefits

Nfld Sapper

Army.ca Fixture
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Injured soldiers to get improved benefits
Last Updated: Saturday, September 18, 2010 | 5:46 PM ET
CBC News

The federal government is set to announce greater financial support for some of Canada's wounded soldiers.

The boost in funding expected to be unveiled Sunday would help the most seriously injured soldiers as well as those at the junior rank of private whose injuries may prevent them gaining promotions and therefore larger salaries.

A senior government official told CBC News the announcement is meant to better meet the needs of "a new generation of soldiers."

The announcement will revise existing programs.

One deals with earnings replacement. This is the program that provides cash to subsidize or replace what soldiers could have earned if they had not been disabled and limited in their ability to be promoted to a higher rank.

Another program deals with catastrophic injury. This provides benefits to veterans who have suffered the most serious injuries, such as lost limbs.

Well this was added to my newspapers page at 10 pm


Here's part of the story you can read the rest on the link, wish I could make that a link into click here, Hmmmm, maybe one day I'll figure it out, anyhow

OTTAWA - The Conservative government will announce $2 billion in additional aid to Canada¹s veterans Sunday.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Veterans Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn will try to calm criticisms the federal government is short-changing new vets by announcing that some 500 veterans with catastrophic injuries -- those unlikely to work again -- will receive an additional $1,000 per month for the rest of their life.

"Our government strongly supports veterans (and) it's becoming clear that we need to do more to help them," a senior government official told QMI Agency.

Vets with catastrophic injuries currently receive 75% of their former paycheque and are eligible for a permanent impairment allowance, which varies in taxable amounts from $536 to $1,609 a month.

But access has been very restrictive; fewer than 17 vets have received the award since 2006.

QMI has learned the Conservatives plan to expand access, allowing more than 4,000 vets to benefit over the next five years.

Not enough; define 'catastrophic injuries'. These (any govt party in power) who vote  themselves a pay raise & any (+) changes to their gold-plated pensions...
Bin-Rat said:
wish I could make that a link into click here
Use this formula: [ url=what ever the link is ]what you want to call the link[/url] but remove the spaces between [ url= ] which I put in to make it visible on this post.

xo31@711ret said:
Not enough; define 'catastrophic injuries'.

For general reference only . The CF may have its own definition.

"Everything You Wanted To Know About Catastrophic Impairment...But Were Afraid To Ask":

"The definition of “catastrophic impairment”:

From the VAC site - the news release...:
Today, the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), and the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, announced the first in a series of concrete actions the Government of Canada will take in the coming weeks to deliver improvements in support and care for our Veterans and their families. The Ministers announced increased financial support for seriously injured Veterans, enhanced monthly income for severely injured Veterans who are unable to return to work, and a boost to the minimum annual income for Veterans released at lower salary levels. Minister Blackburn announced his intention to propose amendments to improve the Veterans Charter this fall.

"We have been listening to our Veterans and their families, and we are determined to do whatever it takes to serve them as they have served Canada and all Canadians with courage and distinction," said Minister Blackburn. "While we have already made sweeping changes to our programs, our services and our benefits, we recognize that more needs to be done. These new measures will make a real difference in the lives of our nation's heroes."

"Our men and women in uniform need to know that their government is dedicated to supporting them during and following their service to Canada," said Minister MacKay. "This government is listening to their concerns and taking the steps necessary to address the changing needs of Canadian Forces personnel, Veterans and their families. These new measures will help us reach that goal."

The new measures will remove eligibility barriers and increase the monthly financial support already available to severely injured Veterans that cannot return to work. As well, they will increase income support for those released from lower salaries. The new measures are expected to benefit more than 4,000 Veterans over the course of the next five years and will very much improve their quality of life.

Today's announcement would provide a total of $ 2 billion to ensure that Veterans who have been seriously injured in the service of Canada have access to the support they deserve. The proposed improvements are as follows:

    * Veterans who have experienced serious injuries impeding their return to service and who will not be able to work again will receive $1,000 more a month for the rest of their lives. This amount will be added onto 75 percent of their salary, as well as an allowance in the amount of $536 to $1,609. Within the next five years, 500 Veterans will be eligible for this monthly additional amount.
    * Access to the permanent monthly allowance for seriously injured Veterans (in the amount of $536 to $1,609) will be expanded. More than 3,500 Veterans are expected to be eligible for this allowance within the next five years (including the 500 mentioned above, who will also receive an additional $ 1000 per month).
    * Our government will increase the benefit for lost earnings (75 percent of the pre-release salary) Veterans receive while in rehabilitation to a minimum annual income of approximately $40,000. This improvement will increase the income of 2,320 Veterans over the next five years.

Details of the proposed changes can be found in the attached backgrounder. For more information on Veterans Affairs Canada's programs and services visit www.vac-acc.gc.ca.

....with a bit more info in the attached backgrounder.
Was listening on CBC radio coming into work today to the response from two soldiers who are double amputees.  One was MCpl (Ret) Franklin and the other was a serving Maj. who lost both legs when he kneeled on an IED.  Both spoke out about the gap between what gets promised and what get delivered.  I was pleased to see the Maj. speak his mind even though he is still in.  It puts a face and voice out there to the public.  It was  a disappointment when others who are apparently still in were seemingly muzzled from coming forward and speaking during Strogan's press conference.  Sometimes speaking out like this may be the only way to get the machine to change it's direction.
Sent to me this morning and shared with Ya'll.

VeteransofCanada.ca  Was told yesterdays announcement to help Veterans will not be implemented at the very least before October 2011. A message was sent from the Deputy Ministers office to all employees this morning stating this.
2011.....why do I see this as being a very painful process. Faith left in the military and VAC I guess.
My guess: this new policy was crafted, almost completely, in the Prime Minister's Office despite the vociferous opposition of VAC, Treasury Board, Finance and the Privy Council Office all of whom would have argued that what is being offered is too costly, indeed, too generous given the country's precarious financial situation and 'generally available' disability programmes - i.e. what injured firemen, for example, receive. Some officials will have argued that DND was/is derelict for not implementing better (user paid) death/disability insurance programmes.

My next guess: it is likely that the PMO, supported by DND, proposed an even more generous programme but was forced, in negotiations, to offer only what was announced.

The Conservatives are not too worried about the long gun registry: if they win, that's fine and if they lose the have a nice wedge issue; the long form census does not have "legs" - it's not a vote changer in an election; ditto the F35; but veterans' benefits and the perceived unfairness is a big political liability. The 'numbers' are easy enough to understand and the Veterans' Charter is now damaged goods. The Conservatives made a smart and somewhat expensive political decision: the civil service, especially VAC which will have to find ways to find much of the money from 'in house,' is unhappy, I think.

In fact, the Veterans' Charter was a Liberal initiative, retiring MP Albina Guanieri is proud to take credit for it. The Conservatives have been leery, given Ms. Guanieri's personal/health crisis to load blame on her but they may use it as a ampaign issue next year when she is not running.
Spoke to a British Columbia VAC employee today. She said they have not heard anything re Oct 2011.
Media advisory:
The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), will announce additional support from the Government of Canada for seriously injured Canadian Forces personnel and their families.

When:  Tuesday, September 28, 2010Where: Conference Room D, 2 North Tower
National Defence Headquarters
101 Colonel By Dr
Ottawa, ON
Time: 12:00 p.m.

Stay tuned....
Is "additional support" meaning that everyone in VAC will be fired, and only ex-CF members will be hired for every position? One can dream....
One initial report (CBC.ca) says more caregiver help, more staff help, and maaaaaaaaaybe another look at the lump sum:
The federal government has announced a series of measures designed to better help injured veterans and their loved ones, including a $100-a-day caregiver grant and 20 more front-line case managers to address the needs of disabled soldiers.

The announcement by Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Veterans Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn on Tuesday in Ottawa comes during a groundswell of criticism over how veterans are being treated when they return home from conflicts such as Afghanistan.

Many veterans have complained for years about their struggle to get benefits and deal with what they have described as the bureaucratic "maze" at the department.

The measures announced Tuesday at a total cost of $52.5 million over five years include a barrier-free transitional housing program to give severely injured vets permanent accommodations with wheelchair-accessible doors and bathrooms. Tuition benefits will be extended for injured veterans and survivors of soldiers killed in Canada's military missions after 2001.

MacKay also hinted the Conservative government will soon unveil changes to the heavily criticized lump-sum payments and income support in the 2006 Veterans' Charter, which replaced life-time guaranteed pensions for veterans.

This, from the National Post:
The embattled Veterans Affairs department announced a top-up Tuesday of $52.5 million for temporary housing, wheelchairs, and other help for seriously injured soldiers.

The five-year expenditure on the 'legacy of care' fund for seriously injured Canadian Forces personnel and their families was announced at national defence headquarters.

An array of top officials attended the announcement, including two cabinet ministers, the chief of defence staff, and veterans' representatives ....

As of this post, nothing on this yet at VAC or DND web pages.
20 more case workers? That's great. Does that mean I can get my appeal and my "new" pension applications done this fiscal year?
Or are we going to keep to the "we don't give timelines anymore" story?

I'm sorry if I sound cynical, but I'd also like to see what the conditions will be for people to get into this barrier-free transitional housing program. Is it going to be as restrictive as everything else?

The $100/day for a caregiver sounds interesting...what about paying family members who have to stay home to care for their injured loved one?

I don't trust senior managment any farther than I can throw them.....but since you can never even talk to them, I suppose there's no danger in that happening.


Government of Canada Announces a Legacy of Care for Seriously Injured Military Personnel and Their Families
September 28, 2010

OTTAWA, ONTARIO-- The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada and Minister of State (Agriculture), today announced $52.5 million over five years in additional support to establish a Legacy of Care for seriously injured Canadian Forces (CF) personnel and their families.

"This Government recognizes the exceptional challenges faced by seriously injured Canadian Forces personnel and their families as a result of sacrifices made in service to this country," said Minister MacKay. "With these new measures, our government is establishing a legacy of care that improves the quality of life for our seriously injured personnel and their families."

Today, Minister MacKay and Minister Blackburn announced five new initiatives to support injured men and women in uniform:

Barrier-Free transitional housing for injured soldiers undergoing treatment at one of the CF's seven centres of expertise in rehabilitation;
Support services such as wheelchair accessible transportation to medical appointments, caregiver respite, child care, and the delivery of medical supplies and groceries during rehabilitation;
Up to $100 per day for family or close friends who leave their job to help provide care to the ill or injured soldier;
Improving access to the Canadian Forces Spousal Education Upgrade Program; and,
Making it easier for seriously ill or injured veterans to access help, information, and individual attention, through enhanced case management support.
"We will continue to find ways to deliver on our commitment to those who have sacrificed so much for Canada, as well as for their loved ones, who put their own lives on hold in order to be caregivers," said Minister Blackburn. "These new initiatives contribute in a tangible and lasting way to supporting CF members' eventual reintegration into military or civilian life with their families."

The new measures will help ensure that injured military personnel, veterans, and their families have the support they need and deserve as they continue to demonstrate exceptional courage and determination in their efforts to recover from serious injury.

"In many of these cases where a member is injured, it is family that make the medical appointments, pay the bills and make sure the kids are taken care of," said General Walt Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff. "What we are doing is strengthening our support systems so that our injured can recover, rehabilitate and reintegrate as fast as possible."

The Government of Canada continues to listen to the concerns of ill and injured Canadian Forces personnel, veterans, and their families. This announcement is another step in a series of actions the Government of Canada is taking to deliver improvements in support and care for our Veterans and their families.

"The government will also extend its tuition reimbursement benefits to spouses and other eligible survivors who lost loved ones any time after Oct. 7, 2001. These same benefits will be available to spouses wedded to soldiers who have been permanently incapacitated while serving in the Canadian Forces.

"Extending these opportunities allow eligible survivors and spouses to benefit from this improved access to further education even earlier, from either the Canadian Forces or Veterans Affairs Canada," said MacKay. OMG. When I got hurt we used my VAC cheque to put my wife through nursing school.

This is so awesome. I will wait just in case it is another empty promise. This is stimulus spending that I support!