Access to benefits
The process for Veterans and their family members to obtain Veterans Affairs Canada benefits and services as a result of illness or injury obtained from service can be complex and confusing. The Royal Canadian Legion has been advocating for government to simplify and expedite access to benefits and services, and ensure all Veterans and their families are aware of the services, supports and benefits available to them.
Primary advocacy position(s) on this issue:
- Veterans Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence must continue to collaborate to synchronize their programs, especially as it relates to transition of Veterans to civilian life, to reduce complexity and improve service delivery.
- We want to see a menu of financial compensation based on lost wages and the degree of disability of the Veteran.
- Government must develop an outreach and communication strategy to ensure all Veterans and families are aware of available supports and services.
- The backlog must become the top priority for VAC in the coming year. Government must establish a more rigorous case manager training program, and review case loads and resources required to ensure timely service delivery.
- Veterans have access to a wait time tool via their My VAC account; however, it shows an average wait time which is unacceptable, stress-inducing, and causing much frustration in the Veteran community. This tool needs an immediate update to reflect current and more accurate wait times.
- Ensure 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.
- VAC and DND need to coordinate the provision of a Veteran’s Family Identification card to streamline services and support outreach.