Author Topic: Return to Pension for Life?  (Read 18022 times)

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Offline loadiecc150

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2016, 23:51:09 »
Just like prairiefire, I am both new and old charter! I would prefer the monthly pension hands down; however, I will wait to see the options on 4 Oct.

 I am an open supporter of Mike Blais, he is fighting for what he believes, as do I about the return to the life long monthly pension.

Currently it's quite confusing to navigate the system and what's available. One needs a case manager who is willing to point us in the right direction as opposed to what seems the majority who keep it all a secret!

As some of you are aware I am well over the 100% limit, I also have numerous claims in appeal and two in first stage. I know things will end up in a positive way; however, it takes FOREVER to get there!

Even some of the case managers aren't fully aware of how the systems works. Why isn't there a definition for PIA levels and what are the criteria to get to those levels. I know I'm messed up pretty bad, both physically and mentally. I'm betting I will only get the lowest level of PIA with the supplement (hopefully).

Now things will change yet again, God, I hope for the better!

The way I see it, I REALLY APPRECIATE ALL WHO FIGHT THE FIGHT FOR US. I don't care how it gets done as long as it gets done!

I was a Regular member for 20+ years and my family and I suffer for those 20 years on a daily basis. Why should I have to fear living in poverty because of something that wasn't my fault? We all need to feel normal and not live pay cheque to pay cheque! Also when we turn 65, we shouldn't lose The benefits we currently receive, they should continue, just like the old charter is! Life long pensions.

Rant over, my brain is spent!

Offline Lightguns

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2016, 06:42:54 »
Like many here, I am Old System and NVC and would prefer a monthly pension.  I will wait til 6 October before storming the gates. 
Done, 34 years, 43 days complete, got's me damn pension!

Offline Teager

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2016, 19:52:57 »
Looks like the Minister wants everyone to be patient or as some think  the Liberals are waiting to see the outcome of the Equitas lawsuit.

Quote
Hehr: Be Patient With Veterans Lifelong Pension

Matt Carty
September 23, 2016 12:30 pm
Hehr: Be Patient With Veterans Lifelong Pension
WINNIPEG – Canadian veterans are being asked to be patient when it comes to the re-establishment of their lifelong pension.

Canada’s Veteran Affairs Minister Kent Hehr was in Winnipeg on Friday to meet with new office employees and service members.


He was asked about his party’s election promise to bring back the lifelong pension for veterans after it was eliminated in 2006 by the former Conservative government in favour of a controversial lump sum payment.

“We’re going to continue to work towards having a clearer option for a lifetime pension and I ask people to be somewhat patient,” Hehr said.

There is currently a lawsuit making its way through the courts in British Columbia that was filed by six severely disabled Afghanistan veterans in 2012.

It was halted in 2015 during the election campaign with the hopes that a new government would create new legislation on lifelong pension for veterans, but as of June the lawsuit is back on.

A judge is expected to make a decision some time in the fall.

“We can’t run government by lawsuit, but we can implement good public policy and that’s exactly what we’re doing and I can say we are very proud of the work we are doing,” Hehr said.

The lack of action on the government’s part has not sat well with veterans who preferred the lifelong pension over the lump-sum.

Winnipeg military reservist Harvey Gingras says he took the lump sum of about $93,000.

“You get a large check, does not last very long. Especially people who have PTSD or any psychological problems – impulses spend it. Especially the younger ones who are getting out now don’t really know how to manage funding,” Gingras said.

http://www.inews880.com/syn/107/161101/hehr-be-patient-with-veterans-lifelong-pension

Offline Wookilar

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2016, 15:27:27 »
Have to add, Maj (Ret'd) Campbell is a stand up guy (no pun intended so none of you smartasses out there...) so I'll take his word for it. Note, the lawsuit is still on, so he obviously feels there is more to be done.

As for SISIP/ELB: SISIP is not regarding the top-up to be income, and therefore will not be reducing their payments in any way.

That's a direct quote from my case manager from about 20 minutes ago, and she seems pretty switched on.

Now, the old Log O Fin side of my brain says that computers do funny things and are only as good as the data we put into them...sooo I will wait and see for:
1) The calculation from VAC;
2) The actual payment from VAC; and,
3) if Manulife will be asking for income statements the month after.

If anyone on SISIP out there has not applied for ELB, get your *** in gear and fill out the paperwork. You have nothing to lose. I applied for ELB upon release (2013) and was granted it, but since SISIP fulfilled the 75% payment, no top-up.

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Offline prairefire

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2016, 14:45:46 »
October 6th has come and gone and I was left with the impression from earlier comments in this thread that there was likely to be some sort of either stupendously horrible announcement or wondrous achievement. Especially with some individuals comments calling for a protest...........

So after all the donner and blitzen what real news is there?? :argument:


Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #30 on: October 07, 2016, 14:55:36 »
If you're holding your breath- don't.

The wheels of government turn extremely slowly, particularly on this.
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Offline cdnwo

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #31 on: October 07, 2016, 18:35:54 »
Was thinking the very same thing today. Nothing in the forums or news related.

Offline cdnwo

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #32 on: October 13, 2016, 14:22:37 »

Offline Lightguns

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #33 on: October 13, 2016, 14:46:00 »
I received a letter from Manulife about the top up yesterday and where to apply.  Not sure that is news but it is news!
Done, 34 years, 43 days complete, got's me damn pension!

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #34 on: October 13, 2016, 15:14:41 »
Not exactly sure what progress or decision this explains.

http://m.theguardian.pe.ca/Opinion/2016-10-13/article-4662487/KENT-HEHR:-Working-together-for-veterans/1
Based on this:
Quote
... I had three main objectives going into the Summit. I wanted to reach a common understanding of the challenges we face; I wanted all participants to hear and discuss the progress the Advisory Groups are making; and I wanted a solid understanding of their best advice and recommendations to help inform the government about the best way forward.

I am confident that we accomplished that.

(...)

I made a commitment to veterans’ organizations and stakeholders - and to all Canadians - to be more open and transparent and to engage them in a dialogue on how we can better support veterans. ...
... here's the plain text:
-- Held the big meeting 5-6 October - hoped to come away with everybody being on the same page, everybody updated on everyone's work and understanding exactly what participants wanted.
-- "I am confident that we accomplished that."
-- Minister promised to be open/transparent in working with them on how to improve the system.

I'd love to hear from anyone with better information from the meetings themselves -- especially given some social media ... static around what did or didn't happen.
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Offline RobA

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #35 on: October 13, 2016, 15:50:05 »
To me, it sounds like nothing got done, and it was just more political double speak.

I fully expect the next thing to happen is that, based on the "wonderful feedback" given at the meetings, the GoC has decided it's necessary to convene another dozen committees to REALLY put the boots to that dead horse for the next 18-24 months. Gotta beat it, and beat it, and beat it again.

Offline Brihard

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #36 on: October 13, 2016, 17:34:50 »
I was there at the summit in my capacity as a member of one of the six advisory groups (mental health in my case). What do you guys want to know? I'm happy to answer any questions about it, within the scope of what I can speak to.
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Offline recceguy

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #37 on: October 13, 2016, 18:54:28 »
I was there at the summit in my capacity as a member of one of the six advisory groups (mental health in my case). What do you guys want to know? I'm happy to answer any questions about it, within the scope of what I can speak to.

Tanks! Brihard,

What has been said about the return to lifelong pensions (how and when) and what is the status of the 90% top up and how will it be applied.?
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Offline kratz

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #38 on: October 13, 2016, 21:58:29 »
I was there at the summit in my capacity as a member of one of the six advisory groups (mental health in my case). What do you guys want to know? I'm happy to answer any questions about it, within the scope of what I can speak to.

So 60 days to answer medical questionnaire is normal for VAC?  With new medical staff? Of course I'm mad, this is my 3rd kick in over 800 days. The RCL has hurt my efforts more than helped....and I'm an ordinary member!

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #39 on: October 14, 2016, 06:32:05 »
Thanks, Brihard!

Meantime, here's what the Vets' Ombudsman says he thought of the summit:
Quote
Last week, I participated in the Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) Stakeholder Summit in Gatineau, Quebec. It had broad engagement from Veterans’ organizations and advocates from across the country. I was particularly impressed by the situational analysis and recommendations presented by the Ministerial Advisory Groups on Policy, Service Excellence, Mental Health, Families, Care and Support, and Commemoration as well as status updates from the leaders in the room.

As General Vance emphasized, we need to put as much effort, structure and support in place for serving members and their families at the time of release as we did at the time of recruitment. We also need to recognize that this is not a “one-size-fits-all affair” – particularly for the approximately 1,500 members who are medically released each year.

If you are told to leave the military because you can no longer meet the occupational requirements of the job – known as ‘universality of service’ – then the government has an obligation to ensure that you are supported and are able to transition to civilian life successfully.

The first thing that ought to be done is to make sure that the CF Pension of all releasing members is waiting for them when they take off their uniform for good. For many, this is the main contributor to financial security post-release.

Over the last two years, my team and the DND/CF Ombudsman’s team have worked together to fix the system. In our project summary “Joint Transition Project - Closing the Seam”, we map the transition process and highlight to government the top three things that need to be done now to make a difference: applying once for all VAC benefits and having a navigator help members through the process; reducing wait times for the Canadian Forces pension; eliminating duplication and overlap between the different programming offered by DND and VAC.

VAC also needs to improve how it delivers services to Veterans and their families. I recently submitted a brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs with suggestions on how VAC can modernize its service delivery and make it more Veteran-centric. I support change that would improve wait times for benefits, and I believe that there are other ways to improve the backlog.

I urge Parliamentarians to use all of their political will to reduce program complexity for Veterans. This would go a long way to improving service delivery so that Veterans get the services and benefits they need.

I and members of my team remain committed to ensuring fairness for ill and injured Veterans so that they obtain the care, support and compensation they need. While it is recognized that there are challenges, what is needed is constructive discussion and a focus on the end game. Now is the time to get it done.

That was also the broad consensus that I found amongst Summit participants and I am pleased that DND and VAC are working diligently together towards the desired outcome of successful transition. I will continue to monitor progress in this area and push for change.
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Offline Lightguns

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #40 on: October 14, 2016, 06:41:53 »
Thanks, Brihard!

Meantime, here's what the Vets' Ombudsman says he thought of the summit:

This is a political hockey puck that everyone is going to make careers and expense accounts out of stick handling the rest of their lives without ever crossing the blue side on either end.  Every one of those so and so's that stood on that stage and announced the NVC should be dragged through the streets and set upon by their victims.   
Done, 34 years, 43 days complete, got's me damn pension!

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #41 on: October 14, 2016, 10:08:27 »
Every one of those so and so's that stood on that stage and announced the NVC should be dragged through the streets and set upon by their victims.
Sadly, that'd be a pretty looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong line ...  :(
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Offline Brihard

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #42 on: October 14, 2016, 13:10:46 »
What has been said about the return to lifelong pensions (how and when) and what is the status of the 90% top up and how will it be applied.?

90% top up- already done for pure ELB cases. I'm not 100% sure for SISIP cases, but anecdotally a bunch of people have gotten it already. Tehre is some very jusitfied griping that people who are totally and permanently disabled deemed by SISIP still ned to apply for Rehab through VAC to get the remaining 15%. I have not heard of anyone being denied it in these circumstances, but it may hapen and if so will be the next stink bomb to drop on the department. SISIP remains a big issue, and general consensus is it needs in its entirety to die in a fire.

Pension option Nothing confirmed yet. The policy group presented their suggestion, and it's essentially a blended model of the two systems. I will not do it justice, but I'll try to get the gist of it. Picture two columns- Pain and suffering, and economic loss. Pain and suffering, in their vision, would include both the existing lump sum, and would essentially bring back the Exceptional Incapacity Allowance, tax free, with easier access. There would also be an enhanced caregiver benefit probably analogous with the attendance allowance. Critical Injury Benefit would go away. On the economic loss side, ELB would continue to exist, but would be tax free like the old pension act payments. Income offset would be reduced to incentivize return to work. I believe ELB would continue past 65, and RISB would cease to exist.

There's more to it than that, but those are the broad strokes as best as I can recall. One critical element that they explicitly included was that formulas would be structured to ensure that any vet receiving benefits under such a new, blended system would make NO LESS than they would have under the strict pension act system. That would ensure nobody was worse off than they were before and would restore pension act equity. Note that these are recommendations from one of the advisory groups tasked to generate them, this is not a government position. It is intended to be achievable for budget 2017. It is not a simple restoration of a pension as it previously existed, but in terms of providing a stable monthly income for serious disability, the elements as I saw them presented combined to achieve that. Again, I'm not presenting it particularly well here because I don't have access to the slide deck used.

So 60 days to answer medical questionnaire is normal for VAC?  With new medical staff? Of course I'm mad, this is my 3rd kick in over 800 days. The RCL has hurt my efforts more than helped....and I'm an ordinary member!

Sorry man, that's outside my arcs. I do know that VAC is chronically running behind on applications and assessments, and that it will stil be some time before increased staffing allows them to get back to hitting their service standards. I'm not making excuses for them, they're in a sorry state. It's an acknowledged reality that ramping capacity back up will take time.

Thanks, Brihard!

Meantime, here's what the Vets' Ombudsman says he thought of the summit:

Parent is basically saying all the same stuff everyone has been saying anyway. I don't thinkhe has much of an audience these days. However he did allude to a good key note speech from Gen Vance in which he heavily emphasized the need to properly address the transition to civilian life. The 'Vance Sends' that we took away from it is he intends to create a commanded unit rather than a bureaucracy in order to deal with transition, and to get it to the point where there is a smooth handoff where the day you take off your uniform, your benefits start. He got asked about simply not authorizing releases until pensions and benefits are set up, the answer that came back as best as I can tell is that it's not viable due to an organizational inability to hold that many people in limbo, occupying PYs. A disappointing answer, but the one he had to give. CAF however IS invested in sorting this one out as aprt and parcel of the 'looking after our people' theme.
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Offline recceguy

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #43 on: October 14, 2016, 17:35:07 »
Tanks! Brihard!
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Offline Wookilar

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #44 on: October 18, 2016, 10:53:34 »
WRT SISIP/ELB, VAC has told me that they are aiming for the payments to be done for end-Oct for those that were already approved for ELB. Caveat: that depends on people sending in the info they have from their pay stubs OR the very plainly worded letter that SISIP and VAC sent out with all the info and numbers on it needed for the calculation in a timely manner. I have to say, My VAC Account is so simple to use, especially for something like this. Scan, upload, confirm, done your part.

I think SISIP needs to go away as well as it just ends up being a barrier to so many VAC programs. I have been deemed "permanently disabled" by SISIP but VAC doesn't have the same criteria and it just ends up confusing so much crap.
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Offline Teager

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #45 on: January 13, 2017, 11:47:35 »
One of the questions asked on Trudeaus tour. Not much of an answer.

Quote
Trudeau faces tough questions as he kicks off cross-country tour

Prime minister faces range of questions at Kingston, Ont., town hall on 1st leg of outreach trip


Another woman seemed to choke up as she criticized the Liberal government's handling of benefits for veterans.

"You promised the injured veterans you would restore the lifetime disability pension," she said. "So when are you going to be restoring these lifelong disability pensions for our injured? And stop pursuing this in court as [you promised]?" she asked.

"As you say, there are still more things to do and we are going to continue to work with veterans groups, continue to work with advocates, continue [to work with] MPs of all stripes," Trudeau responded.

"We're going to continue to work on keeping not just an electoral promise we made to Canadians, but a promise and commitment that every government makes to the parents and the families of young men and women who sign up for our forces."

The woman later stood up and complained the prime minister had not answered her questions.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-tour-grassroots-canadians-1.3932162

Offline Teager

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #46 on: March 17, 2017, 19:23:27 »
Quote
Next week's federal budget will re-iterate the Liberal government's campaign promise of returning to injured veterans to a system of lifetime pensions, government sources told CBC News on Friday.

But there will be no dollar figures attached to the assurance in Wednesday's fiscal plan — something the sources say will change later this year.

The political trial balloon, which is also being reported by Radio-Canada, came on the same day the Veteran Affairs department issued a statement reminding the public, and the politically-charged veterans community in particular, that lump-sum injury payments to wounded ex-soldiers will increase on April 1.

Ottawa revives Harper-era legal arguments to block pensions for injured vets
In addition, those who've already received the contentious disability awards going back to 2006 will be eligible for extra cash.

It is the latest in a flurry of mostly behind-the-scene activity involving the sensitive veterans file.

The sources said the decision to reference the campaign promise in the budget, without providing dollar figures, was meant to ease growing unrest in the veterans community.

Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr was before a House of Commons committee last week, where he was decidedly circumspect about whether the government would fulfil the life-time pension commitment in next week's budget.

More at link.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/vets-lifetime-pensions-1.4030353

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #47 on: March 17, 2017, 21:01:57 »
If it's not costed, it doesn't exist, and is easy to ignore. I won't hold my breath. Remember,  this is the same gang that engineered the NYC in the first place.
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Offline Teager

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #48 on: March 18, 2017, 21:59:26 »
If it's not costed, it doesn't exist, and is easy to ignore. I won't hold my breath. Remember,  this is the same gang that engineered the NYC in the first place.

True but they have now committed to a timeline. Although no old system pension is coming back so who knows what this will look like when they draw it up.

Offline Brihard

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #49 on: March 19, 2017, 11:05:12 »
Not surprised. The message has been fired at them loud and clear from the loud/obnoxious parts of the veterans community that there had better be something in this budget, or they will face a political revolt from a group that made a lot of loud and painful noise against the last government. Bear in mind this is also still against the backdrop of the Equitas lawsuit on almost exactly this issue, and which is presently awaiting a court decision that should allow it to go to trial.

It won't be a reversal to the Pension Act system. That was floated in December 2015 at the VAC stakeholders conference and was almost universally shot down. NVC has a lot of good components; really ONLY the lump sum is hated- the rest offers a lot. We will in all likelihood be seeing a hybrid system that will preserve the bulk of the current benefits, and will enhance monthly payments in order to achieve equity with the Pension Act payments. Some of the usual suspects will piss and moan about 'economic' benefits versus those for 'sacrifice', but thwere it really matters - bottom line dollars in pockets - I believe the government recognizes that post-2006 vets need to:
- Not be disadvantaged in comparison to the Pension Act;
- Have every opportunity to go through vocational rehab and education so they can have a meaningful future;
- Be compensated for the economic impact of restricted career growth (E.g., blown up as a Pte/Cpl instead of retiring as a WO/MWO /Maj)
- See appropriate comepsnation along similar lines for family members who are stuck being primary caregivers instead of pursuing their own careers.

I think we're going to see another layer of band aid for this one. NVC version 2.4, when what we need is a version 3.0 clean rewrite. Right now the total suite of possible benefits include but aren't limited to: Disability award, Earnings Loss Benefit, Permanent Incapacitation Allowance, Critical Injury Benefit, SISIP LTD, Retirement Income Security Benefit, Reserve Force Compensation, Employment Insurance disability benefits, Canada Pension Plan - Disability; Disability Tax Credit; Canadian Forces Pension payments...

It's baffling and dizzying. And a lot of these offset against each other, reduce each others' amounts, so on and so forth. It's brutal. Hopefully they can get an interim fix in place here, and then embark on a longer term 5 to 10 year analysis across all government benefits and services with an eye towards a comprehensive rewrite. There are differing definitions for ans assessments of 'disability' for things like VAC awards, CPP-Disability payments, and the disability tax credit. And we haven't even touched provincial level yet, which in some cases will add another layer. It's a goddamned mess.
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