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.
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.