If you can work, why should you be able to draw LTD SISIP benefits in the first place? These benefits were designed for people who "can't work" and have no other source of income, if that were the case the SISIP program would go bankrupt in a hurry. Sorry you can't have your cake and eat it also. The argument that "it's not fair" is rubbish. The system works and for the people who disagree, haven't taken the time to actually research why and how it works and for whom. Don't bash the program, it works quiet well for those of us who ended up in wheelchairs.
To answer your question, yes i was receiving VAC, while still serving, starting in 1999. Upon my release in 2001, I was sent for retraining by SISIP for two years at the school of my choice. My monthly SISIP payment was clawed back by the amount of my VAC pension, but I was still receiving 75% of my past salary + the cost of my education, which added up to $14,000.00, including, books and equipment. This is the way it's designed to work. After my condition became much worse and it became apparent that i couldn't work, I was placed on LTD SISIP.
I really don't know were this person is planning on going with this, but if that is the case, he will not get very far. All one has to do is look and read your SISIP policy and it's right there in black and white. If this were the case, there would be many of us who felt the same and sued for lost monies. It looks to me that he is trying to get something he was never in tiltled to in the first place under the existing policy guidelines. If he was able to return to work, he shouldn't be drawing SISIP.
Like I stated previously, it doesn't add up. unless he's looking for 100%. But this will never happen.
SISIP does cooperate with people who can and do work.
I now work part time out of home, and send in my earnings- my SISIP payments are offset accordingly. Because, however, I can't hope (at this point) to make even close to what I was earning upon release- or even 75% of that- SISIP still offfers financial support. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. I've found that my case managers think well outside the box. I'm very appreciative, actually.
That doesn't mean I think they should be getting my VAC award, though.
You stated above that you received your VAC award over and above your full pay and benefits while you were still serving. This is because your VAC award was, in those circumstances, considered independent of your financial situation. It was your personal award for the disability you suffered in the course of your duties- it was considered a bonus (not really a good word, but I can't think of another) for your sacrifice. It was not considered income.
Why, upon release and upon entering the SISIP program, and when you needed the money more, was your VAC integrated into your financial situation and considered income?
There will always be comparisons made to other policies and programs for other government workers in seeking fairness for veterans. I do it all the time. You've made comparisons to Worker's Comp.
The only comparison I have to make when considering the suit Manuge has launched is the comparison between veterans on SISIP and still serving members. If I compare a still serving, able-to-work member who is receiving a full salary plus his VAC to a medically released, unable-to-work member receiving 75% salary without the benefit of his VAC - I have to say I understand the basis for the suit.
You say that ,"he is trying to get something he was never entitled to in the first place under the existing policy guidelines".
I get that. I know what the policy states and what the entitlements are.
Manuge's suit is all about asking whether or not those existing policies are right and fair?
Based on that one comparison I just made- I think not.
I'm not bashing SISIP - the VAC clawback is, IMO, a small flaw in an otherwise well run program. My opinion only, of course. From reading other comments- I know that it is not considered in such a positive light by all who access the program.
There are people in many differing stages of this disabiity and release process.
If I had commented on this two years ago- when I was dealing with the loss of my career and professional status, and we were selling our home in order to downsize, VAC was shutting me out, and life was a painful crap heap- my response would have been much different, and much more emotionally charged and...harsh.
I've had the time to calm down...and adapt...(maybe become a bit complacent) and, as I stated before, was in a pretty good situation (now that I'm thinking more clearly) to weather the storm that came my way. I still always like to look at things as others may see them, however, and do realize that, with the system being as whimsical and varied (unpredictable) as it is, not everyone is in the same place as me or has the same perceptions about the support they are receiving.
You say that "the argument that "it's not fair" is rubbish". Your opinion- I respect that.
My opinion, however, is that the unfairness that Manuge is fighting is the actual rubbish. The fact that he is fighting a point that the Ombudsman dropped the ball on adds to the stench of it.
I wish Manuge well- the policies are not going to change unless someone fights them. I'll be keeping an eye out for ongoing information on his suit.