Author Topic: Ottawa short-changed more than 270,000 veterans on pensions, disability payments  (Read 677 times)

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Offline Rifleman62

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To bad nobody gets fired, or bonus payments clawed back. VAC is a Dept that needs to be overhauled or keel hauled.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/veterans-affairs-pension-disability-1.4890117

Ottawa short-changed more than 270,000 veterans on pensions, disability payments - Murray Brewster - 5 Nov 18
Accounting error is believed to have cost veterans $165M between 2002-2010

More than 270,000 ex-soldiers were short-changed by Veterans Affairs Canada for over eight years because of an accounting error worth at least $165 million, CBC News has learned. The mistake was uncovered by the veterans ombudsman's office, which has worked with the federal department for over a year to get it to confirm the mistake and make amends.

A written statement from Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O'Regan confirmed a retroactive compensation program is in the works — but the affected veterans will have to wait up to two years to get their money. "We will ensure those affected receive the compensation to which they are entitled," O'Regan said. "At this stage, given the number of individuals affected, we expect to issue payments by 2020. We will share more information with those affected as it becomes available." The minister thanked the ombudsman, Guy Parent, for uncovering the error. "Our interest is that veterans and their families are treated fairly," said Parent in an interview Monday with CBC News.

The error was made in the monthly indexing calculation on disability awards and pensions and is believed to have started as far back as 2002. The department didn't factor in the basic provincial tax credit for individuals. That led to lower monthly payments for 272,000 veterans — a significant number of them Second World War and Korean war veterans. As many as 175,000 of them have since died, leaving the federal government with a legal mess to untangle related to their estates.

"It's going to be a challenge," Parent said. Depending upon individual circumstances, the ombudsman said, the error would have deprived veterans of between $50 and $2,000 during the timeframe. "Those war veterans that are in low income and that receive the war allowance ... I mean, two thousand dollars is almost the equivalent of a monthly payment for them," the ombudsman said. "It is significant for them."

The error ran unchecked from 2002 to 2010, according to internal department numbers analyzed by the ombudsman's staff. In 2011, Veterans Affairs inexplicably resumed using the correct calculation. The department did not, however, make any move to reimburse veterans for the lost income, which would have — in the worst cases — amounted to a few hundred dollars per month. "We did not look really look at causes ... We did not look at the how or the why," said Parent. "We discovered the error. They acknowledged it and now our interest is in fairness and making sure they are repaid and the money goes back into veterans' pockets."

Parent said it is up to Veterans Affairs to explain why the error took place, when it was spotted and why nothing was done about it until the ombudsman stepped in.
Some veterans did end up receiving reimbursement — but inadvertently, and without knowing it. The Liberal government's 2016 budget poured more money into disability awards, and the measure included retroactive payments. But the ombudsman said the difference was not made up for those who received disability pensions between 2002 and 2010.



https://www.canada.ca/en/veterans-affairs-canada/news/2018/11/minister-of-veterans-affairs-issues-statement-on-compensation-for-corrective-adjustments-to-annual-disability-pension-calculations-between-2003-and.html

Minister of Veterans Affairs issues statement on compensation for corrective adjustments to annual Disability Pension calculations between 2003 and 2010 - 5 Nov 18

Statement:

Ottawa – The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence issued the following statement today on Veteran Affairs Canada’s response to an error in the calculation of disability pension adjustment rates:

“I wish to thank the Ombudsman for bringing to our attention that our disability pension adjustment calculations didn’t accurately reflect a change to personal tax exemptions. When we learned about this discrepancy, we took action and corrected the calculation. After a detailed review of all records between 2003 and 2010, we found that upwards of 270,000 Veterans, RCMP members, and their survivors still required compensation for this adjustment.

“The Department has secured a source of funds of up to $165 million for retroactive payments. Most individuals will receive a few hundred dollars, while the maximum amount to be paid would be a couple of thousand dollars. “We will ensure those affected receive the compensation to which they are entitled. At this stage, given the number of individuals affected, we expect to issue payments by 2020. We will share more information with those affected as it becomes available.

“This is another example of how the Department works closely with the Ombudsman’s office to improve the lives of Veterans and their families.”

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