Author Topic: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises  (Read 4091 times)

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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2019, 15:56:58 »
This from the just released Liberal Platform will make me vote Liberal in this election.  This is something ALL party's should be doing in my opinion.

We will make it easier for veterans to get disability benefits.
No veteran should ever have to suffer in silence. To help ease the stigma that many may feel about starting a disability claim, and to make sure that every veteran gets the help they need, we will give our veterans up to $3,000 in free counselling services before a disability claim is required.
This will give veterans in need of help nearly six months of free support, provided directly by VAC or one if its service partners, and will help as many as 20,000 veterans each year.
And to simplify and shorten the process, we will move forward with automatic approval for the most common disability applications, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and arthritis, among others."


Considering his treatment of Veterans since gaining office, notwithstanding his previous unfulfilled promises and statements, what makes you believe this?
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Offline Remius

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2019, 17:47:38 »
This is what the Liberal's are proposing and I personally like it.  This should have been changed years ago.  If a CAF doctor says you have a certain condition/injury, VAC shouldn't be second guessing it.

We will make it easier for veterans to get disability benefits.
No veteran should ever have to suffer in silence. To help ease the stigma that many may feel about starting a disability claim, and to make sure that every veteran gets the help they need, we will give our veterans up to $3,000 in free counselling services before a disability claim is required.
This will give veterans in need of help nearly six months of free support, provided directly by VAC or one if its service partners, and will help as many as 20,000 veterans each year.
And to simplify and shorten the process, we will move forward with automatic approval for the most common disability applications, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and arthritis, among others.


Good to see someone actually looking at a platform and voting FOR something. 

I’m ambivalent to anything defence or veteran coming from the CPC or the LPC as neither have a good track record.  This is a good step on paper but neither of them will sway my vote with anything related to defence or VAC.  The conservatives conned me once they won’t con me twice on that front.
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Offline Tcm621

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2019, 18:20:53 »
This is what the Liberal's are proposing and I personally like it.  This should have been changed years ago.  If a CAF doctor says you have a certain condition/injury, VAC shouldn't be second guessing it.

We will make it easier for veterans to get disability benefits.
No veteran should ever have to suffer in silence. To help ease the stigma that many may feel about starting a disability claim, and to make sure that every veteran gets the help they need, we will give our veterans up to $3,000 in free counselling services before a disability claim is required.
This will give veterans in need of help nearly six months of free support, provided directly by VAC or one if its service partners, and will help as many as 20,000 veterans each year.
And to simplify and shorten the process, we will move forward with automatic approval for the most common disability applications, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and arthritis, among others.


They have made it harder in the last 4 years. Wait times have consistently increased since the Liberals came to power.

Most if us don't need counselling and for those that do, 6 month would be great but what about the other 12 months they are waiting.

I'm not hopeful they will help any better than the "helped" the last 4 years. They actively shut out the CF ombudsman and likely the Vets ombudsman as well (although we haven't heard a statement from him). They have had 4 years in power and things are worse than ever.

Offline Brihard

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2019, 19:11:33 »

We will make it easier for veterans to get disability benefits.
No veteran should ever have to suffer in silence. To help ease the stigma that many may feel about starting a disability claim, and to make sure that every veteran gets the help they need, we will give our veterans up to $3,000 in free counselling services before a disability claim is required.
This will give veterans in need of help nearly six months of free support, provided directly by VAC or one if its service partners, and will help as many as 20,000 veterans each year.

Except that this is a big steaming pile of bullpoop, and I'll tell you why.

I just went to my filing cabinet and checked an invoice to confirm something- going rate for a clinical social worker (therapist), $150 an hour. She's friggin' excellent by the way, and knows VAC stuff. But I digress. LPC is pledging $3000 before any sort of claim happens. $150 into $3k equals 20 sessions. At one per week (pretty normal) that is indeed almost six months (well closer to five, but close enough for government work). That math checks out really well on that.

Except that they already ****ing give this. It's called the Veterans Assistance Service. You call 1-800-268-7708 (yes, the same number as CFMAP- it's the pan-government Health Canada Employee Assistance Service) and identify yourself as a veteran, and you get 20 one hour sessions per issue, and 'per issue' can be defined pretty loosely.It used to be 6 sessions, then increased to 20. You know when that happened? December 2014 under Julian Fantino.
So the LPC are trying to buy votes by offering as new something that already exists and has for five years.

So yeah. Not impressed.
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Offline stellarpanther

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2019, 20:47:35 »
I suppose I would like to know more about what is meant when he says "things such as PTSD and arthritis will be automatically approved", I had a conversation with a Liberal MP about 8 months ago and he was saying that one thing that was being considered was VAC just going by the what the CAF doctors.  The VAC Ombudsman has been trying for years under both CPC and Liberals to get that approved.

I really don't trust a lot of what politicians say regardless of party but I trust Cons less than the Liberals.  Something I find funny though is that 4 years ago everyone had a hate on for the CPC and jumped to the Liberals, now it's just the opposite happening.



Offline Brihard

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #30 on: October 01, 2019, 10:40:15 »
I suppose I would like to know more about what is meant when he says "things such as PTSD and arthritis will be automatically approved"

Speaking from a few years of on again - off again engagement with VAC at DM, ADM, and Director level- I highly doubt that. There will always have to be objective assessment of eligibility; the laws governing how government spends money demands it.

What could potentially be achievable is a move towards presumptive causality similar to how a few provinces presume first responder PTSD to be linked to service for purposes of workers’ compensation; however the feel we’ve gotten from the departmental bureaucrats and lawyers is that ‘presumptive’ is a word they flee from.

Nobody is willing or wanting to start waving a magic ‘yes’ wand, although improvements have been seen in a lot of the ‘no s***, sherlock’ claims like hearing loss and musculoskeletal. The department is continuing to work to make sure adjudicators abide by existing provisions on benefit of the doubt (which were also just strengthened on Friday), so less time is being wasted arguing on why gunners are deaf or jumpers are in chronic pain.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2019, 07:24:14 »
An overview by CBC's military reporter, shared under the Fair Dealing terms of the Copyright Act ...
Quote
Canada's veterans, many of whom shifted their support in 2015 from the Conservatives to the Liberals, are being encouraged during this election campaign to take a closer, more critical look at the details of the parties' election pitches.

Advocates who represent them say veterans have learned the value of the old maxim: Read the fine print.

The Liberal pledge in 2015 to give veterans the "option" of a lifetime pension for injuries sustained in the line of duty was a key element of the party's efforts to capture their votes, the advocates say.

Rightly or wrongly, that promise left many former soldiers with the impression that there would be a wholesale return to pensions-for-life — and those allowances would be equal to what was paid out under the old Pension Act.

Since then, there has been an extraordinary and divisive debate about the Liberal government's pension-for-life plan, implemented last spring. Among the skeptics is the Parliamentary Budget Office, which said the program will be slightly more generous than the one it replaces, but not a match for the pre-2006 system.

That's why the details are so important to veterans now, said veterans advocate Aaron Bedard.

"There were just some fine details that people were willing to overlook [in 2015] for the sake of change," said Bedard, who was at the heart of a now-defunct class lawsuit over the disability pension system.

Bedard said that, in 2015, there was "nowhere else" for veterans disillusioned by the Conservatives to turn, apart from the Liberal Party.

The NDP and the Green Party will no doubt take umbrage at that claim, but Bedard said that, in the four years since, those parties haven't spent much time meeting with his group of former soldiers and advocates to understand their concerns.

However, the NDP and the Green Party now seem to be the ones most interested in upending the status quo on veterans. Both parties are calling for a review of veterans' services and benefits.

The Green Party platform specifically proposes "a national re-examination of veterans' issues" as well as a restoration of the pre-2006 benefit payment regime.

Conservatives promise changes

The Conservative platform, meanwhile, promises to create "a reliable, dependable pension system" that is fair to the most disabled veterans.

Defining "fair" should be a simple task, said one advocate.

Brian Forbes, chair of the National Council of Veterans Associations, said the disparity between the benefits paid to older and younger veterans is a key ballot box issue for his community.

"What we are looking for from these political parties is for someone to stand up and say, 'Look, we should not have two or three layers of pension benefits,'" said Forbes. "We should have one model for all disabled veterans."

Forbes pointed to the cases of two former soldiers, both double amputees — one wounded before the 2006 introduction of the New Veterans Charter (NVC) and one injured afterward. He said their compensation packages do "not resemble one another."

And many veterans still feel lingering resentment over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's comment during a 2017 town hall. Defending his government's handling of the class-action lawsuit by veterans, Trudeau said former soldiers were "asking for more than we are able to give right now."

"The outrage from that comment is still palpable," said Forbes. "There are veterans who've never forgotten that exchange."

For their part, the Liberals say they want to move beyond the pension-for-life debate and focus on wellness and care. They're proposing swifter and broader access to mental health services.

The party promises that each veteran would be eligible for $3,000 in free counselling services before they file a disability claim under a re-elected Liberal government.

The Liberals also say they would also simplify and shorten the benefits process to include "automatic approval for the most common disability applications, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and arthritis, among others."

Guy Gallant, a spokesman for the Liberals, said medical conditions that already have high approval rates (80 per cent or more) would be eligible for fast-track approval of benefits.

The Parliamentary Budget Office, in its recent analysis, warned that "the perception of automatic approval may increase take-up or application rates" for those programs. That could lead to bigger budgets for those programs.

The Liberal government appears to have laid the groundwork already by redesigning the post-traumatic stress disorder questionnaire filled out by medical professionals.

As CBC News reported last spring, the new form is shorter and more general, which troubles some psychologists. The  new, more generic application gives the bureaucracy more latitude to reject or approve the claim; when the new form was introduced, officials insisted they wanted to see swifter endorsements.

As of last November, the backlog of disability applications had grown to 40,000 — something both the New Democrats and Conservatives vow to fix. The Tories commit to doing it within 24 months.

The Liberals have acknowledged the problem, but defend their record.

"We have worked hard to ensure veterans and their families get the services they need and benefits they deserve," said Gallant.

The Liberals also promise to "move forward with a new rapid-response service staffed by social workers, case management counsellors and peer support workers."

They say their mission would be to "proactively reach out to every Canadian veteran to make sure that they know about the help that is available, and how to access it."

The party is vague on what that policy would entail. "This will likely involve the hiring of several hundred social workers, case management counsellors and peer support workers," said Gallant.
Promise more housing

There is a separate Liberal proposal for "building new, purpose-built accessible and affordable housing units, with a full range of health, social and employment support for veterans who need extra help."

It would be a $15 million per year commitment.

Jim Lowther is president of VETS Canada, an organization that works to get homeless veterans off the streets. He said he is intrigued but added the Liberals will have to realize that they cannot create "barracks-style" housing for former soldiers.

"As long as it is community housing," he said. "One of the things we've learned over the years is that veterans don't want to live together. A lot of veterans who are homeless have been out for 10 years and don't ... want to go back to a barracks setting."

Lowther said he believes a stipend to help veterans having trouble paying rent might be just as effective as investing in bricks and mortar. It would, he said, prevent veterans from becoming homeless in the first place.

No matter which party is elected, Lowther said, the next government is going to have to wrap its head around a different definition of veteran homelessness.

Work on homelessness

"People think of a guy holding a cup. That's not what it is like," he said. "That might be one per cent of what it actually is. Most [homeless] veterans are couch surfing and doing other things."

It has been tough, many veterans advocates say, to get all the parties to make the kind of sophisticated distinctions that Lowther talks about.

Which is why Forbes argues that, as veterans are making up their minds in the current election campaign, they should be asking all parties the same question: "What do you mean when you say you were going to take care of us?"
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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2019, 08:41:49 »
What could potentially be achievable is a move towards presumptive causality similar to how a few provinces presume first responder PTSD to be linked to service for purposes of workers’ compensation; however the feel we’ve gotten from the departmental bureaucrats and lawyers is that ‘presumptive’ is a word they flee from.

The fear, where I worked at least, was that if an honourable path existed to escape emergency operations, many would take it.

What we hear at our pensioner luncheons is, in our department at least, the PTSD presumptive legislation Act of 2016 has "taken off like wildfire".

Too late to do us old-timers any good.  :)

« Last Edit: October 03, 2019, 09:19:33 by mariomike »

Offline Brihard

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2019, 10:19:05 »
The fear, where I worked at least, was that if an honourable path existed to escape emergency operations, many would take it.

What we hear at our pensioner luncheons is, in our department at least, the PTSD presumptive legislation Act of 2016 has "taken off like wildfire".

Too late to do us old-timers any good.  :)

Anecdotally, it’s had a huge impact on a number of municipal services. A lot of guys and girls suffered for years and how have more of an opening to get help. And as tends to happen, the longer things have been pushed off, the worse it is when finally addressed.

But it means a lot of empty files.
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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2019, 10:29:02 »
Anecdotally, it’s had a huge impact on a number of municipal services. A lot of guys and girls suffered for years and how have more of an opening to get help.

Professional help has been there since the early 1980's with full-time dedicated departmental staff psychologists who understand the job. They are well regarded by operational members.

But, it wasn't until 2016 when presumptive legislation was passed that one could get off emergency operations ( if that was your goal ).

Getting off operations was sort of a Catch 22 prior to 2016.  :)

That could possibly explain why, for the VA, " ‘presumptive’ is a word they flee from. "
« Last Edit: October 03, 2019, 20:42:48 by mariomike »