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VAC wait times

Mediman14

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Well, where to begin! I submitted my application for OA (disability benefits) in JAN gone, been at stage three since Feb, 7 months later, I finally get my letter. What a surprise. I received a phone call from VAC telling me that they included OA application with the original injury (anterior labral tear) and not to expect anything.
    When open my letter, I went from 5% to 15%. Did they make a mistake? Why tell something different on the phone? Should I call?
 

blackberet17

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If you are not satisfied with the decision, you can request a Departmental Review. Go through the Bureau of Pensions Advocates to start the process.

There's no way of knowing, really, if they made a "mistake". The person you spoke to on the phone is invariably a completely different person from the one who drafted the decision.
 

BinRat55

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blackberet17 said:
If you are not satisfied with the decision, you can request a Departmental Review. Go through the Bureau of Pensions Advocates to start the process.

There's no way of knowing, really, if they made a "mistake". The person you spoke to on the phone is invariably a completely different person from the one who drafted the decision.

I think Mediman was "pleasantly" surprised and not really wanting to go the Departmental Review route, but wondering if an initial 5% moved UP to a 15% was out of the norm...

My question to Mediman is where did you get the original assessment of 5%? I would hazard a guess (a guess right?) that your original application (anterior labral tear) would have been at 5% and they added something else (i'm sorry I don't know that "OA" means...)
 

RobA

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blackberet17 said:
If you are not satisfied with the decision, you can request a Departmental Review. Go through the Bureau of Pensions Advocates to start the process.

There's no way of knowing, really, if they made a "mistake". The person you spoke to on the phone is invariably a completely different person from the one who drafted the decision.

I'm pretty sure they did, since in 2013 my income was $7,000 less then it was in 2012, and 100% of my 2012 income came from earnings loss benefit (the same as 2013). Not sure how I can get $7000 LESS but still be charged a $6000 OVERpayment.

I'll call BPA again though. One final question though: they told me last time that they ONLY deal with appeals for the disability award decision. Not earnings loss, or PIA or CIB or any other benefit.

Was the receptionist wrong?
 

blackberet17

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BinRat55 said:
My question to Mediman is where did you get the original assessment of 5%? I would hazard a guess (a guess right?) that your original application (anterior labral tear) would have been at 5% and they added something else (i'm sorry I don't know that "OA" means...)

I'd like to know if the 5% was something mentioned over the phone, or actually sent in writing. The OA (osteoarthritis) added on top of the labral tear would mean an increase in symptoms. From this added symptom, it is possible to receive a higher Medical Impairment rating, depending on its effect on your body - in the case of the hip assessment, the range of motion.

http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/services/after-injury/disability-benefits/benefits-determined/table-of-disabilities/ch-17-2006#t10
 

blackberet17

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RobA said:
I'm pretty sure they did, since in 2013 my income was $7,000 less then it was in 2012, and 100% of my 2012 income came from earnings loss benefit (the same as 2013). Not sure how I can get $7000 LESS but still be charged a $6000 OVERpayment.

I'll call BPA again though. One final question though: they told me last time that they ONLY deal with appeals for the disability award decision. Not earnings loss, or PIA or CIB or any other benefit.

Was the receptionist wrong?

Who is "they"?

If you look at the NVC, (and now we're way off the original topic) disability awards and CIB fall under Section 3. EL and PIA fall under Section 2. The Veterans Review and Appeal Board, while it has the mandate to hear any and all decisions brought before it, can do little to nil in determining EL and PIA. Disability Awards and CIB, however...
 

TCM621

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So the 4 weeks came and went with no change to my status. I sent them a secure message on Monday and haven't heard a response yet. What do you guys suggest as the next step?
 

BinRat55

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Tcm621 said:
So the 4 weeks came and went with no change to my status. I sent them a secure message on Monday and haven't heard a response yet. What do you guys suggest as the next step?

So, 16 weeks from 27 Apr would have put a decision letter in your hands by roughly mid August if I am correct. According to your statement back then (VAC said "Standard processing time has been exceeded in your case...") - is that where the 4 extra weeks comes into play?

They have a few more hours left to respond to you secure email, I would wait to see what they have to say first. If they give you the song and dance once again, I think this is where I would get the ombudsman involved. Keep you timeline crystal clear and all correspondence for them to see. Always cross your "I"s and dot your "T"s...
 

TCM621

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BinRat55 said:
So, 16 weeks from 27 Apr would have put a decision letter in your hands by roughly mid August if I am correct. According to your statement back then (VAC said "Standard processing time has been exceeded in your case...") - is that where the 4 extra weeks comes into play?

They have a few more hours left to respond to you secure email, I would wait to see what they have to say first. If they give you the song and dance once again, I think this is where I would get the ombudsman involved. Keep you timeline crystal clear and all correspondence for them to see. Always cross your "I"s and dot your "T"s...

The 4 extra weeks was there response to the first message saying the 16 weeks were exceded. I figured the ombudsman was the next step. I'll give the Ombudsman's office a call if I don't have an appropriate response by the end of the week.
 

TCM621

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This seem like a form letter to anyone else?

We apologize that it is taking longer than expected to provide
you with a decision. At present, we have a higher than normal
volume of applications to process. This is temporary. We had
expected to provide you with a decision on your application within
the 4 week time line, unfortunately we did not meet that benchmark.
I have forwarded your email to the appropriate area of the Department
in hopes that your claim can be completed as soon as possible.
Once again, we apologize for the delay and we thank you for your
patience.
 

Teager

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Tcm621 said:
This seem like a form letter to anyone else?

That sounds like the response when you call a phone or Internet company. All my applications are past the timelines so I guess there pretty busy or maybe this is the norm and the "higher than normal applications to process" will be used more. Also maybe the CIB and lifting of PIA restrictions is the reason staff are more busy. I have a feeling the adjudicaters are swamped as there just doesn't seem to be enough of them.
 

BinRat55

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You know, i've always thought I would be interested in working at VAC. They should put a call letter out looking for those of in uniform about to take it off. We bring a lot to the table I would think.

That, and I hear Charlottetown is a very pretty city...
 

catalyst

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They just had a massive hiring across Canada for several pools (CM/Client Service Agent/Disability Adjudicator) - I would expect it takes some time to get people on board and up to speed.
 

Mediman14

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BinRat55 said:
I think Mediman was "pleasantly" surprised and not really wanting to go the Departmental Review route, but wondering if an initial 5% moved UP to a 15% was out of the norm...

My question to Mediman is where did you get the original assessment of 5%? I would hazard a guess (a guess right?) that your original application (anterior labral tear) would have been at 5% and they added something else (i'm sorry I don't know that "OA" means...)



OA meaning Osteoarthritis. You pretty much nailed it. The 5% was from the labral tear, the other 10%, I think it's from the OA but I'm not sure as the letter does not really say that except they just grouped them together. Just wanted to make sure that this is the norm...


 

BinRat55

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Years ago, before the days of lump sum payments, I submitted an application for a pension for an amputation on my right foot. Just that - they took my big toe. I receieved a call (not much has changed - it was over a year after my application submission) from VAC asking if it was ok if that actually added more to the application. See, in going through my med files, they noticed that I had to learn how to walk all over again and developed plantar fasciitis as a result. I of course said "Why not?" It resulted in an extra 1500 bucks!! Which back then was a lot.

I hear people today crying about "Geez they offered me $95,000... I won't get outta bed for at least 150..." I was blessed to get the $5000.00 I got for the removal of my toe. This very day I still have pain - lots of pain... but I remember being able to buy groceries for a year and that was pretty cool!!
 

Teager

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BinRat55 said:
Years ago, before the days of lump sum payments, I submitted an application for a pension for an amputation on my right foot. Just that - they took my big toe. I receieved a call (not much has changed - it was over a year after my application submission) from VAC asking if it was ok if that actually added more to the application. See, in going through my med files, they noticed that I had to learn how to walk all over again and developed plantar fasciitis as a result. I of course said "Why not?" It resulted in an extra 1500 bucks!! Which back then was a lot.

I hear people today crying about "Geez they offered me $95,000... I won't get outta bed for at least 150..." I was blessed to get the $5000.00 I got for the removal of my toe. This very day I still have pain - lots of pain... but I remember being able to buy groceries for a year and that was pretty cool!!

I get what your saying but be careful in what you say as it can easily offend here. A lot of guys who might be in a wheelchair for the rest of there lives and only get offered $100k or whatever. Remember they could say to you I will never walk again plus I feel pain everyday and I've lost out on my career.

You also mentioned before the lump sum time which would be when injuries were pensioned for life. I'm guessing VAC assessed your injury at the bottom of the scale which resulted in a lump sum amount and not pensionable. So many here know if they qualified under the pension system over life they would receive a lot more than the 95k.

Just bringing up an injury and saying others are crying over the amounts they get from VAC probably isn't a good thing to say as it will cause a lot of issues since you don't know the background of people's injuries.
 

BinRat55

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Tank you Teager for the helpful advice as I know all too well about how sensitive people are and just how words in print can be taken way out of context.

Much like this one - I was actually responding to Mediman14 on how VAC was able to put 2 and 2 together LONG before the days of the payout. And while I may have generalized my second statement, there was no intent on offending anyone here as I think we ALL know people attempting to take advantage of our Pension Act. No, much like you, I honestly believe there are a TON of vets deserving of the full amount offered and then some.

But I do know there are people who will milk it for all it's worth. I don't need background - I know human nature.

But, like I said - I don't think the people who are deserving of what they get and are grateful the Pension Act exists will actually take offence. They will more than likely agree with me!

My  :2c:
 

BinRat55

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Just a quick update (and a word to the wise):

I utilized the RCL as an advocate to assist me with my claim. So, here we are over 24 weeks into it all and I decided to contact VAC once more, only to discover that they have an "intent" to file, but no actual application yet. We are 24 weeks in and VAC had NO application from me. They said to contact RCL, which I did. I found out from them that it was still on someones desk as they were backlogged and I wasn't a priority (they - the Royal Canadian Legion - determined that my operational stress injury / PTSD was not "severe" enough based on what I had written) so they were apologetic and said they had hired someone in June to help and they were getting caught up now...

My application sat on someone's desk for almost 5 months. My release date may now be in less than 1 month and I have to start over. When I expressed my dissatisfaction with what had happened, they completely withdrew me from VAC.

Anyone wishing to utilize the RCL as an advocate for VAC - do your homework. I am not poo-pooing the Legion - they are good people, but I should have asked a few more questions and they should have been a little more... forthcoming.

Yuk. With my luck, I won't see any decision until next summer!
 

blackberet17

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BinRat55 said:
Just a quick update (and a word to the wise):

I utilized the RCL as an advocate to assist me with my claim. So, here we are over 24 weeks into it all and I decided to contact VAC once more, only to discover that they have an "intent" to file, but no actual application yet. We are 24 weeks in and VAC had NO application from me. They said to contact RCL, which I did. I found out from them that it was still on someones desk as they were backlogged and I wasn't a priority (they - the Royal Canadian Legion - determined that my operational stress injury / PTSD was not "severe" enough based on what I had written) so they were apologetic and said they had hired someone in June to help and they were getting caught up now...

My application sat on someone's desk for almost 5 months. My release date may now be in less than 1 month and I have to start over. When I expressed my dissatisfaction with what had happened, they completely withdrew me from VAC.

Anyone wishing to utilize the RCL as an advocate for VAC - do your homework. I am not poo-pooing the Legion - they are good people, but I should have asked a few more questions and they should have been a little more... forthcoming.

Yuk. With my luck, I won't see any decision until next summer!

Not to pour salt in the wound, but...it may have been processed by VAC faster!

May I ask why you went to the RCL about submitting your disability application? Is there no VAC office close by?
 
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