FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2015
Service Excellence Plan for Veterans Welcomed by MP Allen
TOBIQUE-MACTAQUAC – Mike Allen, Member of Parliament for Tobique-Mactaquac, is pleased with recent measures taken by Veterans Affairs Canada, particularly the service excellence plan announced this week, which will boost Veterans’ access to case managers.
On Monday, Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole announced that immediate action is being taken to improve the way Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) serves Veterans and their families.
“Hiring additional case managers means improved access to case management and mental health support for case-managed Veterans and allows case managers to dedicate more time and attention to the needs of seriously ill or injured Veterans,” commented Mr. Allen. “Veterans and their families definitely deserve this type of care.”
VAC will deliver on its service excellence commitment by reducing caseloads to an average of 30 Veterans for each VAC case manager and will hire more than 100 permanent case managers in order to provide improved one-on-one service. VAC frontline employees will work in locations where they are needed the most.
By increasing the number of case managers, workloads will be balanced, allowing case managers to dedicate more time and attention to meeting the individual needs of Veterans.
The Minister also announced that VAC would continue to work with the Department of National Defence (DND) to access medical records as quickly as possible in order to reduce the amount of time Veterans wait for decisions on disability benefits applications.
This most recent announcement builds on recent commitments, including:
The majority of case managers will be hired within the next 12 months and will work where they are most needed.
- the new Retirement Income Security Benefit, which would provide moderately to severely disabled Veterans—those who need it most—with continued assistance in the form of a monthly income support payment beginning at age 65.
- the new Family Caregiver Relief Benefit, which would provide eligible Veterans with a tax-free, annual grant of $7,238 so that their informal caregivers—who are often their spouse or other devoted family members—will have flexibility or relief when they need it while also ensuring that the Veterans’ care needs are met.
- the proposed new Critical Injury Benefit, which will provide a $70,000 tax-free payment to recognize and compensate the most severely injured or ill Canadian Armed Forces members and Veterans.
- broadened eligibility criteria for the Permanent Impairment Allowance (PIA) which, together with the PIA Supplement, provides approximately $600 to $2,800 a month in life-long monthly financial support to Veterans whose career advancement opportunities have been limited by a permanent service-related injury or illness.
- enhanced benefits for injured part-time Reserve Force members and Veterans, who will now be assured the same minimum income support payment through the Earnings Loss Program as full-time Reserve Force and Regular Force Veterans.
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