Author Topic: Return to Pension for Life?  (Read 14541 times)

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Offline ModlrMike

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #50 on: March 19, 2017, 16:24:09 »
The short version is that in an attempt to (successfuly) trap the Conservatives, the Liberals screwed vets in the balance. I won't go so far as to claim this was on purpose, more likely the law of unintended consequences at work. None the less, they have an obligation to undo the damage. As I've said elsewhere,  standing on the mound of dirt beside the hole you dug doesn't qualify as occupying the moral high ground.
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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #51 on: March 19, 2017, 23:24:14 »
Not surprised. The message has been fired at them loud and clear from the loud/obnoxious parts of the veterans community that there had better be something in this budget, or they will face a political revolt from a group that made a lot of loud and painful noise against the last government. Bear in mind this is also still against the backdrop of the Equitas lawsuit on almost exactly this issue, and which is presently awaiting a court decision that should allow it to go to trial.

It won't be a reversal to the Pension Act system. That was floated in December 2015 at the VAC stakeholders conference and was almost universally shot down. NVC has a lot of good components; really ONLY the lump sum is hated- the rest offers a lot. We will in all likelihood be seeing a hybrid system that will preserve the bulk of the current benefits, and will enhance monthly payments in order to achieve equity with the Pension Act payments. Some of the usual suspects will piss and moan about 'economic' benefits versus those for 'sacrifice', but thwere it really matters - bottom line dollars in pockets - I believe the government recognizes that post-2006 vets need to:
- Not be disadvantaged in comparison to the Pension Act;
- Have every opportunity to go through vocational rehab and education so they can have a meaningful future;
- Be compensated for the economic impact of restricted career growth (E.g., blown up as a Pte/Cpl instead of retiring as a WO/MWO /Maj)
- See appropriate comepsnation along similar lines for family members who are stuck being primary caregivers instead of pursuing their own careers.

I have to admit, I'm a little disappointed to read this comment.  Those "loud/obnoxious" parts of the veterans community aren't advocating for a return to the Pension Act.  They're advocating for a return to the Pension Act Disability Pension to replace the woefully inequitable Disability Award.  I have not heard of anyone wanting the whole NVC tossed and the Pension Act suite of benefits to be reinstated.  Even the "loud/obnoxious" veterans acknowledge that there are some positives in the NVC that could be even better.

When you say that a return to the Disability Pension was almost universally shot down by the stakeholders in December 2015, it's important to put that into context.  The VAC Policy Advisory Group of stakeholders is comprised of:
  • Michael Blais, Canadian Veterans Advocacy
  • Major (Retired) Mark Campbell
  • Brian Forbes, National Council of Veteran Associations in Canada
  • Michel Houle, Veterans UN-NATO Canada
  • Master Warrant Officer (Retired) William MacDonald
  • Major-General John Milne
  • Luc O’Bomsawin, Aboriginal Veterans Autochtones
  • Brigadier-General (Retired) Joe Sharpe
  • Commodore (Retired) Andrea Siew
  • Brad White, Royal Canadian Legion

Out of that group, only one member remains steadfast that the restoration of the Disability Pension is what the government promised during the election, and he remains committed to holding them to that promise.  Despite this lone voice, the Group made some recommendations that completely dodged the issue of the Disability Pension, and dealt with issues that primarily concerned the most disabled veterans.  The group also recommended that no veteran should be any worse off under the NVC than they would have been under the Pension Act - something that is quite impossible to achieve given the delta between the Disability Award and the Disability Pension - but doesn't address exactly how to achieve the state of a NVC veteran (any/all of them) being no worse off than under the Pension Act. I wish I could be more specific about what the Group's recommendations were, but it appears that the Record of Discussion for that meeting is no longer present on the VAC website, so I'm going from memory.

To date, I haven't seen anything from Policy Advisory Group explaining why a return to a Disability Pension was shot down so quickly.  I'm not a strong numbers guy, but my back-of-a-cigarette-pack calculations don't see a return to a Disability Pension as being an undue burden on the government coffers, given that the liability is spread out over decades rather than in one given year for a Disability Award.  Dealing with members who have already received a Disability Award should also be a relatively simple exercise in accounting to switch them back to a pension system.  I have no idea why the Group insists on blurring the lines between compensation for non-economic losses (pain & suffering) and income replacement compensation.  Treat each as a separate benefit, and stop trying to mix them together.  That's what the legal system does.

To me (and to a lot of other veterans, from what I see), the Policy Advisory Group sold us out.  For what, or why, I'm not quite sure - considering that the Liberal election promise focused on a return to disability pensions - and there's only ever been one disability pension to return to.  The Policy Advisory Group only had to recommend that the government keep its promise - it didn't even involve having to bargain for something that hadn't already been promised by the government.

edited to add "almost"
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 23:59:05 by Occam »

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #52 on: May 06, 2017, 10:29:37 »
http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1465981-canadian-veterans-advocacy-blais-removed-from-policy-group

Canadian Veterans Advocacy: Blais removed from policy group

ANDREA GUNN OTTAWA BUREAU - May 5, 2017

An outspoken disabled veteran is fuming after what he claims was his unfair removal from a committee that provides guidance to government on policy issues.

Michael Blais, president and founding member of Canadian Veterans Advocacy, was informed by Veterans Affairs deputy minister General Walt Natynczyk on Monday he was being sacked from the Veterans Affairs ministerial policy advisory group formed by the Liberal government in 2016 for Facebook posts he made months prior.

During a stakeholders meeting in Ottawa in June and August, Blais, who served as an infantryman for 17 years before a major back injury forced him out of service, said he made several posts on Facebook group he runs for veterans about what happened during the meetings, specifically surrounding discussion on reestablishing lifelong pensions.

In 2006, the New Veterans Charter replaced lifelong pensions for injured and disabled veterans with lump sum payments. During the 2015 election the Liberal government promised to bring back that option for veterans but have, to date, failed to act on this promise.

The 2017 budget reiterates the promise, saying the government will provide an option for injured veterans to receive their disability award though a monthly payment for life, rather than a one-time payment of $360,000, but many argue this still does not bring veterans who retired after 2006 in line with benefits covered by the old pension act.

“Discussions got pretty intense. It was clear I was alone and when they came through with a policy on consensus that didn’t reflect what we had been looking for, which is the equality in recognition of national sacrifice, I said that on Facebook,” Blais told the Chronicle Herald. “Veterans should be aware that other groups that the government has chosen to serve are not reflecting what they want.”

The Facebook post that Blais said got him removed from the committee vaguely references the overall discussion, but doesn’t specifically refer to comments made by any members of the committee.

“We discussed the lump sum award today, once again, there was consensus that the award was sufficient <...> We are the only dissenting position,” it reads in part. “As the ONLY stakeholder at the table, then and now, that fought for equality on this issue, I can tell you there will never be consensus support at the Policy Advisory Group, they do not not support the equality principles the CVA and/or, I suspect, want to use this opportunity to create THEIR version of the life time pension, not one that was promised, not one that we have fought so hard for these past five years without wavering.”

Blais said he was to told Monday that other members of the committee, which include both active and retired military members, as well as representatives of groups like the National Council of Veteran Associations in Canada, Veterans UN-NATO Canada, Aboriginal Veterans Autochtones and the Royal Canadian Legion, felt uncomfortable speaking while he was being so public about the discussions. Blais was not invited to the most recent meeting, which took place on Wednesday, two days after he found out he was being removed.

“I believe every policy advisory group should be full transparency and that every veteran we represent should be fully aware of what’s transpiring at these levels,” he said.

A formal letter received by Blais Friday, signed by the deputy minister, reiterated concerns that other committee members were upset by his Facebook activity and confirms his termination, citing the terms of reference for the committee which state members must respect the “trust and confidentiality” of deliberations and refrain from sharing “privileged/protected information or information of a personal nature.”

“I’m very upset because I never signed any confidentiality regulations nor did we ever speak about any confidentiality regulations,” Blais said “Had there been a confidentiality regulation that would have puzzled me and I would have declined.”

Blais said he feels he was targeted not only for his attempt at transparency, but for being an outspoken advocate and often dissenting from the opinions of others in the group.

A spokesperson for the Department of Veterans Affairs would not comment on specific exchanges between members, but confirmed that the department was formally asked by other members of the ministerial policy advisory group to remove Blais after he had repeatedly violated the terms of reference for the group by posting the contents of their meetings online.

“We value the contribution of all our advisory board members and want to ensure that they are able to engage on these pertinent topics in a safe and confidential environment,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
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Offline ueo

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #53 on: May 07, 2017, 02:46:05 »
One wonders just how much the many and varied advocate groups are in support of actual vets? It seems as tho, IMHO, that they talk the talk but lack walking ability or desire. Any others sense this?
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Offline Occam

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #54 on: May 07, 2017, 10:26:39 »
As someone who has been heavily involved in Canadian Veterans Advocacy (CVA) activities for several years, I'm personally getting a little tired of the lies and innuendo being spread about the organization.

I have personally invested hundreds of hours in direct assistance to veterans who have needed assistance from VAC.  This includes initial applications for disability benefits, encouraging veterans to pursue Departmental Reviews and VRAB appeals through Bureau of Pensions Advocates, and in general providing information about how to deal with VAC and other agencies that provide support that veterans need.  I know many other members of CVA who provide the same support.

I have personally seen the post that Michael Blais made that raised the ire of the other members of the VAC Policy Advisory Group.  The post was made directly to CVA membership, and was not public.  That said, there is absolutely nothing in the post that even remotely violates the confidentiality of "deliberations".  Nobody was mentioned by name.  The details that were revealed such as the fact that the Lump Sum Award (LSA) was discussed, and that the consensus (except Mike Blais) was that the LSA was deemed sufficient should not be privileged information; in fact, the veteran's community at large OUGHT to know what their stakeholder representatives are taking to the table during these discussions.  If the stakeholders were upset that it was revealed that their organization's position was against an increase to the LSA, or a return to a lifetime Disability Pension system, then perhaps they ought to re-evaluate whether they are truly representing the wishes of the members of their organizations.  The terms of reference for the Policy Advisory Group states:

Quote
The work of the Policy Advisory Group will be conducted in a manner that fosters openness, communication, fairness and respect.

If members cannot speak publicly about the positions other organizations are taking for or against various measures, then where is the openness?  The Records of Discussion for the Policy Advisory Group are a joke.  There is little to no detail about any discussion concerning the appropriateness of the amount of the Disability Award, or about any discussion concerning a return to the Disability Pension - only to a pension "option", whatever the hell that is.

Fact of the matter is, Mike Blais has, from the outset, demanded openness and transparency from the Policy Advisory Group.  The other members clearly want to operate in a cloud of secrecy, which raises a huge red flag about exactly what these other veterans group's agendas are.  If the other members of the PAG get their knickers in a bunch over the fact that Mike Blais commented in his post that he was fairly sure someone laughed when he proposed an increase in the LSA to $500K, then Mike Blais isn't the problem - the problem is with the individual who clearly shouldn't have the privilege of speaking on behalf of veterans, and can't conduct him or herself accordingly on discussions of a matter very important to wounded and injured veterans.  Mike Blais has always been completely up-front and open about what position he's taking to the table - the other organizations represented at the PAG cannot say the same.

My personal opinion?  The other members of the PAG complained using a hopelessly weak argument concerning Blais' openness with CVA members to oust a threat to their secretive ways of doing business.  If your veteran's organization can't come to the table with full disclosure about what their agenda is, then you don't belong at the table.
+1,200 « Last Edit: May 07, 2017, 10:32:45 by Occam »

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #55 on: May 07, 2017, 12:44:17 »
Mike Blais picked a political side by jumping on the ABC Vets platform for the last election. He didn't get his way with the Liberals, and is now salty about it. Zero levels of sympathy. A real veteran's advocate would have stayed apolitical, and hit all 3 parties on their record without favouring one or another.

Offline Tcm621

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #56 on: May 07, 2017, 12:56:16 »
As someone who has been heavily involved in Canadian Veterans Advocacy (CVA) activities for several years, I'm personally getting a little tired of the lies and innuendo being spread about the organization.

I have personally invested hundreds of hours in direct assistance to veterans who have needed assistance from VAC.  This includes initial applications for disability benefits, encouraging veterans to pursue Departmental Reviews and VRAB appeals through Bureau of Pensions Advocates, and in general providing information about how to deal with VAC and other agencies that provide support that veterans need.  I know many other members of CVA who provide the same support.

I have personally seen the post that Michael Blais made that raised the ire of the other members of the VAC Policy Advisory Group.  The post was made directly to CVA membership, and was not public.  That said, there is absolutely nothing in the post that even remotely violates the confidentiality of "deliberations".  Nobody was mentioned by name.  The details that were revealed such as the fact that the Lump Sum Award (LSA) was discussed, and that the consensus (except Mike Blais) was that the LSA was deemed sufficient should not be privileged information; in fact, the veteran's community at large OUGHT to know what their stakeholder representatives are taking to the table during these discussions.  If the stakeholders were upset that it was revealed that their organization's position was against an increase to the LSA, or a return to a lifetime Disability Pension system, then perhaps they ought to re-evaluate whether they are truly representing the wishes of the members of their organizations.  The terms of reference for the Policy Advisory Group states:

If members cannot speak publicly about the positions other organizations are taking for or against various measures, then where is the openness?  The Records of Discussion for the Policy Advisory Group are a joke.  There is little to no detail about any discussion concerning the appropriateness of the amount of the Disability Award, or about any discussion concerning a return to the Disability Pension - only to a pension "option", whatever the hell that is.

Fact of the matter is, Mike Blais has, from the outset, demanded openness and transparency from the Policy Advisory Group.  The other members clearly want to operate in a cloud of secrecy, which raises a huge red flag about exactly what these other veterans group's agendas are.  If the other members of the PAG get their knickers in a bunch over the fact that Mike Blais commented in his post that he was fairly sure someone laughed when he proposed an increase in the LSA to $500K, then Mike Blais isn't the problem - the problem is with the individual who clearly shouldn't have the privilege of speaking on behalf of veterans, and can't conduct him or herself accordingly on discussions of a matter very important to wounded and injured veterans.  Mike Blais has always been completely up-front and open about what position he's taking to the table - the other organizations represented at the PAG cannot say the same.

My personal opinion?  The other members of the PAG complained using a hopelessly weak argument concerning Blais' openness with CVA members to oust a threat to their secretive ways of doing business.  If your veteran's organization can't come to the table with full disclosure about what their agenda is, then you don't belong at the table.
I can't say this loud enough, the royal Canadian legion does not speak for the majority of veterans and hasn't for years.  There is literally 1 thing that all veterans agree on and that is a return to a true pension option is the right thing to do. A 25 year old with a full sum payout would receive 750 dollars a month to live on  if he took it until he turned 65. That is not taking care of veterans for life. I don't know Mike Blais, but he is 100% in the right on this issue. If any of these other so called veterans advocacy groups don't understand this, they don't speak for veterans.

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Offline Occam

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #57 on: May 07, 2017, 13:04:10 »
Mike Blais picked a political side by jumping on the ABC Vets platform for the last election. He didn't get his way with the Liberals, and is now salty about it. Zero levels of sympathy. A real veteran's advocate would have stayed apolitical, and hit all 3 parties on their record without favouring one or another.

Remember those lies and innuendoes I was talking about?  We got one right here.

Mike Blais didn't jump on any platform.  How do I know this?  I'm an admin on their group, and I can personally tell you that myself and the other admins were instructed to delete any political posts or comments during the election period - and we did so.  Tom Beaver (ABC) was told in no uncertain terms not to post anything even remotely related to ABC in the CVA group.  And he didn't.

Mike Blais criticized the governing party - the Conservatives - from inception until election day 2015.  When the Liberals showed signs of reneging on their election promises, he criticized them too.  There was no favoritism shown to any political stripe.

And to speak to the lengths that his detractors will go to smear him - there's a photo circulating of Mike shaking hands and leaning into PM Trudeau to speak into his ear.  Without context, it looks like a hug.  The context that belongs with it is that Mike was leaning in to remind him - for a second time face-to-face - of his promise to restore the Lifetime Disability pension.  Blais posted the photo the day it happened while quoting his words to the PM, and his detractors spread it without the context.  That's pretty shady behaviour from your so-called brothers in arms.

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #58 on: May 07, 2017, 17:34:16 »
I can't say this loud enough, the royal Canadian legion does not speak for the majority of veterans and hasn't for years.  There is literally 1 thing that all veterans agree on and that is a return to a true pension option is the right thing to do. A 25 year old with a full sum payout would receive 750 dollars a month to live on  if he took it until he turned 65. That is not taking care of veterans for life. I don't know Mike Blais, but he is 100% in the right on this issue. If any of these other so called veterans advocacy groups don't understand this, they don't speak for veterans.

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Perhaps it's time that serving and ex serving members signed a petition to end the use of the RCL as a Veterans Advocate and have their government status removed? After all, they have lost their way and became a civilian club with pseudo uniform and military airs, Their focus seems to be huge gatherings of civie executive at members expense, protecting their useless poppy copyright and jet setting the Dominion Executive (of civies) around the world on junkets, along with their wives, etc. They didn't support us on life long pensions prior or after the NVC. They flip flop to whatever is more popular with the government. It's all about civies and money to them. Our service is only an excuse for them to exist. Time to remove their title.
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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #59 on: May 07, 2017, 18:36:48 »
Where do I sign.

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #60 on: May 07, 2017, 20:57:16 »
Where do I sign.
I'm in.

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #61 on: May 08, 2017, 05:14:46 »
Me as well!
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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #62 on: May 08, 2017, 07:27:51 »
Has there been a petition started?

I'm don't have enough expertise to word it, but I'll certainly sign it.
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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #63 on: May 08, 2017, 09:00:54 »
I'll sign the petition.

Sadly, the RCL and government know that serving members are restricted from signing such a petition.
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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #64 on: May 08, 2017, 09:10:37 »
Sadly, the RCL and government know that serving members are restricted from signing such a petition.

For reference,

Signing a Petition? Go or No Go?
https://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,109788.msg1215292.html#msg1215292

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #65 on: May 08, 2017, 09:56:37 »
I'll sign the petition.

Sadly, the RCL and government know that serving members are restricted from signing such a petition.

Only with regards regulations pertaining to the canadian forces.

This will no doubt set off a lengthy argument about whether the out of date relationship between the legion and the government is related to the Canadian forces or not.

I would guess any petition would have to be written so as to address that directly, but then again.

Im a civilian, as are many (most?) veterans. We can sign what we damned well please.

Alternately, if petitions aren't your thing, you can certainly write your elected representative.

I'm just not clear on exactly what I should be complaining about, except that I don't want the government to be consulting with the local dart and bingo league on matters concerning health care and compensation.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 10:15:06 by Not a Sig Op »
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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #66 on: May 08, 2017, 10:30:04 »
Sadly, the RCL and government know that serving members are restricted from signing such a petition.

Only with regards regulations pertaining to the canadian forces.

This will no doubt set off a lengthy argument about whether the out of date relationship between the legion and the government is related to the Canadian forces or not.

I would guess any petition would have to be written so as to address that directly, but then again, im a civilian, as are many (most?) veterans. We can sign what we damned well please.


I don't think that issue falls anywhere in a grey area, for a couple of reasons.  The RCL is not mentioned in the NDA.  Even the Legion says it "is a not-for-profit organization funded by membership fees, and operating without government grants or financial assistance from the government for our operations".  How could anyone argue that the issue pertains to regulations concerning the Canadian Forces, when the RCL is at arm's length from government, and membership in the RCL is not mandatory?

If VAC's numbers are correct, there are around 700,000 living veterans in Canada.  Even if you took out serving members, that's still a formidable number.  Couple that with the Legion's claims that fewer than one third of its 270,000 members are veterans.  I think the number of veterans who are fed up with the Legion's ambivalence on the advocacy front is significant.

The above is straying off-topic a little.  But to put it back on track, looking at the current composition of the VAC Policy Advisory Group, at least two out of the nine are RCL members; one is (or was) the Director of the RCL Service Bureau, and the other is the current Dominion Secretary.

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #67 on: May 08, 2017, 13:04:10 »
Couple that with the Legion's claims that fewer than one third of its 270,000 members are veterans.  I think the number of veterans who are fed up with the Legion's ambivalence on the advocacy front is significant.

Am I right in saying, where things get confusing for non-veterans (i.e., the general public) is that the Pension for Life that many veterans are looking for is in addition to CAF pension and a disability pension, it is a sum of money to supplement those who do not receive a 35-year maximum CAF pension and therefore have a lower income level and cannot work due to health issues.  For me, a $60,000/yr CAF pension and six figure Lump Sum pay-out works fine as I am 50+. I was glad to take advantage (lump-sum) now rather than amassing monthly disability cheques until it was significant.

I wonder how true their statement, "While the majority of our members (Associates) are civilians, it’s important to note that these individuals are the wives and husbands, the sons and daughters, and the grandchildren of Veterans. They have lived with Veterans and are impacted by the care our Veterans receive. They are intimately connected to Veterans and the issues affecting them."

The SOHandbook (http://www.legion.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/SOHandbook2013_e.pdf) states that the Service Bureau has been operating since 1926.  Eliminating such an embedded entity will take more than a petition.  I was trying to find a newer statistic but the last one from around 2010 showed that only 25% of retiring veterans accessed Veterans Affairs after their transition interview.



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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #68 on: May 08, 2017, 16:00:52 »
Am I right in saying, where things get confusing for non-veterans (i.e., the general public) is that the Pension for Life that many veterans are looking for is in addition to CAF pension and a disability pension, it is a sum of money to supplement those who do not receive a 35-year maximum CAF pension and therefore have a lower income level and cannot work due to health issues.  For me, a $60,000/yr CAF pension and six figure Lump Sum pay-out works fine as I am 50+. I was glad to take advantage (lump-sum) now rather than amassing monthly disability cheques until it was significant.

For clarity's sake, the Disability Pension that I am referring to is the former Disability Pension awarded under the Pension Act, pre-NVC.  The Disability Pension and Disability Award are meant to compensate for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life - and not income replacement.  The Manuge class action lawsuit proved that VAC Disability Pensions were not income and should not be clawed back against SISIP-LTD benefits.

The two pensions you refer to above in yellow are one and the same.  Comparing the Pension Act and NVC benefits is a pain in the rear sometimes.  Using your scenario under the Pension Act, sure, you could be in receipt of a $60K/yr CFSA pension, and be eligible for a monthly Disability Pension as well.  However, it's possible there are also three year 1-hook Ptes who are getting $3K/yr CFSA pensions (assuming they qualify for CPP Disability, otherwise they have to wait until age 60 to start drawing CFSA), plus a Disability Pension.  You have to use apples to apples when comparing benefits between Pension Act and NVC. 

The lump sum Disability Award is great for older veterans, who are more likely to be better off financially, with small or no mortgages, and CFSA pension income.  It also works in their favour that because they're older, they would receive fewer Disability Pension payments, so having the money "up front" as a lump sum is advantageous to them.

However, for the younger veteran, who may not be eligible for much of a CFSA pension (if any, due to the CPP Disability rule for getting the CFSA pension before 60), and who is less likely to be well-positioned in life to be financially independent, the Disability Award falls way short of the Disability Pension.

Some of the enhancements made to the NVC have closed the gap for the more seriously injured veterans.  However, there's a huge inequity for mildly to moderately injured veterans when comparing the Disability Award and Disability Pension.  Remember that I'm talking about compensation for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life - not income replacement.

Using myself as an example - I have a 16% disability that was granted under the Pension Act.  I was awarded it when I was 40 years old.  Assuming I live to be 80, that means I will have been given approximately $240K in monthly disability pension payments, not counting annual CPI adjustments to the pension.  I also have a 10% disability under the NVC, and with the initial award and the recent top-up combined, it amounted to a lump sum payout of about $35K.  To compare apples to apples, a 16% rating under the NVC would have been a lump sum of about $57.6K.  That is a HUGE difference in pain and suffering compensation.  Why is my more recent disability worth so much less compensation than my first one?

The VAC Policy Advisory Group recommended some changes that benefit severely injured veterans, which is great.  However, like the Legion, they are against a return to a monthly disability pension, and appear poised to let the government off the hook for their election promise.  The Liberal election promise was "re-establish lifelong pensions as an option for our injured veterans".  I think that has a very clear meaning to veterans who know about the Pension Act - there is only one Pension to "re-establish", and that was the Pension Act pension.  Now it turns out that the government is exploring a "lifetime pension option", but it is based on the amount of the Disability Award.  Well, we already have that - you can take your Disability Award divided up into as many months as you like, but you won't get any more money.  Smoke and mirrors.

Offline cowboy628

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #69 on: May 08, 2017, 21:15:45 »
So! Isn't the Judge making some ruling in BC!!!

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #70 on: May 08, 2017, 22:07:51 »
So! Isn't the Judge making some ruling in BC!!!

Eventually...on the government's appeal to have the case dismissed.

Offline cowboy628

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #71 on: May 08, 2017, 22:22:05 »
So we wait, wait, wait and wait. The whole process is rigged. Govt always gets what it wants. All the decision makers are Civi's. We lose. Can Hardly wait next election not that it would matter.

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #72 on: May 08, 2017, 22:49:37 »
So we wait, wait, wait and wait. The whole process is rigged. Govt always gets what it wants. All the decision makers are Civi's. We lose. Can Hardly wait next election not that it would matter.

Much like Marc Garneau stated Canadians need to know what the actual costs of defense are, so to do they need to know what the actual costs of taking care of our wounded are. That care involves lifetime pensions at a similar pre-release salary.

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #73 on: May 08, 2017, 22:56:18 »
Much like Marc Garneau stated Canadians need to know what the actual costs of defense are, so to do they need to know what the actual costs of taking care of our wounded are. That care involves lifetime pensions at a similar pre-release salary.

Neither the Pension Act Disability Pension nor any likely future abomination have been tied to salary at release.  The old Disability Pension was based entirely upon degree of disability and degree of attribution to military service.

Now income replacement benefits, like ELB, I believe are tied to the rank on release.

Offline Tcm621

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Re: Return to Pension for Life?
« Reply #74 on: May 08, 2017, 23:31:31 »
For clarity's sake, the Disability Pension that I am referring to is the former Disability Pension awarded under the Pension Act, pre-NVC.  The Disability Pension and Disability Award are meant to compensate for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life - and not income replacement.  The Manuge class action lawsuit proved that VAC Disability Pensions were not income and should not be clawed back against SISIP-LTD benefits.

The two pensions you refer to above in yellow are one and the same.  Comparing the Pension Act and NVC benefits is a pain in the rear sometimes.  Using your scenario under the Pension Act, sure, you could be in receipt of a $60K/yr CFSA pension, and be eligible for a monthly Disability Pension as well.  However, it's possible there are also three year 1-hook Ptes who are getting $3K/yr CFSA pensions (assuming they qualify for CPP Disability, otherwise they have to wait until age 60 to start drawing CFSA), plus a Disability Pension.  You have to use apples to apples when comparing benefits between Pension Act and NVC. 

The lump sum Disability Award is great for older veterans, who are more likely to be better off financially, with small or no mortgages, and CFSA pension income.  It also works in their favour that because they're older, they would receive fewer Disability Pension payments, so having the money "up front" as a lump sum is advantageous to them.

However, for the younger veteran, who may not be eligible for much of a CFSA pension (if any, due to the CPP Disability rule for getting the CFSA pension before 60), and who is less likely to be well-positioned in life to be financially independent, the Disability Award falls way short of the Disability Pension.

Some of the enhancements made to the NVC have closed the gap for the more seriously injured veterans.  However, there's a huge inequity for mildly to moderately injured veterans when comparing the Disability Award and Disability Pension.  Remember that I'm talking about compensation for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life - not income replacement.

Using myself as an example - I have a 16% disability that was granted under the Pension Act.  I was awarded it when I was 40 years old.  Assuming I live to be 80, that means I will have been given approximately $240K in monthly disability pension payments, not counting annual CPI adjustments to the pension.  I also have a 10% disability under the NVC, and with the initial award and the recent top-up combined, it amounted to a lump sum payout of about $35K.  To compare apples to apples, a 16% rating under the NVC would have been a lump sum of about $57.6K.  That is a HUGE difference in pain and suffering compensation.  Why is my more recent disability worth so much less compensation than my first one?

The VAC Policy Advisory Group recommended some changes that benefit severely injured veterans, which is great.  However, like the Legion, they are against a return to a monthly disability pension, and appear poised to let the government off the hook for their election promise.  The Liberal election promise was "re-establish lifelong pensions as an option for our injured veterans".  I think that has a very clear meaning to veterans who know about the Pension Act - there is only one Pension to "re-establish", and that was the Pension Act pension.  Now it turns out that the government is exploring a "lifetime pension option", but it is based on the amount of the Disability Award.  Well, we already have that - you can take your Disability Award divided up into as many months as you like, but you won't get any more money.  Smoke and mirrors.
The pain and suffering is definitely what is missing from the NVC. I am in a great deal of pain but actually pretty mobile considering all my injuries. I am in the middle of a shoulder claim and while I have reduced range of motion, the the real problem is that I am in pain every day, have trouble falling asleep most night and can't sleep all together some nights. The effects of pain on cognition are pretty well studied but we don't account for the detrimental effects it has and will continue to have for life. I got 10% for my knee but a strong case could be made for the fact that is cost me many times that in lost future earnings (long story) not to mention the mental anguish of having your career held up for years with no hope for advancement.



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