Author Topic: SISIP LTD Class Action settled (and follow-up on claw-back)  (Read 236725 times)

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Offline bossi

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(wonder how many others have the mistaken impression SISIP would look after them ... ?)

Support grows for major who lost legs on duty
Calls for military compensation
 
Heather Sokoloff 
National Post
Monday, July 22, 2002
 
Major Bruce Henwood was given a peacekeeping medal in 2000 by Gov.-Gen. Adrienne Clarkson. He would also like to be given compensation.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
A campaign is growing to force the government to compensate an Armed Forces major who lost both his legs during a 1995 peacekeeping mission in Croatia.

Major Bruce Henwood‘s legs were blown off below the knee by a land mine while he was on patrol as a United Nations observer.

He was shocked to discover he would receive nothing from the Department of Defence after his injuries ended his 23-year career.

"This is a moral issue the military has to deal with," said Maj. Henwood, 45, who lives in Calgary with his wife and three children. "The last thing any commander would want is his soldier, in the back of his mind, thinking, am I going to be taken care of if I get injured? Is my family going to be OK?"

Art Hanger, the former Alliance defence critic, has lent his support to the cause, as have the Royal Canadian Legion and the War Amps of Canada. Retired Colonel Don Ethell, a highly decorated peacekeeper, and retired Brigadier-General Joe Sharpe, also have voiced their support for Maj. Henwood.

Though Maj. Henwood has been lobbying the government since 1998, the issue, mired by complex insurance regulations, has received little attention. However, public sympathy towards the military has warmed since four Canadian soldiers were killed and eight injured by a U.S. bomb in Afghanistan.

"The vast majority of people have been, shall we say, educated, with these events. They now understand what military personnel go through," says retired Major General Lewis Mackenzie, who commanded the UN troops during the siege of Sarajevo in 1992.

Maj. Henwood assumed his injury would entitle him to an award from the Service Income Security Insurance Plan (SISIP), the department‘s mandatory insurance scheme. Instead, he discovered his Forces pension and disability benefits, about 75% of his military income, cancelled access to SISIP benefits.

He is asking the government to overhaul SISIP, bringing the dismemberment benefits in line with most private-sector plans. He wants a lump-sum payment that recognizes his injury has diminished his earning potential.

Maj. Henwood says organizations such as the Royal Bank or Dalhousie University pay severely injured employees a lump sum of several times their annual salary as compensation, in addition to disability benefits. Even members of Parliament are entitled to a lump sum payment of $250,000.

"I‘m not an insurance expert. I‘m just a guy that got blown up," Maj. Henwood said. "But losing your legs should be worth something."
« Last Edit: October 10, 2012, 15:13:34 by milnews.ca »
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Harry

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2002, 23:04:00 »
From my own experience and that of an Investigator dealing with complaints regarding SISIP, ladies and gents, the policies are not worth the ink wasted to sign them.  I remember in Battle School being told that SISIP and specifically, LTD where not optional, I like everyone else had to sign on whether I wanted to or not.

SISIP, AKA, Maritime Life make a phenomenal return on the investment provided by the rank and file of the CF and DND.  Especially in light of the fact that the stats clearly indicate that they pay out very few claims and those that they do are meager at best.

Not bad for a bunch of retired CF members who work for and administer the so-called SERVICE.

Reminds me of the time a full Col explained to me in no uncertain terms that the CANEX is for the rank and file and no one benefited from the profits.  This in light of his sitting on the board or whatever they call it and he received whatever annual cash dividend, reward, honorarium or what ever they called it.

I was always lead to believe that SISIP, LTD and after my release, CAR where good programs and if anything ever went wrong medically, I (like everyone else) would be taken care of.  I only have to follow the story of Bruce Henwood and realize that these programs benefit someone, just not those who need it.

UBIQUE

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Offline bubba

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2002, 19:19:00 »
sisip sucks///my buddy has ptsd,from to many tours.they told him his long term dissability is only good 4 2years.i always was told ltd was 4 life.they told him they changed there policy after96 or 98 to 2years,instead of 4life,i guess alot of guys are claiming it(ha,ha)they just want the premium,they dont want to pay out.they should be charged for false representation to the men,women who serve this country///bubba  :fifty:
attitude it ain't on the kit list,but ya better have one!!

Offline George Wallace

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2005, 08:54:19 »
I just received a disturbing e-mail that will probably affect all serving and former members of the CF. 
Quote
Subject: Supplementary Death Benefits - Canadian Army (Regular)

Dear   Garry and Stephen, As a Canadian Soldier, I  have been paying into SDB every month since I was 17 and still do each month  through my Army Pension - On the 14 Nov 1958 I swore on the bible and red ensign Canadian  flag that I was prepared to give my life in defence of HMQE2 and my country Canada.  This year I will turn 65 and find out  that there is still another claw back to my NOK benefits and it has been reduced by 10% each year since I was aged 60.  When Prime Minister Paul Martin was Finance Minister he took 16.6 billion dollars out of our pension fund so there is no way the Government can say there was no funds to keep paying SDB, or even to give raises in our Army Pensions. To say that would be a lie.  Again it shows what the liberal  politicians think abut those who were willing to lay their lives on the line for Canada.  If I had died before aged 60 my wife would have received double my retirement salary from SDB and it would have been used to bury me and help her in her old age.  This year half of the SDB will already have been clawed back through sneaky legislation  and although I want the SDB deductions from my Army  pension cheque to continue just  in case there is enough left over  to perhaps bury me?, and therefore  I won't become a burden on my family who are all struggleing in this high cost modern world- Why should my wife be left with little or few benefits and little support?   It is very very  sad to see what is happening to our benefits!    I see that arguments have been won in court to collect the SDB benefits, but why should old soldiers and their families have to go to court to collect what is rightfully theirs?  If the PCs get into power will they right this wrong? Hopefully there will be enough left in the kitty to pay for a flag, my coffin, a plot and my stone? There appears to be nothing left for my beloved wife.   Blessings Billy http://iwvpa.net/willbondwha/
 
I received the following from an Army buddy who got it from the Sigs Club of Canada - one has to be a lawyer to keep up with the nitpicking and  chipping away at our meagre benefits and some people have hired legal representation  and won, but one has to ask the question why should this litigation action have to be taken to  receive  paid for benefits?  The Liberals have a habit of changing the rules after the fact and that is just not right!
 
In early Sept. 2005 oral arguments were presented at both the Public Service Class Action and the Canadian Forces Class Action concerning the Supplementary Death Benefits (SDB).  The actions went to trial on the common issues at the Law Courts in Vancouver on 13 June 2005.
 
Under the Public Service Superannuation Act (PSSA) and the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA), a Supplementary Death Benefit is payable to beneficiaries of deceased federal Public Servants and Canadian Forces members.   Until late 1999 the amount of the benefit payable was reduced by
10% per year for covered members who died after age 60.  Since 1999, the
10% yearly reduction under the PSSA applies after age 65, rather than age 60.
 
The class actions challenge the age-related benefit reduction as discriminatory, contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. A similar case brought on an individual basis in the Federal Court of Canada by Mrs. Ruth Margolis resulted in a favourable judgement for the plaintiff. The class actions are brought on behalf of all members insured under the SDB program.
 
Basically what happened was the lady retiree in B.C. sued and won.   Her death benefits were not reduced.   As you know it is twice the amount of salary we were making at the time of retiring.
 
The counter-claim by the govt. says that it would bankrupt the system if it were to be paid out in fully.   I think an actuary quoted 1.8 billion dollars.
 
If you want the full story and court rulings, go to the legal website that is handling the case.   It is   www.branmac.com <http://www.branmac.com/> and then click on class actions.
   

It appears to be a legitimate email.  For further information, here is a link to the Class Action Suit being filed by Branch McMaster Barristers & Solicitors:  http://www.branmac.com/classactions/deathbenefits.htm

Many thanks to the Liberals for taking such fine care of us with their moral and ethical fiscal policies. 

{Edit}   Something has to be done with that "  ¦nbsp " code problem.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2005, 13:39:15 by George Wallace »
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Offline RedSash

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2005, 13:15:48 »

My mum and dad were talking about this last night. My dad spent 35 yrs in the Air Force and retired as a WO and is pushing 65 yrs of age. If he dies in the next couple of years my mum will receive some money, and once he hits 65 it is going to be pennies! It makes you wonder why we pay into this all of our careers. I know it is there for serving members in order to take care of loved ones when we are gone, but what about our retired members and vets that have served. Once again the insurance industry is there to take our money, but does not want to give any back when the time comes!
EVERY MAN THINKS MEANLY OF HIMSELF FOR NOT HAVING BEEN A SOLDIER!     Samuel Johnson 1709-1779

Offline George Wallace

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2005, 13:19:39 »
....... Once again the insurance industry is there to take our money, but does not want to give any back when the time comes!
On that note...I suppose I should start a thread on the latest from SISIP.    >:(
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Offline MIKsam

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2005, 17:24:30 »
What is being said is true.... having gone through an SDB claim recently, (in June..) I got my husbands last year of wages. X2 and then, since he passed away at age 63, they took 30% off the calculation... SDB is reduced 10% per year after age 60, so by age 70 it is GONE... nada, nothing... just thought I would comment from recent experience... He was a M/Cpl, served 24.5 years, retired in 1982.. His last years pay was about $21,000   so you do the calculations of what I actually got... not much.

While he was in the service SISIP was formed.. it was explained as a job insurance to the guys at that time.. he did not take SISIP because of all the clawbacks that had happened... so no SISIP for his wife... life can be so much fun can't it?   And we will not talk about DVA... believe me please.. .DND does not look after you. While in the service,  when you retire or when you die... Be informed so you can take the time to set things up to protect your family.

My daughter lost her spouse in 2001, he had SISIP, SISIP seemed to be a good way but I am not sure now with the new changes.. read it all very carefully...
Grow up in a military family and that is the life you know... FOREVER

Offline 284_226

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2007, 08:49:27 »
Shared in accordance with the "fair dealing" provisions, Section 29, of the Copyright Act.

http://www.thechronicleherald.ca/Front/565818.html

Ex-soldier filing class-action lawsuit against Ottawa over disability pension clawback
By CHRIS LAMBIE Staff Reporter

A former army Ironman competitor has launched a proposed class-action lawsuit that could cost the federal government hundreds of millions of dollars.

In October 2000, Dennis Manuge was working as a mechanic on an armoured vehicle at CFB Petawawa in Ontario when he fell about three metres, breaking a small bone in his back.

Mr. Manuge, who now lives in Porters Lake, is suing because Ottawa clawed back about $10,000 of his disability pension for two years after he was released from the military.

"This is not about the money," he said Tuesday.

"Unless we get damages awarded to us, by the time legal fees are paid, I’ll be lucky to see $5,000."

But other more severely disabled vets are seeing much more money clawed back, Mr. Manuge said.

"Some of these guys are losing $1,500 or $2,000 a month," he said, adding the toll it’s taken on their families has been horrendous.

Mr. Manuge, 37, has written to scads of politicians, including Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor, to complain about the clawback.

"To this day, all I received from the minister of national defence is a postcard with the crest of the Canadian Forces on one side and, on the back, it simply says, ‘The minister has received your correspondence,’ " he said.

"After breaking my back for this country and for him and everybody else, that’s what he and his staff thought of me."

The former corporal’s back injury causes him considerable pain. In 2002, while still in the army, he started receiving a $444 monthly disability pension equivalent to 20 per cent of his pay.

"I got my entire Canadian Forces pay, plus my disability pension," Mr. Manuge said.

But that changed when he was released from the Forces in December 2003 for medical reasons.

Under the military’s insurance plan, which everyone in uniform must join, Mr. Manuge was entitled to three-quarters of his former income for two years because he had become too physically disabled to do his job.

The plan takes into account all relevant sources of income and only pays the amount that takes a person up to the 75 per cent level, according to a recent letter that military ombudsman Yves Cote wrote to Mr. O’Connor.

"Most notably, and in my view problematically, (the plan) considers monthly Pension Act disability pensions as a ‘relevant source of income’ and deducts such pensions from the amount that would otherwise be paid to the former Canadian Forces member," Mr. Cote wrote.

The ombudsman’s office investigated after receiving more than 50 complaints.

"Complainants argued that it was unfair that disability pensions were considered as a source of income under the (plan’s) formula, when the purpose of the disability pension was not to act as income replacement but to compensate them for the pain and suffering they had endured as a result of becoming disabled while serving their country," Mr. Cote wrote.

The ombudsman’s office eventually agreed that was "profoundly unfair." It recommended the military stop clawing back the money and that former Forces personnel who had their benefits reduced due to disability pensions be reimbursed for amounts deducted since October 2000, when the pension scheme in question was instituted.

The ombudsman said the cost of those changes is estimated to be $320 million.

The lawsuit, which has not yet been certified by a judge as a class action, also seeks punitive, exemplary and aggravated damages. It argues the clawback deprives former soldiers of their charter right to live free from discrimination.

As early as 2003, the ombudsman told the government it wasn’t fair to treat former soldiers who lost their jobs due to a disability differently than those who were injured but could still serve.

"I think it’s a righteous claim," said Peter Driscoll, the Dartmouth lawyer handling Mr. Manuge’s case.

The pension scheme was changed last year.

But there are still people in uniform collecting disability pensions who could see them clawed back if they are terminated, Mr. Driscoll said.

And there are thousands of people who lost pension benefits between 2000 and 2006, he said.

In the past five days, he’s heard from more than 100 of them, including dozens in Nova Scotia, who are keen to join the lawsuit filed March 15 in Federal Court.

The government has 30 days to file a defence.

A Justice Department spokesman refused comment on the case.

Mr. Manuge joined the military in August 1994. He spent nearly a decade in the army, including a tour in Bosnia in 2001 after he was injured.

While Mr. Manuge’s physical activities are now limited to walking and Pilates exercises, in 1999 he participated in the army’s Ironman race. That involved carrying an 18-kilogram pack while marching and running 33 kilometres, carrying a canoe 4.3 kilometres, paddling the craft 7.5 kilometres and lugging the pack another 5.5 kilometres. He completed the race in eight hours and 40 minutes.

"To go from that level of physical fitness to a physical disability and be given absolutely zero respect or consideration from the government, to me it’s criminal," Mr. Manuge said. "It’s absolutely unacceptable."

( clambie@herald.ca)

Offline geo

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2007, 09:05:43 »
-1 to DND & the CF
this is mucking around in someone's pension - for no good reason.
a dissability pension IS NOT a benefit & should not be treated as such.
Chimo!

Offline GUNS

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2007, 10:00:29 »
A civilian who is on long term disability(LTD) and receives taxable income outside of his/her LTD. Will have an amount equal to the amount of taxable income clawed-back.

There is no justice for disabled people whether they be soldiers or civilians.
When I do right, no one remembers.
When I do wrong, no one forgets.

Offline geo

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2007, 13:01:44 »
... two wrongs doesn't make a right IMHO
Chimo!

Offline 3rd Horseman

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2007, 19:56:19 »
   This has been fought before and put on hold awaiting the CFs insurance agents and CFs position on it. Still waiting. This is just one more case to possibly cause the CF and in particular the CDS (who is the designated policy holder of LTD SISIP) to decide to change the claw back of DVA pain and suffering money from the unfortunate soldiers who have been injured.

  Past arguments have been going in a slightly different direction then this recent case. My position in a past action was that since the DVA money was not a pension and was specifically named as a {gift of Canada for Pain and suffering} and was not taxable that it should fall within the normal civi parameters of a pain and suffering grant and that it is not calculated in the insurance LTD SISIP calculations of disability claw back.

  The example sited as argument for was as follows:

  Ford worker is injured at the factory, he is fully disabled due to fault of company and is pensioned off as a medical pension. He gets his Ford pension reduced to the current years (like us) and he gets his pay topped up by a Long Term Disability Plan, (Like us). Funny too as it is the same insurer as we have. He then sues the company and wins an award and gets x $ for pain and suffering and X $ for lost earnings. His lost earnings award is clawed back as that is the insurance company's money as they are paying out the lost wages as part of the LTD plan. He keeps his full pain and suffering award as it is non taxable and has nothing to do with income replacement just pain and suffering.

  Sounds good to me too bad it sounds silly to the CDS, the policy holder.

  This issue went to treasury board as they hold the purse strings on this issue and the word I got was that all, DVA, LTD SISIP and CDS including MND and Treasury board were on side. They just needed the legislation to change the rules.

Time is a-wasting and so are we who are injured.   
Sanctuary is as hard to find and as difficult to walk on as a razors edge

Offline battleaxe

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2007, 21:05:10 »
A civilian who is on long term disability(LTD) and receives taxable income outside of his/her LTD. Will have an amount equal to the amount of taxable income clawed-back.


SISIP (unlike the scenario above) only claws back %50 of any taxable income earned while on LTD (up until the point that I make as much as pre-disability, then it is all taken). I'm on LTD, yet earn a little extra by working out of home.  I just submit my earnings every month and they claw back half. Works well, I think- there is still incentive to work because I still get to keep the extra that I make and I still have the security of the disability plan for my famly while I deal with my illness.

Having my VAC clawed back stings, however, especially given that the claw back does not apply to those not on LTD or to those receiving the new lump sum disability awards as per the New Charter.  I get why Manuge is upset.

For those interested, the law firm involved has posted the class action suit on it's website at http://boyneclarke.ns.ca/news/sisip/.

Now my questions on the subject:

In this class action suit- how much of the recovered disability earnings will actually go to the lawyers in the end? Does anybody know how this will work?

I know they are aksing for info on anyone who wants to join the class action suit.  And I also know that there are many affected by this situation-me being one of them.

What I want to know-self serving as it may seem- is whether or not it is better to join the class and the legal fight or wait until the Treasury Board and DND and SISIP and VAC all get their collective crap together and change the policy.

Manuge is fighting a good fight for all people in this situation and my thanks go out to him for doing it.  I hope he doesn't end up losing on something that will end up benefitting many others. Getting the spotlight onto this issue might speed up the process of changing the present policy.  Many, yes including me, can now simply wait for the dust to settle and the policy to change. And we won't have to share anything with the lawyers.

Any thoughts on this? Is my thinking correct on this?


Offline 3rd Horseman

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2007, 08:14:49 »
Battleaxe,

  Boyne Clark is my legal team and what I know of them and how they operate is that 30% goes to the legal team from the total award amount. Since this is such a sensitive award I would suggest that, they (Boyne Clark) will ask for legal to be paid by the crown outside of the straight award. This will leave the lions share going to the troops, if that occurs you can bet that damages will not be granted just actual claw back owing.
  You can normally get in on a class action like this by putting a little cash down as a retainer in the past it has been 1,500 to 5,000 as a rough guess.

  On the issue of DVA giving 10% grants and SISIP giving higher ones I see the opposite as the big issue, DVA gives a full disability (85% to 100%) and SISIP gives zero.
Sanctuary is as hard to find and as difficult to walk on as a razors edge

Offline 3rd Herd

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2007, 13:49:33 »
3rd,
Given the time involved getting a class action suit before the courts, receiving a decision then the numerous appeals available to those involved will it be our grand children or great grand children that finally get the award ? ;)
"if he was to be hanged for it, he told his brother, he could not accuse a man whom he believed had meant well, and whose error was one of judgment, not of intention"
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Offline battleaxe

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2007, 15:10:04 »
Battleaxe,

  Boyne Clark is my legal team and what I know of them and how they operate is that 30% goes to the legal team from the total award amount. Since this is such a sensitive award I would suggest that, they (Boyne Clark) will ask for legal to be paid by the crown outside of the straight award. This will leave the lions share going to the troops, if that occurs you can bet that damages will not be granted just actual claw back owing.
  You can normally get in on a class action like this by putting a little cash down as a retainer in the past it has been 1,500 to 5,000 as a rough guess.

  On the issue of DVA giving 10% grants and SISIP giving higher ones I see the opposite as the big issue, DVA gives a full disability (85% to 100%) and SISIP gives zero.

3rd,

Thanks for the info...I guess I'm just leery of the whole legal thing.
I've sent my share of letters (like Manuge, I have letters from the MND and VAC that state they've received my correspondence-but have yet to receive a real response), and have kept an eye on the situation.  There are many people working on this- MPs, the Ombudsman-and there are many of us that are biding our time, waiting for the policy to change through the work that they're doing.  Maybe I'm wrong to think it will, or just stupidly naive- but I do think that something so fundamentally flawed will have to be put right at some point.
If this class action goes through, and if it is successful, the claw back policy will change.  Won't it have to? Only those who join the class action are in jeopardy of losing part of what is their due (I hope, as you say, that they do go after the crown for legal costs). The rest- those like me who have just chosen to wait it out, unwillingly to commit financially to the fight out of fear of losing more- may benefit, it seems, more than those who are willing to take the risk.

I guess what I'm trying to ask, quite bluntly, is this: Is the class action suit being started in order to fight a fight that is already in the process of being won?  The publicity generated by the suit may speed up the process a bit, but will it change the eventual outcome?  That's what I'll have to research a bit more and become more comfortable with before deciding to join in on this thing.

I hope it works out for you all. What you're doing will help many others... and I'd like to say I had the courage to join you immediatetly. Recent events, however, have made me way cautious. I'm content to wait for a bit on this one.

As for the disparity in SISIP vs. VAC disability awards- are you talking about SISIP LTD?

I was referring to Long Term Disability- that SISIP is extending long term disability benefits past the normal two years because of extensive illness and yet VAC is giving low percentage assessments for the same illnesses.

Are you saying that you're seeing VAC give high disability assessments and yet SISIP is stopping LTD disability payments after the initial 24 months after release? Or is it another SISIP payout (lump sum type like ADIP-Accidental Dismemberment Insurance Program) that you're referring to?

Just to clarify...this interests me because SISIP and VAC are beginning to overlap benefits- ie. VAC now has the Economic Loss Benefits Program which will kick in for certain people if SISIP runs out. I beginning to wonder sometimes if SISIP and VAC aren't both sitting back and saying- "I'm not going to pay that because the other guy will".

It's getting awfully confusing...
Bren

Offline battleaxe

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2007, 14:21:30 »
Another article on the situation:

http://www.hfxnews.ca/index.cfm?sid=19519&sc=93.

I still can't help but think that Boyne Clarke has picked up a case that's already in the process of being won.  Anybody else?

Bren

Offline schart28

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2007, 22:50:48 »
The Hill Times, July 30th, 2007
LETTERS

We need a public commission of inquiry into treatment of disabled veterans, says Canadian veteran
Re: "Disabled CF veterans proceed with class action suit against government," (The Hill Times, June 18, p. 1). We need the public's help in the most desperate way. We Canadian Forces Disabled Veterans are struggling, daily, to survive physically, mentally, and economically due to the appalling disrespect and neglect at the hands of the Conservative Government of Canada.

We are yelling out loud for your help.

The Service Income Security Insurance Plan (SISIP) and Veterans Affairs Canada are allowing us to be robbed of disability pensions and other monies that have been earned with blood, sweat, and tears during service to this great nation. We are losing our families, houses, going bankrupt, and struggling to get services and assistance from the two organizations, SISIP and VAC, that are supposed to be our main avenues of support.

How much more self-respect and dignity do we need to give up and sacrifice before you, the general public, help us and stand beside us in this life and death struggle for survival?

Together we can demand a public commission of inquiry into how disabled veterans have been and continue to be treated.

Dennis Manuge

Porter's Lake, N.S.

(The letter-writer has initiated a class action lawsuit in Federal Court in Halifax, N.S., against the Crown and is trying to reclaim about $10,000 of his disability pension.)
******************
a part time soldier with a full time problem

http://www.canadianveteransadvocacy.com/index.html

Offline DBA

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2007, 15:33:26 »
What it's about: long term SISIP disability benefits are clawed back by the amount of any disability pension provided by the federal government. Similar packages in some other government departments don't have the same claw back provisions. For all the emotional tugging in the letter that fact was made plain to me when I was given a SISIP presentation long ago. It was offered as a 'top up' for when you considered the base benefits too low for your needs and to cover more situations. That the package of benefits offered by SISIP don't match other departments seems reasonable since each should be tuned to the needs and desires of members of that department.
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Offline Zip

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2007, 13:58:01 »
The fact that the person who wrote this letter did not point out that this claw-back has always been in place, and instead chooses to level an unfair accusation at a single political party shows that he is interested in more than getting an administrative injustice corrected. 

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Offline retiredgrunt45

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2007, 10:10:56 »
I for one was made well aware about the claw back on my SCAN in 96, so it shouldn't be of any surprise to anyone. I was awarded LTD SISIP, a VA pension and my military pension was fully indexed upon release after serving my 23 years. That adds upto 75% of my salary until i turn retirement age. Would I like more money? Who wouldn't? The system is not setup to make anyone rich, it's there to provide the former member a reasonable amount of money in order to live comfortably, which I do. Want more buy a lottery ticket.

I often hear of members being released and complaining about, how are they going to  possible pay for a that new house, new vehicle or whatever they just purchased on this amount of money.  Sorry but that's your problem, not the systems. Move to a smaller house, buy a good used vehicle and thin out your wallet of some of that plastic that we all cherish so much. It's called being responsible for ones own destiny. I have no problems with either the VA or SISIP. Both my case managers are outstanding individuals and do a bang up job of taking care of my needs. When I joined we had to pay into our own SISIP premiums, thank God my Sgt/Major told me to sign on the dotted line and forget about it and that's exactly what I did. Now its automatic when you join, DND pays your premiums for you, so if one does get injured your taken care of.  I think some people are just not happy unless they have something to complain about. 

No I didn't ask to get injured, but I did and nothing is going to change that, suck it up, because that's life. I had to make some hard choices and changes to my life afterwards, but again that's life. We do what we have to do and that is just the way it is. I thank my lucky stars I have LTD benefits, otherwise I'd be living in a cardboard box on a street called somewhere.

Ask anyone in the private sector, how much they get if they get injured and can't return back to work, workman's comp may last a few years and unless you have a big fat insurance policy to cash in, they have 0, zilch, Nada thing. Makes you wonder who's getting the shaft...
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Offline battleaxe

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2007, 11:54:24 »
I for one was made well aware about the claw back on my SCAN in 96, so it shouldn't be of any surprise to anyone. I was awarded LTD SISIP, a VA pension and my military pension was fully indexed upon release after serving my 23 years. That adds upto 75% of my salary until i turn retirement age. Would I like more money? Who wouldn't? The system is not setup to make anyone rich, it's there to provide the former member a reasonable amount of money in order to live comfortably, which I do. Want more buy a lottery ticket.

 I thank my lucky stars I have LTD benefits, otherwise I'd be living in a cardboard box on a street called somewhere.


I too am thankful for LTD benefits- and my family has adapted well to life after my release. We’ve downsized, and have learned to live within the financial limits set by the 75% SISIP LTD provides.  I am also grateful for the pension I earned after 17 years in the CF, and that VAC acknowledges responsibility for my disability and medical care.

However (there is always a however to these things), I will never sit back and be smug about the position I find myself in.  My SISIP LTD was extended past the initial 2 year period due to the extent of my disability- but I know that not every released soldier can count on the same type of continuing support. 

I know that I have to badger physicians and specialists every year to provide medical documentation for continuing SISIP support (don’t you?)…and I also know that, for many, SISIP is nothing more than a glorified EI system that is abruptly stopped , for many, two years after release- irregardless of whether they are re-employed after release or not.

I can sit back and be thankful that, after 17 years in the CF, 75% of my wages upon release still amounts to a fair chunk of change.  However, many soldiers are released after 3, 5, or 10 years in, and 75% of their wages may not be adequate to care for their families and meet current financial obligations.

I am thankful that I was released later in life and career, after I had created a financial cushion for myself, had equity and savings and training and experience to fall back on.  However…I can still feel for younger people who are disabled and released- in the middle of the process of life and family- who may struggle to meet financial commitments despite the supports in place.

And…I can see how it may irk some people (like Manuge) to know that there are some people able to work full time and receive their full VAC pensions with no restrictions (cripes, there are still people working full time in the military and getting their VAC disability awards and pensions free and clear- because it is not supposed to be considered income) while his, because he is on SISIP and unable to work, is considered income and clawed back. This is what Manuge’s fight is about- why VAC is considered income for some (those on SISIP) but not others.

The topic of SISIP and VAC clawbacks has been done on this forum-I won’t get into it farther.  I just wanted to point out that, with issues such as this, it doesn't hurt to look at all sides of it.  When you look at this issue- do not look at it from the perspective of someone who has their 20 plus years in- or even 15 years in. 

What would have happened to you and yours if your medical release had occurred when you had 7 years in? 11? If SISIP had decided to discontinue your benefits?

That’s how I choose to look at this issue…because I know that I am very lucky to have been released when I was...and I realize I would have been in a world of hurt if it had happened ten years earlier.

Last thought:  Manuge is fighting a fight that may benefit many of us.  I’ve lost my VAC benefits (award, pension, whatever they call it?) for the entire time I’ve been on SISIP.  I haven't made a big stink about it, even though I think the policy is bizarre and unfair-never had the time or energy to fight the bureaucracy. Will I, however, turn down a back payment of those benefits if Manuge wins the class action suit and the clawback policy is ever changed? No.

I'm just curious- and I know this sounds confrontational but I can't think of a nice way to ask it, so I'm sorry but- will you?

Bren


Offline Greymatters

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2007, 13:22:28 »
Have to agree with Manuge, treating VA as income only benefits the insurance company, not the soldier.  Valid points when you consider that the VA is supposed to compensate you for not being able to fully perform a job due to injury, then SISIP uses that as an excuse not to pay money you need as income bacause you are still injured or in the middle of retraining. 

Offline retiredgrunt45

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2007, 15:11:04 »
I to can understand the plight some members who only have 3-7-10 years of service and suddenly being medically released, My post was not meant for these members. My post was meant for the ones who have their time in 20+ and get medically released and still complain about the benefits.

 I do see both sides, but I also see former members who are drawing LTD pensions and claiming to be disabled working full time and then complaining their benefits are being clawed back by SISIP. If you can work full time, why should you be drawing the benefits in the first place. These LTD SISIP benefits are called (loss of wage benefits) and were designed for those of us who can't work any longer in a full time capacity. If everyone claiming this benefit did this, but weren't penalized, the money would quickly quickly dry up.

Some people refuse to admit that they are abusing the system, but complain the loudest.

Sorry but one can't have it both ways.
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Offline GUNS

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Re: SISIP LTD Class Action
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2007, 19:21:10 »
Men, your situation is no different than civilians. As a soldier I was fully aware of my benefits or lack there of, when I joined. Yet, I stayed in. I left the military of sound body and sound mind(questionable). I was lucky to land a good job as a mechanic. At the ripe old age of 52 I became very sick and was forced to retire at 55 due to my illness.

I went on LTD from my company's insurance provider. Not nice! Hounded to death by the insurance provided to apply for Canada Pension (Medical). I applied to get the insurance provider off my back. When I was accepted for CP Disability, the insurance provider clawed back every cent.

Any taxable income that comes my way will be clawed back by the insurance provider. So your situation is not unique. My point of view on this is, I paid x number of dollars a month for LTD benefits which would be 80% of Take-Home, Tax Free. With the Claw-Back policy, the insurance provider is legally ripping me off of money that I paid for.

No matter how hard you fight for something, someone will always find a means to block your way. Most anyone can do is keep fighting.
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