GUARDS HELP - A TIME TO CARE
September 14, 2011 Update
THE BUREAU OF PENSIONS ADVOCATES -->Click here
The Royal Canadian Legion Service Officers-->Click here
Click-->Link to Veterans Affairs and Disability Pension info
GUARDS HELP UPDATE- January 14, 2008
The current Chair of the Guards Help Committee is Percy Price who can be contacted via the Secretary.
GUARDS HELP UPDATE- December 22 2005
Merve Olinik was today appointed a Director of the Association and Chairman of the Guards Help Committee by a quorum of the BOD. Merve will replace John Trethewey who asked, at the Oct 05 AGM, to be replaced.
GUARDS HELP UPDATE- January 2005
I am forwarding the enclosed message with Mr. John Morrison's permission to clarify any confusion that may have occurred by the distribution of his recent email on Section 35(1) of the Pension Act (Stabilization clause). As you will read, his intent was to clarify the policy, not to discredit the information presented in my initial query dated 03 Jan 2005.
The good news is that we are now aware that there is a stabilization clause in the Pension Act and we are are also now more aware of it's content.
Please pass this information on through your networks for clarity.
Harold Leduc Veterans Affairs Liaison Officer Immediate Past National President
Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association www.cpva.ca
-------- Original Message -------- Subject: Information on Pensions
Date: Sat, 8 Jan 2005 From: John Morrison <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In order to stop any confusion that may have occurred, can we please provide widest distribution of the following:
In order not confuse members on pension benefits prior to and after the age 55 I proved the following. There is a present day policy in VAC (Veterans Affairs Canada) that states when an individual has been in receipt of their pension for a period of three years and they have attained the age of 55 years, that, that pension is deemed to be stabilized and the amount will not be subjected to reductions.
First, let us assume that we have a young Veteran of 35 years of age who has received a 15% pension for a bad right knee with Osteoarthritis. Now this member is talking with his buddies and learns that one of them who he feels has a knee less severe than his is getting a 20% pension. With this in mind he applies for a new pension medical with VAC and in doing so the examining doctor feels the members knee is getting better and lowers the pension to 10%, VAC will action this and reduce the amount of monthly pension payable.. This is allowed within the present guidelines. The only recourse the member will have is an appeal of that decision.
However, in another example of this individual with Osteoarthritis of the right knee, lets say they are pensioned at a rate of 20 %. They have had that amount of money paid to them for three years and they are now over 55. That amount is now stabilized, and cannot be reduced. If this same individual was to have the right knee replaced and in doing so feel their pension should be increased, because of the surgery, they would go to VAC and ask for a new assessment medical. When the medical is conducted the doctor may say, according to their guidelines, that the individual should only be pensioned at 15% vice the 20% they were at. As they meet the criteria for a stabilized pension, this amount will not be reduced and the 20% will be paid, even though the doctor feels 15% is a better assessment.
Now another example, the member is clearly over 55 years of age, lets say 65 years old, they have had the knee replaced and in doing so the operation was not as successful as hoped. It turns out that the knee now provides them less mobility than before and has increased their disability. After a medical the pension is increased to 25%. This amount will be paid as a new assessment. However, this amount is not immediately stabilized. It must be in pay from VAC for a new three year period before the amount is locked in.
Finally, in another scenario, lets assume the member gets the 25% one year after the knee was replaced. Then the following year they feel their knee is worse again. They go back to VAC for a medical and it is discovered by the doctor that the knee is really better than first imagined when the 25% was awarded. In fact they feel that a disability award of 15% would be a better assessment. VAC cannot lower your pension to 15%, but that can lower it to 20% the amount that was originally stabilized.
I hope this will allow our members to have a clearer understanding of this policy, as it is today. If anyone has any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at home or work email@example.com and I will provide you with a better explanation as per your own situation.
Please note that the original email on this from Harold Leduc, our Nation Veteran Liaison Officer, was to enable individuals who may have been wrongly served by this policy to bring it to his attention. Plus he is addressing other issues. My concern is to ensure everyone fully understand the policy, as it is written today.
John Morrison Veterans Service Advisor Ottawa Chapter// Provincial Service Officer Ontario command RCL
GUARDS HELP UPDATE-April 2004
We wish to remind all members about the existence of our Committee "Guards Help" and its aim:
"...to assist all members of the Guards family in time of need through existing organizations in cooperation with Regimental contacts throughout Canada."
You will recall that the Sep 03 newsletter and web-site introduced the Committee's intentions and listed the services and contacts provided by the Legion and Veterans Affairs. The Dec 03 newsletter and web-site mentioned changes to the VIP program. We asked for the help of everyone to notify us, and others in the area, if they know of anyone needing assistance-we have received no feedback !
We are involved in two cases; one in Atlantic Canada being assisted by a local member of our Association; and one in Ontario being assisted by a Member and our Committee. Both cases involve requests for disability allowance.
We also have an actual case study, written by one of our Members, which contains some hints/advice and involves elements of the following: disability pension, long term care, VIP and Last Post Fund-it is available to anyone on request.
Regional Representatives WANTED ...please...
We think it is time for us to expand our small Committee by establishing Regimental contact persons across Canada , to whom members could initially refer. This person (male or female) would offer assistance to a local member of the Guards' family in need . In most pension requests it would initially involve referral to a Legion or Veterans Affairs representative, or help in contacting a person from the past for information or helping to obtain a doctor's letter. In some cases the member may have to be taken step by step through the process.
The help may take some other form completely. However, as we all gain more experience we will share our new found expertise and knowledge. You will not be on your own.
Would you be prepared to help-by offering your name as a local contact person ? Please contact one of the following:
GUARDS HELP UPDATE - DEC 03
VETERANS INDEPENDENCE PROGRAM (VIP) WIDOWS BENEFIT
Veterans Affairs Canada, through the VIP, provides cash to veterans to pay for housework and groundskeeping so they can remain in their homes. Until this year, veterans' widows only received the benefit for one year following the death of the veteran. The widows benefit was extended to life earlier this year - but only to those whose husbands died after 12 May 03.
The Minister of Veterans Affairs has announced that the program is now expanded to include all widows/surviving spouses of veterans in receipt of VIP and is retroactive. The benefit is worth between $1,000 and $2,000 a year. We may have some widows of our Guards Family out there who may qualify for this benefit under the revised terms, if so they are encouraged to contact their local office of Veterans Affairs Canada or the nearest Royal Canadian Legion Service Officer (Names, telephone numbers ->link here<-) to arrange for an evaluation of their circumstances.
Your Guards Help Committee has been frustrated on a number of occasions by the inability to contact family or close relatives of members who have been hospitalized. Our desire to help, or to direct local Guards Family people to help, when illness strikes has been quite difficult.
One would think, in this society where so many different methods of communication exist, telephones; computers; answering machines etc, that is would be practically impossible not to be able to make contact when necessary. However, experience has proven otherwise. We urge our Guards Family members, especially those living alone, to make some kind of arrangement for emergency communication. A message on an answering machine for example when leaving for a hospital appointment, or a message left with a neighbour to contact our local Guards Family member in event of being hospitalized, who in turn could contact us.
OUR QUESTION TO YOU
The above is the lead-in to our question to you. We have been made aware of the fact that some of our members live alone, totally without any family or relative support. Are we doing enough to ensure that they are not forgotten? Do you know a member of our Guards Family in your area in such circumstances, and what are you prepared to do about it? Please let us know.
Please help us spread the word. Following the Symposium held during our 50th Anniversary Celebration, a working group was established to look at the ways members of our Guards Family can be helped in time of need. The aim of the working group is spelled out in the proposal below. As well the services offered by The Royal Canadian Legion; and, Veterans Affairs Canada; together, with information where these organizations can be contacted throughout Canada, are included.
We recognize that not all our Guards Family are Association members and therefore do not receive this Newsletter. Please, if you feel the information contained in these pages will be of benefit to, or will add to the knowledge of, anyone who does not receive the Newsletter, it would be appreciated if you would pass it on. Our aim is to reach as many of our Guards family as possible.
THE ASSOCIATIONS AIM IS TO ASSIST ALL MEMBERS OF THE GUARDS FAMILY IN TIME OF NEED THROUGH EXISTING ORGANIZATIONS IN CO-OPERATION WITH REGIMENTAL CONTACTS THROUGHOUT CANADA.
A working group has been established to further this aim by:
Referring members to The Royal Canadian Legion, Dominion & Provincial Command Service Officers and/or Veterans Affairs Canada, Regional & District Offices & Bureau of Pension Advocates Offices . LINKS
Providing information in our periodic newsletters/web sites of the wide range of services and benefits available.
Informing members of any changes in benefits and/or new programs available.
Entering into dialogue with Regimental members to identify individual problems which cannot be satisfactorily handled locally.
When considered necessary, prepare applications for services and benefits on behalf of an individual; and, direct such applications to the relevant responsible organization.
Establishing and maintain a list of Regimental contacts throughout Canada.
Taking follow-up action, by direct communication with the individual involved, to ensure that his/her case has been or is being satisfactorily dealt with.
Note: The above should be read as the mandate/charter or roles of the program. There are many details, how, who, when, which will require clarification and identification in follow on deliberations, and will result in the development of SOPs. For the time being accept the program as a work in progress. Much work remains to be done.
SERVICES OFFERED BY ROYAL CANDIAN LEGION SERVICE OFFICERS THROUGHOUT CANADA.
Pensions Service Officers will prepare a pension application and present it to the Veterans Affairs Canada pension adjudication system.
Where pension applications are NOT responded to affirmatively, the Service Officer will seek redress on behalf of the applicant.
Pensioned veterans may receive an Attendance Allowance or an Exceptional Incapacity Allowance, the Service Officer can arrange this through the Department.
The Veterans Independence Program is available to pensioned veterans or to those with WWII overseas service and Korea.
Benevolent Funds are available to those who are in need. Contact with a Service Officer starts the process. An assessment is often done by the local district office of Veterans Affairs and a recommendation made to the Service Officer initiating the request. Money may be provided for a number of needs, including eye glasses, hearing aids and dental work.
The Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League also provides financial assistance to surviving spouses and veterans of the British Army in need. The Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command Office will provide information and assistance in this regard. The same procedure is followed as per the Canadian veteran in need of Benevolent Funds.
There is a Canada wide network of twenty Royal Canadian Legion Service Officers at the Dominion and Provincial Command levels. Each can make referrals and each has a good knowledge of Veterans Affairs contacts in the local area. Each Royal Canadian Legion Branch has a Service Officer.
The pension system is available to those living out of Canada.
One does not have to be a Legion member in order to ask for assistance.
SERVICES AND BENEFITS PROVIDED BY VETERANS AFFAIRS CANADA
Disability Pensions: Veterans of the First or Second World War, the Korean War, current or former members of the Regular or Reserve Forces, who suffer from a service related disability may qualify for a disability pension.
Special Awards: Pensioners who are disabled and in need of attendance may qualify for an Attendance Allowance. Those who receive a disability of 98% or more may qualify for an Exceptional Incapacity Allowance.
Survivor and Other Dependant Benefits: Generally for one year following the death of a Disability Pensioner, the surviving spouse or common-law partner receives the monthly amount of the benefits that was in payment to the pensioner. At the end of the one year period, the survivor will receive a survivor pension.
Allowances: Veterans who meet income, service age or health, and residency requirements may be eligible to receive an allowance and related benefits.
Survivors and Other Dependant Allowances: Survivors, including orphans of qualified Veterans, may also be eligible for an allowance.
Assistance Fund: When funding is not available from other sources, allowance recipients may receive financial help for emergencies such as shelter and health care.
Veterans Independence Program (VIP): Under the VIP for eligible Veterans who remain healthy and independent in their own homes Veterans Affairs may contribute to the payment of services, such as grounds maintenance, housekeeping, meals-on-wheels, personal care, care by health professionals, transportation and nursing home care.
Information & Advice: Regional and District Office staff provide information and advice about Veterans Affairs services and benefits as well as community and other programs.
Other Programs & Activities: In addition to the services and benefits described above, help may also be available in the following areas; assistance with funeral and burial expenses and the provision of grave markers in cases where the estates assets are insufficient; trust and benevolent funds for needy Veterans and Dependants; assistance to needy veterans overseas; commemoration and remembrance.
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