Thursday, 16 June 2016

Some days you just should not read the news

Especially when you read a news story like this Ottawa continues fight against Veterans. I get a little worked up over this. Anyone that has been around here and read one or two of my posts knows that this is a huge sore sport for me.
As it is, I have been in a nasty dispute over my disability claim with Veteran Affairs Canada for over a year. The initial response was yep, its a service injury but its not really affecting you. 

So an injury that has been acknowledged to have been caused by my service that is the primary reason for the ending of my career, an injury I need to take a half dozen different medications and that I can't go outside of my house alone does not affect my life? Right I want some of whatever they are smoking as it might just help with the coping.

The issue at the heart of all of this, is the plans in place to look after injured and ill service people have been around since the First World War, with a few slight changes after World War II and Korea. Injuries that were deemed to have occurred as a direct result of service the individual was entitled to get monthly tax free disability pension up until age 65. 

Now, admittedly there were some problems here, as there were a lot of serving members who in receipt of these disability pensions. So how could that happen, well it was partly the regulatory system in place at the time and the fact that it is literally two different governmental departments involved and they did not like to talk to each other at all.

Due to a rising number of people receiving life time disabilities, the government reviewed all the policies in place and then introduced "The New Veteran's Charter". In many ways it was a slap in the face to the veterans. Its cornerstone was the idea of a lump sum payment in place of that life time pension. When it was first introduced, the lump sum was capped at $250,000 that number is now up over the $300K

Now that sounds like a lot, but to even come close to getting the full amount you pretty much need to be near death, or totally paralyzed. If I remember correctly, since the introduction of that Charter that has been less than 10 service members qualify for anything close to the maximum, and we had fice more years of Afghanistan to go. Otherwise you get a far smaller number that you can try to appeal and there are multiple avenues to do so. It all takes time, and sometimes a lot of it.

So somebody who is that disabled and can't ever work again, even if they get the maximum award how long will that last? With ongoing medical expenses which may not be entirely covered, I bet it doesn't last very long at all. Wouldn't it be much better to ensure that people are at least able to look after themselves and their families after all that's been asked of them?

I am going to close this out by saying, in my own situation the savings my wife and I did have are gone while waiting for the people involved to get their heads screwed on right. I may medically not aloud to work, but I am not going to have a choice..