# 2015-033 - Allowances and Benefits

Allowances and Benefits

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–05–28

The Director Casualty Support Management (DGSM) refused to recognize the grievor as next of kin (NOK) as entered on the DND 2587 form completed by his brother, who was also a CAF member, prior to the death of the brother in question. As a result, the DGSM refused to pay the grievor Next of Kin Travel Benefits (NOKTB). The DGSM refused to recognize the four additional NOK entered on the form, judging that there were too many irregularities in the way the form had been filled out by the grievor's brother.

The grievor alleged that the error in this case was not committed by his brother but rather by the Chief Clerk (CC) of his brother's unit, who had voluntarily acknowledged her mistakes.

The initial authority (IA) concluded that the grievor and the other members of his family had suffered damages resulting from a systemic flaw that the DGSM refused to acknowledge. The IA expressed his disagreement with the DGSM's decision to refuse to consider the grievor as NOK, but stated that he lacked sufficient authority to approve payment of the NOKTB as requested.

The Committee concluded that the grievor's brother had not failed in his obligations by providing his unit CC with a form that he believed had been duly completed. The fact that the form was not completed wholly in compliance with the relevant instructions has no impact whatsoever on their validity. Moreover, it does not put in question the veracity of the details relating to the NOK contained therein.

The Committee therefore concluded that the DND 2587 submitted by the grievor's brother reflected his wishes and was comprehensive enough to validate the four additional NOK designated by him, despite the errors in form that it contained.

The Committee recommended that the CDS recognize the unqualified admissibility of the DND 2587 completed by the grievor's brother and acknowledge that the information contained in that document accurately reflects the intentions and desires of the brother. The Committee accordingly recommended that the CDS authorize the reimbursement of travel costs under the NOKTB, to be shared at the discretion of the four NOKs on the form in accordance with sub-paragraph 211.07(5) of the CBI.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2016–01–25

The CDS endorsed the Committee's findings and recommendation to uphold the grievance. The CDS was notably of the view that the errors and omissions by the grievor's brother and the clerk in the administration of the Next-of-Kin Form did not invalidate the changes he wished to make. In accordance with CBI 211.07, the grievor, his other brother and his parents were also entitled on the Next-of-Kin Travel Benefit. The CDS did not endorse the instructions stipulated on the form requiring that it be revised every twelve months in order for the Next-of-Kin to be entitled to the benefit; he consequently ordered a review of previous requests of this nature that were denied on this basis.

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