# 2017-009 - Compensation for Disability - Reserve Force, Reserve Force

Compensation for Disability - Reserve Force, Reserve Force

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2017–06–22

The grievor suffered an injury attributable to military service during his Class A (Cl A) Reserve Service. Although able to continue his civilian employment within his assigned Medical Employment Limitations (MEL), he grieved being denied Reserve Force Compensation (RFC) for the periods of Cl A Reserve Service he lost due to his injury.

The Initial Authority found that the grievor was not entitled to RFC benefits because he was able to continue working within his MEL at his Unit and because he was able to continue working at his civilian employment without a loss of salary.

The Committee found no evidence that the grievor was able to continue working for his Unit within his MEL after his injury, noting that the grievor's MEL limited him to office work only, and did not permit him to work in an operational environment, field or physical training, nor to “return to work full time military duties”.

The RFC policy, found in Compensation and Benefits Instruction (CBI) 210.72, provides that the compensation is not payable when the member is able to continue his Reserve Service or resume his civilian employment or seek gainful civilian employment. The Committee determined that the grievor's injury did not preclude him from being able to work full-time at his civilian employment. Consequently, the Committee found that, although the grievor could demonstrate that he was financially disadvantaged by his loss of Cl A Service due to his injury, he was not eligible for compensation under CBI 210.72. The Committee recommended that the grievance be denied.

The Committee also observed that while CBI 210.72 does adequately address the situation and needs of Reserve Force members who get ill or injured while serving on full time Cl B or C Reserve Service, it does not provide the same clarity or support for members on part time Cl A Reserve Service who often serve just one night per week and some weekends. The Committee noted that many members on Cl A Reserve Service have full time civilian careers and serve on Cl A on the side. Therefore, members on Cl A Reserve Service who are able to continue working at their civilian employment but who have MEL precluding them from fulfilling their Cl A employment, are excluded from RFC benefits as if they have not suffered any financial loss.

The Committee encouraged the Chief of the Defence Staff to consider initiating a review of the RFC benefit in order to more clearly articulate the purpose of the indemnity and to more fully address the unique situation of the part time Cl A Reservists.

FA Decision Summary

The CDS agreed with the Committee's findings and its recommendation that the grievance be denied. He found that the grievor did not meet the criteria for the RFC benefit. However, the CDS did not agree with the Committee that there was a concern with the RFC benefit as it applies to Res F members on Class "A"service who have full-time civilian employment and those who do not. He stated that it is the doctor's finding with respect to the inability of the Res F member to work in the civilian domain due to the injury suffered in the CAF which triggers the eligibility to the RFC, whether the person is employed or a full time student for example.

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