A Systemic Review of Compensation Options for Ill and Injured Reservists
The role of the Reserve Force has evolved dramatically over the last several years, with Reservists becoming even more of a critical component of the Canadian Armed Forces. In all facets of their training and employment, Reserve and Regular Force members are exposed to the risk of an injury that may jeopardize future health and employment.
Progress report on the status of recommendations
- 2 Recommendations Made
- 2 Recommendations Accepted
- 1 Recommendation Partially Implemented
- 1 Recommendation Not Implemented
It is recommended that the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces improve the governance and administration of the Reserve Force Compensation process by:
1.1 Creating a functional authority who is accountable for the Reserve Force Compensation process, and who can reinforce the applicable policies and directives in place
1.2 Amending Canadian Forces Military Personnel Instructions 20/04 to provide clarity and consistency in the cessation of service due to service-related injuries and illnesses
1.3 Streamlining the Reserve Force Compensation process by:
1.3.1 Standardizing and simplifying forms; and
1.3.2 Ensuring that units forward claims directly to the Director Casualty Support Management for adjudication, within 30 days of the time the application was commenced
1.4 Creating a Defence Administrative Order and Directive to codify the Reserve Force Compensation process, including service standards or a performance measurement strategy to validate the effectiveness of the entire process
Recommendation 1 status: Accepted Not implemented
Although the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces maintain that the Director Casualty Support Management (DCSM) serves as the functional authority, their role is limited to the administration and adjudication of the Reserve Force Compensation once received by their organization. DCSM does not have the required accountability and enforcement capabilities for processes, practices, or timelines at the unit level. Canadian Forces Military Personnel Instruction 20/04 is under review and amendments have been drafted. The target date for approval is currently spring 2023. Director Casualty Support Management has reviewed and updated the DND 2398 form with a view of simplifying it. Amendments were made to DND 2398 in April 2022, which provides additional guidance and direction on the administration process within the constructs, scope and intent of Compensation and Benefits Instructions 210.72. There is currently no mechanism in place to ensure that units forward claims to the Director Casualty Support Management within 30 days of the time the application commenced. As the Reserve Force Compensation policy is related to compensation and falls under Compensation and Benefits Instructions 201.72, no steps have been taken to create a Defence Administrative Order and Directive.
It is recommended that the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces take concrete steps to improve the knowledge and awareness of the compensation options available to ill and injured Reservists by:
2.1 Making any relevant documents, policies, procedures and forms easily accessible on the internet and on the Defence Information Network
2.2 Committing the resources required for the development and implementation of a communications plan. This would include activities, products, timelines and metrics to reach and inform Reservists about available compensation options
2.3 Formalizing training on Reserve Force Compensation and the Government Employees Compensation Act, and defining the roles and responsibilities for all Reservists and their leadership within these processes
Recommendation 2 status: Accepted Partially implemented
The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces have added a Frequently Asked Questions product to an externally-accessible internet site (Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Reserve Force Compensation (RFC) - Canada.ca). However, the majority of relevant documents, including forms, remain solely available on the internal Defence Information Network. The Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces have developed a Communications Plan to inform Reservists about available compensation options and it is currently undergoing a review. Director Casualty Support Management and Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group have not formalized training on Reserve Force Compensation, although the development of a training module is planned to commence in Spring 2022.
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