Simplifying the Service Delivery Model for Medically Releasing Members of the Canadian Armed Forces

In May 2016, the Office completed a report titled Determining Service Attribution for Medically Releasing Members. During our research, it became apparent that the process for members of the Canadian Armed Forces who are transitioning to the services of Veterans Affairs Canada is neither user-friendly nor seamless. The transition process is unnecessarily complex and difficult to navigate – especially for those who are ill or injured.

Report



Progress report on the status of recommendations:

Recommendation 1

It is recommended that the Canadian Armed Forces retain medically releasing members until such time as all the benefits and services from the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans Affairs Canada, and Service Income Security Insurance Plan have been confirmed and are put in place.

Recommendation 1 status:  Accepted  Not implemented

In the new Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Canadian Armed Forces committed to retaining medically releasing members until such time as their benefits are confirmed and in place. The Canadian Armed Forces have yet to develop a policy framework that supports this commitment. We continue to receive complaints related to benefits from members who are either in the process or have transitioned out of the military. Our Office will monitor progress made by the Canadian Armed Forces to ensure that any actions taken on this matter are responsive to the needs of all members who are transitioning out of the Canadian Armed Forces for medical reasons, and will provide an update in early fall 2018.

Recommendation 2

It is recommended that the Canadian Armed Forces establish a Concierge Service for all medically releasing members. This service would serve as a focal point to assist members and their families for all administrative matters regarding their transition.

Recommendation 2 status:  Accepted  Not implemented

Current transition services offered by the Canadian Armed Forces do not provide all medically releasing members with a focal point to assist them and their families with administrative matters related to their transition. Currently, only members with complex cases receive a formal transition plan from the Canadian Armed Forces. In the new Defence Policy, the Canadian Armed Forces have pledged to create a new Transition Group that is intended to assist all military members seamlessly transition to post-military life. We will monitor progress on the creation of the new Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group as well as other activities, and provide an update in fall 2018.

Recommendation 3

It is recommended that the Canadian Armed Forces leads, through a phased approach, the development of a secure web portal. The portal would contain information for all Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans Affairs Canada, and Service Income Security Insurance Plan programs and services. The portal would also enable members to input their information just once, and the portal would automatically apply for all services and benefits that would be consistent with the member’s needs.

Recommendation 3 status:  Accepted  Partially implemented

In collaboration with the Canadian Armed Forces, our Office led the development of the new Military Benefits Browser, an online browser that provides members and their families with a single point of entry to the full range of benefits and services available to them through the Canadian Armed Forces. While the Browser is a significant step in the right direction, the full integration of Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans Affairs Canada and Service Income Security Insurance Plan benefits and services remains outstanding.

Next steps

The Office will follow up on the outstanding recommendations and provide an update in Fall 2018.

Definitions

Accepted

DND/CAF have indicated that they accept the recommendations.

Not Accepted

DND/CAF have not indicated that they accept the recommendations, or have indicated that they do not accept the recommendations.

Met / Implemented

Work completed to date fully or largely meets the intent of the recommendation, including circumstances where the recommendation has been implemented to the extent demonstrably possible within existing DND/CAF authorities.

Partially Implemented

Work is underway to address the substance of the recommendation, and it is reasonably probable that additional progress will be made;

Work began to address the substance of the recommendation, but one or more aspects of the recommendation have since become objectively un-implementable or overtaken by events.

Not Met / Not Implemented

Work to address the substance of the recommendation has not begun;

Work completed to date does not largely meet the intent of the recommendation, work started on implementation of the recommendation.

Unable to Assess

Insufficient information is available to make an assessment, including in circumstances where DND/CAF has not yet provided adequate responses.

 


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