Minister of Veterans Affairs responds to Office of the Auditor General report on processing disability benefits for Veterans

Statement

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement today in response to the Office of the Auditor General report on processing disability benefits for Veterans:

“I welcome the Auditor General’s report and its four recommendations. As I have stated in the past, current processing times for disability benefits are unacceptable and reducing them is the top priority for my Department. This report outlines the very issues we have been working on in the last few years to reduce processing times for Veterans’ disability benefits.

“With changes to how we work and by hiring additional temporary employees (recently extended to March 2024), we have made real, tangible progress since the end of the audit period. We’ve reduced applications beyond the service standard (the ‘backlog’) by more than half – from above 23,000 in May 2020 to 10,664 as of May 17, 2022. We’ve also made excellent progress in closing the gap in wait times for women applicants and are continuing to work to close the remaining gap in processing times for anglophones and francophones. Any gap is unacceptable and we take this issue very seriously.

“An important part of improving the experience of Veterans is ensuring that our service standards are meaningful. There are initiatives underway to review our service standards as well as our definition of ‘processing time’ so that Veterans have a better idea of what they can expect.

Again, my thanks to the Auditor General for this report. I am committed to resolving this long-standing issue that is so important to the health and well-being of so many Veterans and their families.”

Contacts

Media Relations
Veterans Affairs Canada
613-992-7468
media@veterans.gc.ca

John Embury
Director, Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
john.embury@veterans.gc.ca

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