During 2020-2021 the Veterans Ombud continued to address a variety of individual complaints of unfairness from Veterans and their families. The impact of the Omud’s work is illustrated in the stories in the 2020-2021 report – from assisting a Veteran to obtain payment for treatment, to resolving an overpayment issue, to obtaining the benefits to which a Veteran was entitled.
“When I was appointed in November 2020, my first priority was to understand the concerns of the Veteran community. We cannot help Veterans and their families if they don’t know who we are and what we do,” says Veterans Ombud Nishika Jardine.
Veterans continue to be deeply frustrated with the backlog of disability claims waiting to be decided by VAC. As has been the case for the past few years, this is the chief complaint the office receives. The Ombud’s individual investigations often also uncover systemic unfairness such as the lack of support for mental health treatment for families in their own right for conditions related to military service. The Office also identified gaps in how VAC counselled Veterans regarding their eligibility for the Supplementary Retirement Benefit and found that some Veterans may not have received this benefit when it was discontinued due to the provision of unclear information.
For more details on the work of the Veterans Ombud in 2020-2021, please see the Annual Report in English and French further down below and visit the Veteran Ombud’s website.
Source: Office of the Veterans Ombud, Canada