2010 to 2011
April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011
Spring is here and another fiscal year is over. Here at the Front Line of the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman, we’ve been busy providing information, referrals, and intervening with Veterans Affairs Canada on behalf of Veterans to ensure that they receive the services, benefits and support that they need.
Since the creation of the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman in 2007, the team has answered more than 20,000 calls, and resolved over 4,000 cases. Below are a few statistics for the past year, hot topics and success stories.
Director of Early Intervention
- Number of calls/emails/letters received: 9,514
- Number of cases opened: 1,823
- Number of individual clients: 1,431
(1,431 individual clients)
|Service Profile||Percentage of clients|
|Former members of the Canadian Forces (Regular Force) *||39%|
|Serving members of the Canadian Forces (Regular Force)||5%|
|Traditional Veterans **||15%|
|Former and serving members of the Reserve Force||4%|
|Former and serving members of the RCMP||3%|
|Survivors / family members||14%|
|* Veterans who served after 1947 (excluding the Korean War)
** Veterans of the Second World War and the Korean War
* Veterans who served after 1947 (excluding Korea)
** Veterans of the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War
(1,431 individual clients)
The largest number of cases originated in Ontario and the Western Region (Alberta and British Columbia), followed by the Atlantic Region and Quebec.
|Geographic location||Percentage of clients|
Top seven issues
(78 percent of all 1,823 cases)
|Issue||Number of cases|
|Health care benefits||371|
|Disability pensions and awards||367|
|External to Veterans Affairs Canada||208|
|Veterans Independence Program||147|
|Veterans Review and Appeal Board||137|
|New Veterans Charter (Excluding disability awards)||124|
* Excluding disability awards
** Rulings by the Veterans Review and Appeal Board pertaining to disability benefits and process issues
A Veteran from Alberta asked for our assistance after he was denied reimbursement of expenses associated with his participation in a university-lead rehabilitation and fitness program for persons with physical disabilities. The program, which was developed by a licensed and certified kinesiologist, was approved by the Veteran’s physician. Although the program is reasonable in terms of the number of sessions involved, supervised by qualified professionals, and requires medical approval as a condition of admission, Veterans Affairs Canada refused his claim for reimbursement.
At the moment, kinesiologists in Ontario are the only ones registered and approved by Veterans Affairs Canada to provide services to clients of the Department, which means that only Veterans residing in Ontario can be reimbursed for services provided by kinesiologists. The Office of the Veterans Ombudsman will be pursuing this issue with the Department.
Red tape in the way of a Veteran getting needed chiropractic treatments
A few months ago, a Veteran contacted the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman about his difficulties in obtaining approval for additional chiropractic treatments, beyond and above the number of treatments allowed by the Department. Every year, for the past eleven years, the Veteran requested approval for additional treatments, which were needed to maintain his present mobility, and prevent his condition from deteriorating. One year he would get approval from the Department, and the next year, his request would be declined. After discussion with the Department, we were successful in resolving the issue in favor of the Veteran.
Medication reimbursed but not the medical procedure
A Veteran asked for our assistance in obtaining reimbursement for a medical procedure. On two previous occasions, the Department had reimbursed the Veteran for the cost of the medication as well as the cost of the injection that was done by his doctor. The last time the Veteran requested reimbursement, the Department agreed to reimburse the Veteran for the cost of the medication but did not authorize the reimbursement of the medical procedure. The Office of the Veterans Ombudsman intervened on behalf of the Veteran, and, as a result, the Department has since agreed to cover the cost of the injections.