February 6, 2024, OTTAWA, ON – Veterans Ombud Colonel (Ret’d) Nishika Jardine released an update about the actions Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) took to resolve unfairness in the way it was reducing disability pensions for some Merlo Davidson class action settlement claimants.
Following receipt of complaints about disability pension reductions, the Office of the Veterans Ombud (OVO) conducted a systemic review and found that disability pensions were being unfairly reduced for Merlo Davidson settlement compensation recipients.
To correct this unfairness the Veterans Ombud made two recommendations to the Minister in 2022:
- That VAC immediately cease Disability Pension reductions for Merlo Davidson levels 1 and 2 claimants, and issue corrective payments to women who have had their pensions reduced.
- That VAC publish the methodology for determining whether and in what amount Merlo Davidson compensation constitutes compensation for a pensioned disability, and if unable to do so, immediately cease Disability Pension reductions for claimants at levels 3 to 6 and issue corrective payments to those who have had their pensions reduced.
In response, VAC has advised they have taken meaningful steps to address these recommendations.
"I am satisfied that VAC has made appropriate adjustments and has addressed the intent of my recommendations for all known claimants who self-identified as having received Merlo Davidson compensation." - Colonel (Ret’d) Nishika Jardine Veterans Ombud
In May 2017, the Federal Court approved the settlement of the Merlo Davidson class action lawsuit to resolve harassment and discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation that some women suffered while working in the RCMP. Over 2,300 women received compensation under the settlement through one of six levels according to the severity of the harassment and/or discrimination and its effects.
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