OTTAWA, Feb. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today launched the "Right to Fairness Implementation Plan" to cut red tape for Veterans applying to Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) for disability benefits.
The plan addresses the recently issued Ombudsman report entitled "Veterans' Right to Disclosure: A Matter of Procedural Fairness." It consists of new measures that will ensure Veterans and their families have a better understanding of the Department's disability benefit application process for considering information and how that information is used to make a decision on their applications.
"While over 70% of first applications currently receive a favorable decision, we welcome this report because we are always looking for ways to improve how we serve Veterans and their families," said Minister Blaney. "To best serve Veterans, we are making the right decision as quickly as possible. Veterans can be assured that every application is reviewed and fully considered to ensure a fair outcome."
As a result of the Right to Fairness Implementation Plan, the Department will now:
- proactively call Veterans who have not submitted sufficient evidence to support their application. This will give applicants the opportunity to submit any additional, relevant information;
- more clearly inform applicants that the applicants' official service and health records will be required and retrieved as part of the application process;
- examine ways to further streamline the process for common disability claims to make processes quicker and more efficient, with the view to ensuring faster decisions for Veterans; and
- ensure that all documents submitted by Veterans are reviewed and factored into the decision on an application every time before a negative decision is made on the application.