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VAC Entitlement Policy Change

Teager

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Having read over on another forum VAC has quietly changed the policy for partial entitlement for claims. All claims will now receive 4/5 or 5/5. There will not be any thing lower however this is supposedly on a go forward basis only perhaps why it's so quiet. VRAB had been delaying and claims they had until this change took place. I will post actual policy change when it is available.

This is some good news.
 
I have also been hearing that they were moving towards dispensing with the 'fifths' and that it was either attributable or not. I would suspect the fractional attribution has been the source of much ass pain for VRAB.
 
Mods: can we change title to:  VAC Entitlement Policy Change - Hearing Loss/Tinnitus


A VRAB employee mentioned this to me. To clear this original post up, I phone VAC and was informed it is only for Hearing Loss and Tinnitus.

https://legionmagazine.com/en/2018/09/hearing-loss-aid-improved/

Extract from Legion magazine, 7 Sep 18

Veterans Affairs Canada compensates veterans for partial or full hearing loss and tinnitus caused or aggravated by military service. Its compensation policy changed in February to improve the benefit for some of those who receive a partial entitlement.

Prior to Feb. 23, partial entitlement was awarded when the disability was the result of both service-related and non-service-related factors. Now, full entitlement to disability benefits can be awarded simply if hearing loss greater than 25 decibels was documented by an audiogram during service or at the time of discharge and/or if service is reasonably found to be the initiating factor that caused it. (For more details, see second article below)

This is expected to result in some veterans who are already in receipt of a partial entitlement receiving more of a benefit, whether they are covered by the Pension Act or the Veterans Well-being Act (VWA).

For example, under the Pension Act, a veteran assessed with 23 per cent hearing loss and receiving a monthly pension of $139.63 at a one-fifth entitlement would receive $698.13 at a full entitlement. And this could be retroactive up to three years. (Each case is different depending on when it started.)

Under the VWA, a veteran with a 30 per cent hearing-loss assessment at one-fifth entitlement who received a lump-sum disability award of $18,270 would receive an additional $91,350 if granted a full entitlement. There is no retroactivity with the disability award.

This new policy is a step in the right direction but does not include cases that are under the jurisdiction of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB). The most expedient and preferred solution would be for the VRAB to refer the partial entitlement decisions back to VAC. However, like other recent tweaks to the VWA, this change suggests that the government is finally beginning to listen more to its veterans than its actuaries and accountants.



Changes to hearing-loss disability benefits

September 7, 2018 by Legion Magazine

If you are in receipt of partial entitlement (1/5, 2/5, 3/5 or 4/5) for hearing loss, you should contact a Royal Canadian Legion command service officer to review your file. Why?

Because on Feb. 23, 2018, Veterans Affairs Canada promulgated a new partial entitlement policy. The new policy provides guidance in awarding partial or full disability entitlement benefits for:

• Disabilities arising from both service-related and non-service-related injury or disease (causation);

• Disabilities arising from non-service-related injury or disease that was aggravated by service (aggravation); and

• Disabilities arising from a consequential relationship (consequential).

Where it is determined that hearing loss was documented during service, or at the time of discharge, and/or service is reasonably found to be the initiating factor causing the current hearing-loss disability, then full entitlement to disability benefits may be awarded.

If the first injury/event factor to cause a hearing loss is service-related, then causation is considered and full entitlement is awarded. There would be no need to consider other possible contributing factors.

Prior to Feb. 23, partial entitlement was awarded where the disability was the result of both service and non-service-related factors. When it is discovered that partial entitlement has been granted for causation, the department will initiate a departmental review on the minister’s own motion and provide full entitlement.

In cases where entitlement was granted by the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, the department does not have the jurisdiction to do a departmental review unless the case has been referred back to Veterans Affairs Canada. (But, you can request VRAB to assist you with a Reconsideration)

Members or veterans in receipt of partial entitlement for a hearing-loss disability can contact a command service officer to review their file by calling 613-591-3335 or toll-free at 1-877-534-4666 to speak with a service officer. They can also e-mail veteransservices@legion.ca or visit the website www.legion.ca to contact a local command service officer.
 
This policy had some modifications done to it in September of this year. It does not state it's strictly related to hearing/tinnitus.

Partial Entitlement:

The department will award entitlement equal to four-fifths when it has been determined that a disability has been aggravated by factors related to service or is partially a consequence of a service-related condition (consequential ). 

http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/about-us/policy/document/1474#anchor63605
 
The link is to: Disability Resulting From a Non-Service Related Injury or Disease

Purpose
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance on factors to consider when determining whether a Veteran
or member had a disability or disabling condition prior to his or her enrolment, or prior to a specific period of
service. This policy also provides guidance on awarding a disability benefit for the impact that service-related
factors have on a disability which has been caused by a non-service-related injury or disease.
 
Yes, but notice how it says you will be awarded 4/5ths as a partial entitlement not the 1/5th and so on that use to be the case.

A lot of people that I have spoken to that fell under this policy had 1/5th entitlement. So this is an increase. If it's a direct result of service you would get 5/5 anyway.
 
It is not across the board for everything if you get an entitlement. If you think so, I will contact VAC again.
 
Was getting the run around for months. Spoke directly to BPA in PEI several times as well as locally and VAC. Time and again was told it was a new policy that even the lawyers did not understand.

Well Teager you are correct. Finally got an answer.

If your entitlement is less than 5/5th you must apply to BPA for a Reconsideration Appeal which are handled by the Reconsideration Unit at the Bureau's Head Office in Charlottetown. Apparently they are fast tracking appeals. One lawyer is currently on June 2018 appeals. How long it takes for a decision after the lawyer staffs the appeal, don't know.

Don't know why this is not an automatic if the rules/legislation have changed.

 
I'm hoping there's back pay coming with my pension. I wanna get a case of beer. :rofl:
 
This could explain why my hearing departmental review is now at 38 weeks. I mean it’s pretty clear cut according to audiogram that show it. I didn’t have a proper audiogram when I left the CAF, they said I did. I’m at 107% anyways, knees, back, ptsd, hips, hearing and tinnitus, so likely won’t affect me much. I just want them to acknowledge the hearing loss is permanent and severe, which directly correlates to the new APSC, more then one condition at permanent and severe moves you into the second level.
 
upandatom said:
This could explain why my hearing departmental review is now at 38 weeks. I mean it’s pretty clear cut according to audiogram that show it. I didn’t have a proper audiogram when I left the CAF, they said I did. I’m at 107% anyways, knees, back, ptsd, hips, hearing and tinnitus, so likely won’t affect me much. I just want them to acknowledge the hearing loss is permanent and severe, which directly correlates to the new APSC, more then one condition at permanent and severe moves you into the second level.

slightly off topic, if you are at 107 percent does that mean every thing past 100 isn't eligible for an award?
 
Tcm621 said:
slightly off topic, if you are at 107 percent does that mean every thing past 100 isn't eligible for an award?

Correct. You can only be paid to 100% however any conditions or illnesses will be covered for medications or modifications ect.
 
Teager said:
Correct. You can only be paid to 100% however any conditions or illnesses will be covered for medications or modifications ect.

Exactly what I am after, I just want them to acknowledge medical conditions. That way if anything comes back, or any changes in the future, I have all my ducks in a row.

Still ongoing and waiting, currently at 14 Months for the Departmental review, that shows a DSHL of over 325, which makes it Permanent and Severe, at that point it becomes eligible for APSC. So there is some benefit to keeping on them about it. The issue I am running into with VRAB and us against VAC is that I am 107% for multiple conditions, so getting them to even look at the file is a pain in the @$$. they must have an SOP that they run through and if "Member is over 100% toss file into trash and say its in process"

I submitted for the entitlement change as soon as I heard of this, and I am still waiting to hear back about it. So I am not quite sure how streamlined it is. Has anyone else heard back?
 
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