June 7, 2022 – I wanted to take the opportunity to provide an update on the ongoing efforts being taken by the National Council of Veteran Associations in Canada (NCVA), of which The War Amps is the driving force, to achieve the automatic entitlement of treatment benefits for seriously disabled veterans. It has been the NCVA's position for many years that the immediate granting of treatment benefits for seriously disabled veterans should occur prior to the completion of the individual Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) adjudication process, to meet the critical needs of such veterans.
It is our belief that the amendments to the Veterans Health Care Regulations (VHCR), recently released by VAC and effective April 1, 2022, do not entirely adopt our stance on automatic entitlement. However, the new regulations and policies do provide a significant step forward in recognizing the need for urgency in granting treatment benefits for mental health conditions. Therefore, the NCVA will continue to advocate in this regard, with this development acting as a potential springboard to expanding this principle so that veterans with any form of serious disability are not left waiting for health-care and treatment benefits.
We felt it was important to share this update and reiterate that, should any veteran be experiencing mental health issues or are in need of treatment, these amendments ostensibly allow veterans who apply for disability benefits for mental health conditions to automatically qualify for appropriate health-care and treatment benefit coverage.
We would underline that it will no longer be necessary to wait for the adjudication of disability claims for mental health conditions so as to avoid the unacceptable backlog and wait times currently confronting veterans within the VAC adjudicative system.
Please find the full details of the NCVA's recommendations in the article "Major Breakthrough in Veterans' Treatment Benefits," published by Esprit De Corps magazine.
The War Amps supports NCVA's efforts to maintain its crusade of holding VAC accountable. In our continuing efforts to support veterans to receive all eligible benefits, we encourage our members to contact The War Amps if you feel you would benefit from our support in navigating VAC benefits or if you require additional assistance.
Brian N. Forbes, B.Comm., LL.B.
Chairman, The War Amps Executive Committee
Chairman, National Council of Veteran Associations in Canada
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