Royal Canadian Legion reacts to federal report on disability claims delays

Legion has long been advocating for a comprehensive strategy

Royal Canadian Legion Dominion President Bruce Julian.

The Royal Canadian Legion is renewing its call for a comprehensive strategy to deal with escalating wait times faced by Canada’s veterans after they submit disability claims for processing.

The call comes in the wake of the Auditor General of Canada’s report released recently, which conducted an audit into whether Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) was taking appropriate actions to reduce wait times for veterans to receive disability benefits to which they may be entitled.

‘Turning point,’ says Julian

In a statement released by the Legion’s Dominion President Bruce Julian, the Legion expressed hope that the new report marks a turning point.

The Legion “has long been pushing Veterans Affairs Canada for change because we’ve seen the unacceptable wait times, inefficient processes and insufficient staff to handle the load,” said Julian.

“We’ve seen the despair and anger from veterans and families as situations worsen. We hope this report will finally provide the impetus needed to create and execute a concrete plan of action, end unreasonable wait times, and duly serve the injured Veterans who served us.”

Poor processing procedures

Among the findings, the Auditor General’s report reflected that not only are veterans waiting a long time, but that women, francophones and RCMP veterans are waiting even longer.

The report also showed that VAC’s departmental data on how claims are processed is poor, and that there is no long-term staffing plan to address the situation. The Legion has long been advocating for a comprehensive strategy to deal with the disability claims backlog. They say they remain hopeful that with the new report, a long-term plan will finally be tabled.