Taking care of veterans

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A recent article in your publication suggested that we have many lessons to learn from our American allies.

I would direct your readership to the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs which heard from our American allies last May during a hearing about their veterans’ benefit system. The American witnesses said: “(The American veterans’ system has) 830,000 claims pending … completing them on average in about 265 days.”

In Canada, the great majority of cases for veterans’ benefit decisions, 80 per cent, are approved within 16 weeks, or 112 days.

In the United States, an American veteran’s family is eligible for approximately $3,500 in financial support towards the cost of a funeral. In Canada, a veteran’s family may receive almost $10,000. And few would argue that while not a perfect system, the Canadian health-care system is far superior to any other in North America.

According to the veterans’ ombudsman, a 24-year-old medically released veteran will receive $2 million until age 65. And after that, seriously injured veterans are eligible for up to $2,700 a month in just financial benefits alone. This does not include medical benefits, home cleaning, yard maintenance, home adaptation and snowclearing. But more can and must be done.

This is why I support a comprehensive review of the new Veterans’ Charter which is well underway in Parliament, and why, just a few weeks, ago I introduced legislation moving injured veterans to the front of the line for federal public service jobs. We must continue to make improvements to how our government spends $3.6 billion each year to support Canadian veterans. But as we look to refine and improve our programs and benefits, Canadians can be confident our system is among the most generous of our allies.

Julian Fantino

Minister of Veterans Affairs

Organizations: Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs, Charter, FantinoMinister of Veterans Affairs

Geographic location: Canada, United States, North America.According

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Recent comments

  • Corporate Psycho
    December 10, 2013 - 13:07

    Fantino is so crooked he can't see straight. I don't believe a word this man says.

  • Joe
    December 09, 2013 - 22:45

    If Mr. Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs wants to help the veterans with their applications for veterans benefits he should appoint an unbiased committee to review all documentaion involved in second and final appeals for benefits which have been denied to ensure that the correct decision was made. I for one feel that there was suffient documentation provided to justify my application. including a letter from a Senior Officer, but my application was refused.

    • seanoairborne
      December 11, 2013 - 16:29

      Fantino is nothing but a POS who'll get his big government check after serving a few years sucking on the federal teat while people like you ,who gave up some of the best years of your lives to keep him and his government buddies fat and happy,suffer.Those federal jerks have no respect or conscience whatsoever for the veteran!I don''t envy the fight you have on your hands to get what you deserve.Airborne!!God Speed!

  • Kate
    December 09, 2013 - 21:25

    Shame on Minister Julian Fantino, bragging about a 2 million income for 45 years as if the amount was something grandiose The amounts is equal to just 50,000 before taxes - now tell me how are medically released veterans suppose to support themselves and their young families with the rate of inflation over a 45 year period. Canada is NOT doing its fare share for our veterans; moreover, Canada can certainly learn from our neighbours south of the boarder, especially regarding medical support for soldiers living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Canada owes our veterans more than what is being offered, in a timely manner. Learn from the hard lessons of Vietnam - over the past 40 years, 1,000,000 American soldiers have died by suicide as a result of PTSD. Wake-up and start treating our soldiers with the same dignity and respect in which they served our county; immediately upon their return.

    • seanoairborne
      December 10, 2013 - 14:51

      KATE!Good on you!!Tell it like it is.Canadian Veteran's are treated like second class citizens.I know quite a few of them and all the bluster in the world will never change that fact.Action,not words is what counts to those who gave it all for their country!!

  • Joe
    December 09, 2013 - 16:47

    As a veteran entitled to funding from Veterans Affairs I would like to know why Mr. Julian Fantino states that we are allowed funding for grounds maintenance and snow clearing which can be controled by the weather and was paid after the service was performed. This amount of money was alloted the first of the fiscal year and paid as the work was done. Because of a change in their accounting procedure Veterans Affairs have decided that I did not require all of the funds which had been approved. I am left in a situation wher I do not have enough founs to cover the cost of grounds maintenance or snow removal if we have any amount of snow or if the grass grows where it requires cutting each week. It is hoped that Mr. Julian Fantino does something about this change he has allowed.

  • Injured Veteran
    December 09, 2013 - 07:32

    Minister Fantino stated that "In Canada, the great majority of cases for veterans’ benefit decisions, 80 per cent, are approved within 16 weeks, or 112 days." Perhaps he didn't mean to say "approved" but meant to say that Veteran's Affairs is done with the file in 16 weeks. Most of the claims I know about are denied on first application and the soldier must appeal the decision. In addition, although we do not control our own medical records, it is up to the soldier to "Prove" the claim. At least the Americans will admit the soldier was hurt.

    • seanoairborne
      December 09, 2013 - 15:15

      Fantino is out of his head!I'm a disabled American Veteran and the benefits we receive are the best in the world.Not only that, our Veteran's Hospitals are among the best hospitals in the world.The VA Hospital that I go to is named in honor of Dr.William Debakey,the best and foremost Heart Surgeon that ever practiced in the entire world and a native son of Houston.We have the very best surgeons in the world that practice at my local VA hospital here in Houston.I know because I have had procedures done by them on several occasions and am alive today because of their skill and dedication to our veteran's!So,please stop it with the nonsense about "Canada"having the best medical care in the world.That's just bluster and propaganda which many Canadians are good at.It's actions not empty rhetoric that makes a medical system work and we here in America are all about action,not Bovine Scatology!