COVID-19 and the Veterans Emergency Fund: A Message from Brian Forbes, Chairman of The War Amps Executive Committee
June 01, 2020 — The National Council of Veteran Associations (NCVA), of which The War Amps is the driving force, is indeed beginning to gain substantial traction with its proposal that the federal government and, more particularly, Veterans Affairs Canada, must take innovative steps to address the backlog of veterans’ claims and the significant delays in adjudication which have been intensified during this COVID-19 crisis.
It remains NCVA's recommendation that the department needs to adopt the fundamental position that veterans’ claims be taken at face value and be based on the reasonable evidence provided by the veteran and his or her family, with the proviso that individual files could be monitored over time and “spot audits” carried out to address any potential abuses. The clear reality that medical reports usually required by VAC to support these applications are almost impossible to obtain at this time must be recognized in assessing this present dilemma.
This “approve and verify” philosophy must apply to Canada’s disabled veterans and their families at this time in accord with the numerous other financial assistance programs being rolled out by the federal government which clearly follow this administrative approach. As we have previously stated, “desperate times require bold and creative measures.”
The following is a Canadian Press article by Lee Berthiaume which was published nationwide over the Victoria Day weekend entitled, “Calls mount for fast-track approval of veterans’ disability claims amid pandemic crisis,” and which once again bolsters NCVA's overall position by exposing this inequity to Canadians at large. Read more in the Globe & Mail.
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