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Michel Drapeau Law Office

Michel Drapeau Law Office provides a wide range of services focused on federal law with emphasis on Military Law, Freedom of Information (access) and Privacy Law, Wills and Estates Law and Human Rights Law.

Le cabinet juridique Michel Drapeau propose une vaste gamme de services et se spécialise en droit fédéral canadien, notamment les droits militaire, la sécurité publique, ainsi que les droits de la personne, incluant les questions visant le harcèlement et les pratiques discriminatoires ainsi qu'en accès à l'information, le droit à la vie privée.

How our country is failing our veterans (Part I)

By Kevin Berry

November 2011

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The ELB program did not kick-in for a month after I quit my job, and I incurred a month’s rent as debt despite VAC’s promises to provide some funds for immediate relief. Under ELB, I receive $2641.25 per month before tax. This is my only source of income and amounts to only 75% of my 2004 salary as a Private, albeit indexed to 2011. When I released in 2004, I was a Private (Trained). Had I been a Captain, my ELB would be significantly higher. The benefit also ignores the level of income I was able to earn as a civilian which was significantly greater than that of a Private. It also ignores the fact that I live in Vancouver, one of the most expensive cities in the country in which to live. Several Federal programs have Cost of Living Allowances for personnel in major cities to offset this cost. Earning Loss Benefits is not one of these programs.

To add insult to injury, my Pension Act disability pension for my knees and ears, which I have been receiving since 2004, is subtracted – “clawed-back” – from my ELB amount, so, I only receive $2021.73 per month under Earnings Loss Benefits, and $619.52 under the Pension Act. This claw-back essentially eliminates the disability pension I earned with my body because I suffer from PTSD.

The New Veterans Charter has really only been successful in one respect – it has successfully discriminated against all veterans, both pre- and post-2006. Vets claiming for injuries and illnesses after 2006 will receive significantly less money for their pain and suffering award than those who claimed before 2006. And those who claimed before 2006 are subject to unfair claw-backs on their pensions and benefits.

In particular, the Earnings Loss Benefit does LESS to help NVC Veterans reintegrate into civilian life because the program claws back any declared income, thereby discouraging Veterans from working, even part time. The claw-back is a disincentive – if I had found a part-time casual job that paid me $100.00 a month, my ELB would be reduced by $100 the next month.

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