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Legion Welcomes Veterans Ombudsman's Support to Seek Action on Expanding Access to Benefits for Veterans

OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - August 21, 2014) - The Legion has long recognized the application of the Permanent Impairment Allowance provisions of the New Veterans Charter are unduly restrictive and present unreasonable constraints for a number of disabled veterans who are able to qualify for appropriate levels of entitlement for this important allowance. The issue has been at the forefront of Legion advocacy and was mandated once again by the delegates at the Legion's Dominion Convention in 2014. Additionally, the Legion position was reaffirmed with the Veterans groups making up the Veterans Consultation Assembly who all agreed action from government is required to correct this inequity.

To that end, The Royal Canadian Legion applauds the report from Guy Parent and his team -- Supporting Severely Impaired Veterans -- and is continuing its push for action to ensure all Veterans have access to the care and benefits they deserve. "The Ombudsman's office has brought forward four recommendations that will improve accessibility to the Permanent Impairment Allowance and the Supplement," says Tom Eagles, Dominion President of The Royal Canadian Legion. "This will ensure that the most seriously injured and ill Veterans, and their survivors, are provided financial stability at a time when they may be quite vulnerable," says Eagles.

This report is also very timely as the government prepares its response to the 14 recommendations made by the Parliamentary Committee on Veterans Affairs, at which the Legion made clear it wants action from this government to improve the NVC. "By implementing the recommendations in the new Ombudsman's report, VAC will improve accessibility to the Permanent Impairment Allowance and the Supplement, and will also provide financial stability and security to the Veteran's survivor," says Eagles.

The New Veterans Charter when introduced in 2006 was heralded with much fanfare and celebrated as a living document. While changes were introduced in 2011 to improve financial benefits, the Legion is still pushing for improvements with issues of dignity, fairness and equity. "The most important outstanding issue is ensuring fairness and equity in the availability of benefits, services and programs for our Veterans and their families who have been injured while in service to their country, no matter where and when they have served," says Eagles.

The Legion is looking forward to the Government's response to the Parliamentary Committee's recommendations, which is due by 30 September, and supports fully the Ombudsman's request for the Government to quickly implement the report's four recommendations so that the most severely impaired Veterans, receive the financial assistance they need.

ABOUT THE LEGION

Established in 1926, the Legion is the largest Veterans' and community support organization in Canada with more than 300,000 members. Its mission is to serve all Veterans including serving Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police members as well as their families, to promote Remembrance and to serve our communities and our country.

The Legion's Service Bureau Network provides assistance and representation to all Veterans regarding their disability claims, benefits and services from Veterans Affairs Canada and the Veterans Review and Appeal Board. In communities across Canada it is the Legion that perpetuates Remembrance through the Poppy Campaign and Remembrance Day ceremonies. With more than 1, 440 branches, the Legion supports programs for seniors, Veterans' housing, outreach and visitation, youth leadership, education, sports, Cadets, Guides and Scouts.

We Will Remember Them.

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