Canada Harming Disabled Veterans, AGAIN!
An Observation Post Column by Captain (Retired) Matthew Edwards, CD, B. PE, B. Ed.
Posted on Facebook recently highlights how much the System saved by using grey area tactics, bullying and blatant ignorance of its own laws.
Canada’s top military person is called the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and he or she is supposed to look after the morale and welfare of the soldiers in Canada’s service. A service which can, due to the unlimited liability principle, lead to death or disablement.
In the Manuge FC 2012 case the CDS was stated to be the “de facto” insurer for Service Income Support Insurance Plan (SISIP) policy 901102. Yet the actual contract, or policy, states that the CDS is the “Policyowner” which is another way of saying “insured.” You cannot be both!
However, the main thrust of this Column is the fact that the CDS is acting through Manulife to order formerly healthy soldiers that were once under his’ command to obtain Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPPD) for the General’s benefit, not the benefit of his’ former soldier! How exactly does this play out?
First the CDS orders the soldier into harms way.
Harm is suffered by the healthy soldier and he or she becomes a disabled Veteran who is usually medically released.
Manulife was hired to administer the policy but the CDS and DND have ownership of the policy. It was transferred from Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) to DND on 01APR19. Manulife orders the disabled Veteran, as per the normal but completely illegal policy of Canadian Long Term Disability (LTD) insurers, to obtain CPPD.
Then a legal technicality, and ignorance of the law is said to be no excuse, rises it’s head. Canada imposed a Minimum Qualification Period (MQP) on CPPD in 1998 to help stem the tide of CPPD claims by doubling the vesting period from two years to four. In order to legally get CPPD a contributor must possess four out of six years with valid CPP contributions. No one is above the law so that is a legal threshold.
Laws don’t interfere with Manulife and the CDS seeking a higher profit by offloading their cost to the CPP! So MCpl (Retired) Bloggins enters the fray. He served from 1985-2015, thirty years and was in the 8th Canadian Hussars (8CH). He medically released, was fired for becoming disabled at age 50 and is now 55. In 5 short years he can apply for CPP Retirement (CPPR) and get a reduced CPP but the reduction is offset by the fact there is no clawback of CPP from the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA) pension that he gets! So, if he takes it early,he would get the reduced CPPR and full CFSA.
However, if he applies illegally as Manulife is trying to force him to do and he somehow obtains this liability disguised as a “benefit” he would be very harshly treated:
First, he loses about an estimated $120,000 or more based on the lack of bridging between age 60-65. That is a very significant sum of money, at retirement;
Secondly, if he is approved for CPPD which is by no means certain due to the 37.5% approval rate, he will get 15 months retroactive CPPD which will trigger a bill for an estimated $20,000 from Manulife, as that is why they are forcing him to apply. They will reduce his’ LTD by the monthly CPPD payment, including the flat rate and that is despicable. Assuming he refused to sign the irrevocable consent form, which is far from an assumption, he would also be billed for the monthly payment to retire the alleged debt, further reducing his’ insurance proceeds;
Then the CFSA would send him a bill for an estimated $20,000 because the CPPD retroactive would create an arrears on their system because they will say he got too much money! They will reduce his’ CFSA current payment by the bridging amount and then further reduce his’ property by saying that he has to pay himself back! After all, pensions are the property of the pensioner;
Not wanting to be left out, Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) would issue an estimated $20,000 bill and reduce his’ current Income Replacement Benefit (IRB) the CPPD (in spite of the fact DND’s SISIP and CFSA already accounted for the CPPD) for the current month and the arrears!
Healthy soldier goes to war and returns a disabled Veteran. Then the nation that sent him to war decides to screw him into the ground with fraudulent accounting so that he ends up worse off than he was if he did not apply for CPPD at all. Making matters worse, they ignore the law they created, making a mockery of the sacrifice of MCpl (Retired) Bloggins who would have given his’ life for Canada.
A shit show. This abuse must stop and NOW!