Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.
    Posts
    12,837

    Default Veteran Affairs And Pensions

    {I think I know this guy.... but nuf said}

    Wounds cut deep in soldiers' pension battle

    By Jack Knox, Times Colonist March 13, 2010 Comments (22)

    Six months spent retrieving human remains from the wreckage of the Swissair disaster left navy diver Chuck Pelletier pretty messed up.

    "It was bad," the Victoria man says of the aftermath of the 1998 plane crash off Nova Scotia. "It was really bad. I still can't walk past a meat counter in a grocery store."

    He became an angry man after the Swissair mission, drinking and fighting. His marriage fell apart. Diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, he was kept around by the military until 2003, then sent packing with a medical-disability pension.

    Already feeling betrayed and abandoned, he was really bugged when the federal government clawed back his pension income.

    So now the 44-year-old is one of some 4,000-6,000 veterans awaiting the outcome of a class-action suit working its way through the courts.

    At the heart of the matter is the pension Veterans Affairs Canada pays military members who suffer life-changing illness or injury. Soldiers who, say, ruin their knees jumping out of helicopters get the payments -- compensation for pain and suffering -- even if continuing to serve and earn their regular salary.

    But if they are discharged under the Canadian Forces' separate long-term disability program, their benefits -- equalling 75 per cent of their salary -- are reduced by the amount of the Veterans Affairs pension.

    The government says it doesn't want to say too much about a case that is before the courts. But its essential argument is that to receive both the long-term disability payments and pain-and-suffering payments would be "stacking" -- getting two federal government pensions for the same injury, which is against the rules.

    No way, reply the disabled veterans. They equate the Veterans Affairs benefits to the insurance settlement you would receive if hurt in a car crash. Deducting the pain-and-suffering money from the disability program pension is like deducting your ICBC payout from your company pension, they say. One should have nothing to do with the other.

    The veterans have some support. The Department of National Defence ombudsman labelled the deductions "profoundly unfair." The Royal Canadian Legion has weighed in, too. When in Opposition, Conservatives hammered the Liberals over the practice, too. Yet the clawbacks continue -- though clawback might be the wrong word, as there never was a time when veterans received both long-term disability and Veterans Affairs pensions.

    Pelletier acknowledges living comfortably enough even after the deductions, which he estimates cost him about $1,000 a month. What bugs him is the perceived double standard, other pensioners not having their payments reduced in the same way. "It's an absolute betrayal."

    Pelletier was 16 when he joined the reserves, was straight out of high school when he enlisted in the regular forces. Ended up driving tanks for the army for 10 years before becoming a navy clearance diver.

    Then came the Swissair crash -- which killed all 229 on board -- the nightmare recovery mission and the troubles that followed Pelletier thereafter. In 2000, he was transferred from Nova Scotia to CFB Esquimalt, where he says he was dogged by the labels that come with post-traumatic stress.

    Ushered out the door in 2003, he wanted to show the navy that it had made a mistake in discarding him, so volunteered for work at a United Nations camp in the strife-torn Democratic Republic of Congo.

    It was there that he won his 15 minutes of fame -- as well as Canada's Medal of Bravery -- for using himself as a human shield while rescuing 42 people from a firefight in the city of Bukavu in 2004. Among those he saved were the members of the band Sum 41, in the Congo as part of a documentary being filmed by the aid agency War Child Canada. The band members were so grateful that they named their album Chuck in his honour.

    In retrospect, Pelletier says, he shouldn't have tackled the Congo work that soon. As with other divers, he still had too many issues rooted in Swissair. "I got busted up pretty good," he says.

    As for the class-action suit, launched by a Nova Scotia man in 2007, it is bogged down in legal issues. The substance of the arguments has yet to be addressed.

    jknox@tc.canwest.com

    © Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.
    Posts
    12,837

    Default Some Of The Comments

    anonymous
    10:15 PM on March 16, 2010

    stop joining theses force, they will have no one to fight for them, they will have to fight for them selves.

    anonymous
    2:23 PM on March 16, 2010

    This is another sad example of those in uniform, and those who formerly served, being disadvantaged because they have the misfortune of working in a system run by bureaucrats. I served for 20 years, making pension contributions the whole time. I also paid Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions the whole time. What happens when I'm elligable to collect CPP? They reduce my pension by the same amount! In practical terms, this means I will never see one red cent of my CPP, despite paying into it since I started working at age 17. Shameful.

    To anonymous 10;46
    Its so funny how things get twisted and people make things up . I realy think yo should tread lightly . As a Canadian you are entitled to the access of information and i sugest you do so . so that you can get youre info straight . for example he was not even married at the time plus any alegation of abuse would have been dealt with by the RCMP . As for the resst it is so outragous you should be embarased to even mention it .

    anonymous
    12:15 PM on March 16, 2010

    Why the heck aren't the MPs like Dosanjh and people like Jack Layton and all the provincial MLAs getting on this to support our soldiers? Oh wait... I bet it's because their pensions for sitting around legislatures and riding in limos and eating at government cafeterias aren't being threatened... in fact their pensions are going up!

    They should get off their butts and do some work for a change.

    10:46 AM on March 16, 2010

    This comment has violated our Terms and Conditions, and has been removed.

    anonymous
    3:20 AM on March 16, 2010

    as a matter of fact i do know this man . As he was introduced to me while i was part of an investigation on illegal poaching of lobsters by the fleet diving Atlantic by its divers and as a result of this investigation he had his life threatened by members of the fleet diving unit because they though he was an informant and that some of it members were eventualy found guilty and charged with the crime of poaching . Which also resulted in an investigation by the federal ombundsmans office into both the actions of Fleet Diving Atlantic And Fleet Diving Unit Pacific towards him by its members and leadership with regards to harassment , abuse of authority and a work environment were his life had been threatened . As public records will indicate he was removed from FDUA as a result of the investigation showing that the allegations of abuse were found to be substantiated .
    I would excercise great caution in making any further comments because if you read the article he never was quoted as

    7:40 PM on March 15, 2010

    This comment has violated our Terms and Conditions, and has been removed.

    2:39 PM on March 15, 2010

    This comment has violated our Terms and Conditions, and has been removed.

    anonymous
    9:34 AM on March 15, 2010

    It is very hard to keep a high level of moral standards when you deal with a corrupt Dept. such as Veterans Affairs. The yplay every delay card they can, every denial card they can, and hope you go away. Who is actioning these policies? People who have never served in the military, no medical qualifications and can be classified as political hacks. They make over $100,000.00 a year plus expenses and make decisions on events and injuries they can't even understand let alone experience. That is where your tax money is going people. Out of every dollar spent by the DVA,$0 .29 cents reaches the veterans. "O Canada," we stand on guard for thee. Oh, by the way; Mr Thompson is retiring with a pension of $170,000.00. Gotta love it.

    anonymous
    8:00 PM on March 14, 2010

    This kind of thing never stops in Canada we say we appreciate the what Canadian Forces pesonnel do and the sacrifices they make .Well the Canadian goverment does numerous things like this .Iff youwork for a civilian company and contribute to a pension fund do you think they reduce your pension by the amount you recieve from CPP wel they do that to the CF after a lifetime of service thats gratitude for ya

    anonymous
    3:31 AM on March 14, 2010

    It is disgraceful how we treat our injured soldiers sailors and airmen.
    I know of several Reservists who have been injured on duty and left without any assistance. One guy has just lost his house after waiting over 6 months for benefits from the Forces. This has to stop!

    anonymous
    7:56 PM on March 13, 2010
    To Anonymous 7:44PM
    Youre correct and that is shameful as well and something should be done about it .
    -----------------------------------------
    Something can be done, YOU CAN PAY HIS WAY IN LIFE.
    EVERYBODY HAS PROBLEMS, DO YOU HEAR THE WHINING, NO!

    To Anonymous 7:44PM

    Youre correct and that is shameful as well and something should be done about it .

    anonymous
    7:44 PM on March 13, 2010

    An article in the newspaper never tells the full story. Many important details are left out. One of the most significant one, is that veterans that were in receipt of a monthly pension act pension prior to 1976 were not entitled to apply for the Canadian Forces Long Term Disability (CF LTD) program. When it was realized that the amount of the monthly Pension Act was in most cases insufficient for a veteran to maintain an acceptable standard of living, the Government of Canada agreed to also make them this group of veterans eligible to apply for the CF LTD. Being an insurance program, the amount of the monthly PA benefit was added to a list of other applicable reductions. Bottom line, it guaranteed veterans with 75% of their salary at time of release in combination with other sources of income. Without the CF LTD extending the benefit to this group of veterans, I submit that the level of income of most veterans would have been much lower than 75% of their salary at time of release.

    anonymous
    7:39 PM on March 13, 2010

    To anonymous 7:34 PM
    I think you miss interpreted the para . This guy volunteered to go to the congo and put himself infront of others that were weaker . The comment just shows that he is humble and and lives with what he gets but wants the world to know about this situation that is affecting others.
    As for anonymous 4:05
    Along with you`re comment you should add " Real men don`t cry they drink , beat there wifes ,abuse there kids and kill themselves . " Are you for real ?

    anonymous
    7:34 PM on March 13, 2010

    This comment is hidden because you have chosen to ignore anonymous. Show DetailsHide Details

    I kinda feel for the guy, but there is this one paragraph in the story that just torpedos the entire thing:

    "Pelletier acknowledges living comfortably enough even after the deductions, which he estimates cost him about $1,000 a month. What bugs him is the perceived double standard, other pensioners not having their payments reduced in the same way."

    So, he's not complaining that he doesn't get enough pension, but he's upset because of what OTHER PEOPLE are getting. So he would be happy if the other people were also having their pensions reduced too? His major problem is that he's jealous of what the other people are getting?

    Dude, STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE GET AND DEAL WITH YOUR OWN ISSUES.

    That kind of whining just annoys me.

    4:05 PM on March 13, 2010

    This comment has violated our Terms and Conditions, and has been removed.

    4:03 PM on March 13, 2010

    This comment has violated our Terms and Conditions, and has been removed.

    anonymous
    11:33 AM on March 13, 2010

    Canadian Military personel have been getting screwed over since WW1....there is nothing new in the idea that some faceless bureaucrat is screwing over some Canadian...it's the bureaucrat way of life and survival .
    You have to Pity the poor innocent damaged Military victim .

    anonymous
    11:32 AM on March 13, 2010

    I agree with 10:59 Am & 11:33 am. All I can add is our military and its people and associations should be top priority in this country. Shame on Canada! It is just a horrid disgrace.

    anonymous
    10:59 AM on March 13, 2010

    ironic in that these brave men and women step up to the plate when their govt. calls them to arms, this same govt. drops them like hot potatoes when they are grievously hurt and need help. most of those in govt. are not brave enough to put their lives on the line, never miss a meal, a night's sleep, have excellent health care, salaries, pensions, expense accounts and never miss an opportunity to grandstand with these heroes of the moment, but when all is said and done, once they become a "financial burden", they and their families are quickly forgotten.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts