Monday, December 31, 2012

Canadian Government is Cutting Red Tape for Veterans

OTTAWA, December 27, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Eve Adams, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, confirmed today that the improvements to the Veterans Independence Program (VIP), which will put money in the hands of Veterans faster, will come into force on January 1, 2013. Veterans who receive housekeeping and grounds maintenance services through the VIP will no longer have to submit receipts and then wait to be reimbursed by the Department. Instead, they will receive up-front payments.

"This improvement is another concrete example of the Government's determination to cut red tape for Veterans," stated Minister Blaney. "We have made great progress and are on track to begin converting Veterans to an up-front grant payment for housekeeping and grounds maintenance services, starting January 1, 2013."

These changes are another part of the Veterans Transition Action Plan, recently launched by Minister Blaney, which consists of new measures from the Cutting Red Tape initiative, enhancements to the Department's delivery of services, new opportunities for Veterans beginning post-military careers, ground-breaking research into the real-life experiences and needs of releasing Canadian Armed Forces personnel, and building cultural awareness.

"The changes will help over 100,000 Veterans who receive housekeeping and grounds maintenance services," said Parliamentary Secretary Adams. "We are making these changes so that Veterans receive the benefits and services they deserve, without bureaucratic delays."

"The removal of the necessity of preparing monthly submissions for VIP benefits greatly reduces the stress on our aging Veterans and simplifies their lives," said Derrill Henderson, National Secretary of the Hong Kong Veterans Association of Canada. "VAC's move to reduce demands on Veterans while maintaining their benefits is appreciated and viewed as a positive and cost-effective move by our association."

For more information on the Veterans Independence Program and other services and benefits available to Veterans, visit veterans.gc.ca.