William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

IS SISIP AWARE… AND DO THEY CARE?

Many have now died without a word of dissention
With a shorter time that they drew their pension
Wait long enough and these old soldiers will pass
Death by radiation, Agent Orange and mustard gas

Author’s Note: Dennis – I was told that SISIP was started and was going to look after all of us in case of injury, so in 1968 I cancelled my London Life Policy which my Mother took out on me when I was born. I paid SISIP deductions from my pay and my pension continuously for another 40 years.

Thousands and Thousands were like me, and they did not ever use our insurance policy, of course, all the time thinking that monies were being dealt out fairly to assist and support our ailing comrades. Is it not a separate insurance company? It seems that this is not the case! I for one want to know where all of my contributions went, and if they were and are not used for the benefit of our sick service mates, where did the monies go?

Who runs SISIP? How much does the CEO get paid? How much do the vice presidents get paid? Are the board members given honorariums? What did the CEO, VPs and Board Members do in their former lives? Are they supportive and caring about those who were prepared to lay down their lives for Canada and who now suffer disabilities?

I have a clawed back Army Pension, but was lucky enough to receive a good Police Pension and I am one of the CF survivors who made it through to old age in reasonable good health (apart from paratrooper knees), and I assumed that the SISIP deductions all of these 40 years made from my pay cheques and my pension cheques were being used to support our disabled troops in a just and fair manner.

As an insurance company it should have nothing to do with deductions from government pensions and should be used fully to support those paying through deductions, clients who are no longer in the service, and who should receive support in kind for the insurance they took out, and they should be treated something like long term disability recipients on civvie street. Would that not seem reasonable?

Just a thought – and just one old soldier’s opinion for whatever that is worth!

The above is a response to the Canadian Veterans Ombudsman’s Observation Paper #01 2009 – 04 February 2009: “Service Income Security Insurance Plan and its Influence on the Calculation of the Veterans Affairs Canada Earnings Loss Benefit” and the following points raised by Veteran, Dennis Manuge

Comments and Questions

  1. Recommendations made by the National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman, the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs and the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs have so far been ignored. This increases Veterans frustration about the offset and issues that still require resolution.
  2. It seems that there is no requirement for Veterans Affairs Canada to await the outcome of legal action in respect of the SISIP offset. The Department could act now to resolve the unfairness associated with the calculation of Earnings Loss benefits. Does Veterans Affairs Canada plan to change how Earnings Loss benefits are calculated, or does the Department intend to await the outcome of the SISIP legal action?
  3. It is understood that Veterans Affairs Canada is working now to harmonize SISIP Long Term Disability and Veterans Affairs Canada rehabilitation programs, with a view to eventually be the sole service provider. Acceptance of the harmonization efforts might be facilitated if the Department changed the method of calculating Earning Loss benefits. Does Veterans Affairs Canada plan to change this practice as part of the harmonization?
  4. It is appreciated that legislative and regulatory change is needed. However, since the New Veterans Charter is considered a 'living' document, including changes to the calculation method in the first round of amendments would be appropriate. Will this issue be addressed in the first round of amendments? When does Veterans Affairs Canada intend to submit the first amendments?

Dennis Manuge
March 16, 2009