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Federal Government Invests $139.6 Million To Improve Services For Veterans

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The investment will ensure veterans can receive the proper attention to services needed in a timely manner

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, today announced funding of $139.6 million over two years to extend temporary positions as part of action to reduce processing times for disability benefit applications at Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC).

Between 2015-16 and 2019-20, VAC experienced a 40% increase in disability benefit applications, including an increase of more than 75% in first applications. In June 2020, the Department released its strategy to address the long-standing issue of processing times for benefits and hired more than 350 temporary employees dedicated to address the backlog. Combined with improvements to the decision-making process, the Department has reduced the backlog by 44%, from 23,000 to just under 13,000.

By March 2022, VAC expects to have cut the number of applications waiting longer than its 16-week service standard by half (11,500) and to about 5,000 by spring 2023.

“Nothing is more important right now than ensuring Veterans receive their benefits in a timely manner and we remain committed to reducing the processing times for Disability Benefit applications. We are making tangible progress, but the job is not done. With this investment, VAC staff can continue making decisions faster, and get the backlog under control.” The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Between 2015-16 and 2019-20, VAC experienced a 40% increase in disability benefit applications, including an increase of more than 75% in first applications.

As of 19 February 2022, we had reduced the number of applications waiting longer than 16 weeks by 44% (from about 23,000 to just under 13,000). By the end of March, we expect to have cut the backlog in half, to 11,500.

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