Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

June 11, 2012 10:44 ET

Harper Government Continues to Cut Red Tape for Veterans and their Families

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - June 11, 2012) -

Editors note: A photo is included with this press release on Marketwire's website.

The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today announced new measures as part of the "Cutting Red Tape for Veterans" initiative to improve service to Veterans, Canadian Forces members and their families. With the new measures, Veterans will no longer have to submit receipts to receive the financial support they need to cover travel expenses incurred for medical appointments.

"Our Government is listening closely to the concerns of Veterans, and this is another example of how we are taking concrete action to improve the services we provide," said Minister Blaney. "This simple change in our process eliminates cumbersome paperwork for more than 18,000 Veterans and puts their money into their hands faster."

In fiscal year 2011-2012, Veterans Affairs Canada paid approximately $18 million to Veterans for health-related travel expenses. Each month, the Department processes approximately 5,500 health-related travel claims with an average reimbursement of $274. Under the old system, Veterans had to mail or drop off their receipts for the cost of travelling for treatment or medical assessments. Effective immediately, Veterans will no longer need to submit receipts with their travel claim.

"Our Government has heard our Veterans loud and clear, and we are delivering by providing them with the hassle-free service that they have asked for," said Minister Blaney. "Our Government believes that our Veterans have the right to access the benefits and services they deserve more quickly and with fewer barriers."

"Cutting red tape surrounding health related travel is a great initiative and will make claims easier to manage for the Veterans community," said Ray Kokkonen, National President of the Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association. "Anyone who travels to medical appointments will benefit."

"Any change or improvement that makes the process easier for Veterans is great! We look forward to seeing more changes through this program in the future," said Pat Varga, Dominion President of the Royal Canadian Legion.

The Minister made the announcement today in Halifax during a speech addressing 1,500 delegates of the 44th Dominion Convention of the Royal Canadian Legion. In addition to the measures announced today, Veterans Affairs Canada has already taken several steps in its "Cutting Red Tape for Veterans" initiative. These include reducing the paperwork and wait times for Veterans, using plain-language in its letters to Veterans, and moving to up-front payments to Veterans for certain elements of the Veterans Independence Program.

Over the coming months, our Government will continue to introduce more service improvements as part of "Cutting Red Tape for Veterans" initiative.

For more information on programs and services at Veterans Affairs Canada visit www.veterans.gc.ca.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20120611-HRT-speech0611_800.jpg

Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    Veterans Affairs Canada
    613-992-7468

    Codie Taylor
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    613-996-4649