The New Veterans Charter Disability Award, Death Benefit and Detention Benefit Program
About the New Veterans Charter
On May 13, 2005, Bill C-45, the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act (the New Veterans Charter), received Royal Assent. The New Veterans Charter represents the most sweeping change to Veterans' benefits and services in the past 60 years and keeps pace with the needs of releasing Canadian Forces members and their families, while still providing services and benefits to help traditional war-service Veterans live with dignity and independence.
This Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) describes the Disability Award, Death Benefit and Detention Benefit program under the New Veterans Charter. This program is designed to recognize and compensate for the non-economic impacts that a service-related disability may have on Canadian Forces clients and their families. This program encourages wellness, facilitates the transition of Canadian Forces clients and their families from military to civilian life, and consists of four components:
- Disability Awards - A tax-free, lump-sum payment that recognizes and compensates Canadian Forces members and Veterans, and in some cases, surviving spouses/common-law partners and surviving dependant child(ren), for the non-economic effects of service-related disability, including pain and suffering, functional loss and the effects of permanent impairment on the lives of Canadian Forces members, and Veterans and their families.
- Death Benefits - A tax-free, lump-sum payment that recognizes and compensates a surviving spouse/common-law partner and/or surviving dependant child(ren) of a Canadian Forces member for the non-economic impacts of a sudden service-related death. These non-economic impacts include the member's loss of life, the resulting loss of guidance, care and companionship, and the impact of the member's death on the functioning of the household.
- Clothing Allowance - Paid monthly to individuals in receipt of a disability award who require specially-made apparel or have wear and tear of clothing in relation to the impairment for which a disability award has been granted.
- Detention Benefit - A tax-free, lump-sum payment which recognizes and compensates for the non-economic effects arising from the period of time the Canadian Forces member or Veteran was detained by an enemy, opposing force or criminal element; was engaged in evading capture; or escaped from such a power.
With application to any of the awards/benefits under this program, the client is required to submit documentation which may include: member's name, service number, date of release, service medical records, other medical/hospital reports, death certificate, detention information, Worker's Compensation information, and dependant information.
About the Privacy Impact Assessment
A Privacy Impact Assessment provides a framework to ensure that privacy is considered throughout the design or redesign of programs or services and identifies the extent to which proposals comply with all appropriate statutes. Assessments help managers and decision-makers avoid or mitigate privacy risks and promote fully informed policy, program and system design choices.
The scope of this PIA is limited to the particulars of the Disability Award, Death Benefit and Detention Benefit program under the New Veterans Charter. The PIA reflects the program status as it existed on October 6 2006, and identifies seven privacy-related issues, all considered to be low risk. To resolve these low-risk concerns, the following mitigation measures have been brought forward:
- Additional Awareness and Training
- Development of Information Management Accountability Framework
- Addition of Information Management responsibilities to work descriptions of Regional Directors General and Director General of the National Operations Division of Veterans Affairs
- Development of evaluation and performance measurement criteria
- Addition of Information Management components to the responsibilities of the Quality Management Program
- Update of program forms and the Treasury Board Secretariat Info Source publication to include the registered Personal Information Bank number
- Removal of the Social Insurance Number as an identifier in this program
- Potential for new Records Disposition Authorities for client records
- Consistent management of information through its lifecycle according to legislative and central agency requirements
- Updated Threat and Risk assessment following modifications of electronic records system.
Privacy-related issues have been mitigated.
ADDENDUM to the PIA – March 2017
In October 2011, payment options for the Disability Award were introduced. These options included lump sum, annual payments or a combination of these two.
In April 2017, the amount of the Disability Award and Death Benefit will increase and an additional payment as provided for under the Budget Implementation Act, 2016 (BIA 2016) will be implemented. This change represents a new use of information within the program.
Risks identified within the Addendum have been mitigated with recommended updates to the Personal Information Bank for Disability Awards (VAC PPU 603) and internal processes.
VAC is committed to continue monitoring and providing ongoing communications, training and awareness to management and staff concerning the protection of personal information.
The additional payments will be administered in accordance with the transitional provisions set out in Part 4, of the Budget Implementation Act, 2016 (sections 107 and 108).
In relation to the Disability Awards program, personal information is collected pursuant to sections 45, 47, 48, 49, 50 and 80 of the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment Act.
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