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4.3 Similarities to other Programs

Canadians have access to various forms of health services, financial and career transition support through numerous federal, provincial and community organizations.  Some of these programs may potentially duplicate or overlap coverage under the NVC.  However, given that VAC provides a suite of programs requiring nationally consistent service to clients across the country, the Study Team’s analysis was limited to benefits and services offered by other federal departments.  The following is a summary of similar benefits and services offered by other federal departments.

Disability Award

SISIP is an insurance plan offered by the CF exclusively to serving and former members of the CF and their spouses at a cost.  Through SISIP, Veterans can apply for an Accidental Dismemberment Insurance Plan which provides a lump-sum benefit to eligible current and former CF members whose condition is attributable to military service and incurred by way of accidental, external and violent means.  This benefit may appear to duplicate the Disability Award; however, the purpose is very different.  Accidental Dismemberment Insurance Plan is an insurance payout while Disability Award is a award for pain and suffering, in recognition of the non-economic effects of service related disability on the lives of CF members, Veterans and their families. 


SISIP Long Term Disability Vocational Rehabilitation Program provides training and education to eligible beneficiaries with the goal of enhancing the former member’s existing education, skills, training and experience.  This program is administered to provide eligible individuals with the skills to obtain gainful employment in the civilian workforce.  This program overlaps with VAC’s vocational rehabilitation services  which has been designed to identify and achieve appropriate vocational goals given the level of disability, education, transferable skills and current labour market realities.  It is estimated that approximately 15% of the 3,700 Veterans currently in the SISIP Vocational Rehabilitation Program will go on to access VAC’s vocational rehabilitation services.  The difference between these programs is that through SISIP the vocational training is centred on the existing education while VAC’s vocational rehabilitation services concentrates on providing training for a skill that is appropriate for the client’s health interests and in the long term will provide gainful employment.

DND provides CF members a Transition Assistance Program which assists medically releasing CF members in making the transition into the civilian workplace.  VAC provides a similar service within the Rehabilitation Program by providing vocational assistance to help medically released CF members find suitable employment.  There is some overlap present in that both programs provide medically releasing CF members with information on résumé writing, job search assistance and job finding assistance.  The difference is that DND’s Transition Assistance Program actively recruits prospective employers; in both the public and private sector.

The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, provided by Service Canada, is a program designed to help individuals with disabilities prepare for and obtain employment.  The Canada Study Grant for the Accommodation of Students with Permanent Disabilities provides up to $8,000 a year to help cover exceptional education-related costs associated with an individual’s disability.  The Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) Disability Vocational Rehabilitation Program, administered by Service Canada on behalf of Human Resources and Service Delivery Canada (HRSDC), offers vocational counselling, financial support for training and job search services to recipients of the CPP Disability Benefit to aid them in returning to work.  There is overlap present with VAC’s Rehabilitation Program; however, VAC’s Rehabilitation Program, specifically vocational assistance, provides consistent service nationally and are also available for the families of Veterans.  As a result, these complementary programs could be used to enhance services and benefits for Veterans who may meet their limited eligibility requirements.

Financial Benefits

Numerous income support programs exist such as SISIP Canadian Forces Personnel Assistance Fund, VAC’s Benevolent Fund, Service Canada’s CPP Disability Children Benefits and the Employment Insurance Regular Benefits, however, the financial benefits provided by VAC will deduct all relevant sources of income received through these programs.  Therefore, while these programs are similar, the financial benefits offered by VAC are designed to enhance various services found elsewhere for Veterans.

Health Benefits Program

The Health Benefits Program was designed to fill gaps in health coverage for clients not eligible for the PSHCP or covered by the Veteran’s or spouse’s employer.  As a result, there are no instances of duplication or overlap with other programs.

Job Placement

DND’s Second Career Assistance Network is designed to assist CF members in order to provide transferable skills analysis, as well as counselling and training to individuals who are preparing for civilian life.  VAC’s Job Placement program is integrated with this network and a VAC-DND program arrangement was developed to establish the roles and protocols for VAC to now deliver these services which were previously delivered by the DND.

Service Canada provides career transition support for unemployed Canadians.  The services available under this program are similar to the service available under the Job Placement program; however, Service Canada’s program is Canadians in receipt of Employment Insurance whereas the majority of clients applying for VAC’s Job Placement program are still serving with the Canadian Forces.  In addition, Service Canada’s web site offers tools to assist individuals in creating a résumé, learn about the labour market, and helps Canadians access local training or career counselling.  These tools and resources are available to all Canadians including Veterans.  As a result, despite the current eligibility requirements which limit a Veteran’s ability to access some Service Canada programs there is overlap in the intent and services offered by both Federal Departments which could potentially create an opportunity for further collaboration in the future. 


Some instances of overlap were identified with VAC’s Rehabilitation and Job Placement Programs.  In these cases, VAC should further explore the identified overlap to determine if program adjustments are required or if VAC could develop a more collaborative approach with these other federal programs.

R2  It is recommended that the Director General, Program Management Division, further explore the identified overlap with other Federal programs to identify opportunities to enhance efficiency and service delivery to clients.

Management Response:

Management agrees with the need to clarify identified overlaps with other Federal programs.

With respect to the Job Placement Program, in addition to the recommended needs assessment in support of career transition needs of releasing CF members, VAC will further explore the identified overlaps between the Job Placement Programs and Service Canada.

With respect to the Rehabilitation Program, significant work has been undertaken with Federal partners involved in providing services and benefits to disabled CF members and Veterans.

VAC will continue to explore options for improving integration and harmonization with SISIP-LTD.

Management Action Plan:
Corrective Actions to be taken OPI (Office of Primary Interest) Target Date
2.1  In addition to the recommended needs assessment in support of career transition needs of releasing CF members, VAC will further explore the identified overlaps between the Job Placement Programs and Service Canada.  The needs assessment will include consultations with Federal Departments referenced, as well as other key stakeholders, such as the CF.  A report will be prepared for the use of senior officials to inform future direction. Program Management Division December 2010
2.2  VAC will work with DND to optimize integration and harmonization of the SISIP-LTD Program and the VAC Rehabilitation Program and will update the Program Arrangement accordingly. Program Management Division June 2010
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