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1.0 Introduction

VAC’s Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance Program was established in 2006 in response to a March 2000 Review of Veterans’ Care Needs Phase III. The Review found that most CAF members/Veterans who received services from VAC reported multiple physical health problems and more instances of pain, major depression, and post traumatic stress disorder than the general population. The review also found that, generally, CAF members/Veterans accessing services from VAC had lower levels of wellness and formal education. They also experienced more difficulty obtaining employment than the average Canadian.

The intent of the Program is the reasonable restoration of functioning in the following five major areas:

  • mental and physical functioning;
  • social adjustment;
  • family relationships;
  • financial security, employment and personal productivity; and
  • community participation.

1.1 Program Overview

The Program is intended to provide timely access to funding for the following types of rehabilitation services: medical, psychosocial, or vocational. A list of the Program services and interventions can be found in Appendix A. These services and interventions are provided to address re-establishment barriersFootnote 3 associated with career-ending health problems, or health problems resulting primarily from military service which are creating a barrier to re-establishment in civilian life. The Program provides access to other NVC programs, including the Financial Benefits and the Health Benefits Programs. These programs are designed to work together in a wellness model to support a participant’s successful re-establishment.

1.2 Program Delivery

The VAC Case Manager coordinates the delivery of rehabilitation services and benefits through the development of a participant’s rehabilitation planFootnote 4, hereinafter referred to as the Plan. It involves coordinating services and facilitating communication between the participant and the providers that are identified in the Plan. The Plan, mutually developed with the participant, is based on the participant’s individual needs and goals. It includes one or more of the following types of rehabilitation services: medical, psychosocial, or vocational.Footnote 5

VAC has a contract with a national service provider (CanVet) for vocational rehabilitation to be provided by qualified and certified vocational rehabilitation specialists.

1.3 Program Eligibility

There are four groups who may be eligible for the Program.

  1. CAF Veterans who were recently (within 120 days prior to applying) medically-released from the CAF (hereinafter referred to as medically-released);
  2. CAF Veterans who have a health problem which developed primarily as a result of service and which is creating a barrier to re-establishment in civilian life (hereinafter referred to as rehabilitation need);
  3. Spouse or common-law partner of an eligible CAF Veteran when it has been determined that the Veteran would not benefit from vocational rehabilitation as a result of being Totally and Permanently Incapacitated (TPI)Footnote 6 by the physical or mental health problem in respect of which the rehabilitation services for the Veteran were approved; or
  4. Survivor of a CAF member or Veteran who dies of either a service-related injury or disease or a non-service injury or disease that was aggravated by service.
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