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1.0 Introduction

The Career Transition Services (CTS) Program (hereafter referred to as “the Program”), established in 2006, is provided by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) under the authority of the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act, commonly known as the New Veterans Charter (NVC).

The NVC was created in response to the March 2000 Review of Veterans’ Care Needs (Phase III) which found that most Canadian Armed Forces (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 CAF members/Veterans accessing services from VAC had lower levels of wellness and formal education and experienced more difficulty obtaining employment than the average Canadian.

The intent of the Career Transition Services (CTS) Program, originally introduced as the Job Placement Program, is to provide eligible Veterans and survivors with practical help finding a job as they transition from military to civilian life.

1.1 Program Overview

The Program provides funds to eligible Veterans/survivors so they may access career transition services to help them obtain civilian employment. It does not place participants in a job.

Until December 2012, Job Search and Transition Workshops, Individual Career Counselling and Job Finding Assistance were provided by a third-party contractor, with the workshop component available to both members and Veterans. Changes at that time amended eligibility to provide only post-release coverage, removed the contractor service in favour of Veterans engaging a provider of their choice with subsequent reimbursement, and set a lifetime maximum of $1,000, taxes included. The current CTS program funds career counselling, job-search training and job-finding assistance services.

1.2 Program Delivery

VAC’s National Manager, Rehabilitation, Career Transition Services and Income Support, located at Head Office, is responsible for managing the Program.

Veterans complete an application form for the Program at an Area Office (AO), at an Integrated Personnel Support CentreFootnote 1 (IPSC), or on-line via My VAC AccountFootnote 2. The Centralized Processing CentreFootnote 3 (CPC) adjudicates on eligibility and sends a decision letter to the Veteran.

The Veteran engages a transition employment service provider of their choice. Upon completion of the service, the Veteran submits a request for reimbursement. CPC verifies eligibility and claimed costs, and if all is in order the Veteran receives payment via VAC Finance Division within two weeks.

The two main methods CAF members learn about the availability of CTS are through Second Career Assistance Network (SCAN)Footnote 4 seminars delivered by the CAF, and Transition Interviews (TIs) conducted by VAC staff. Both SCANs and TIs are mandatory elements of the release process. Base/Wing Personnel Selection Officers (PSOs) also provide information on the Program.

1.3 Program Eligibility

In general, individuals may qualify for the Career Transition Program if they are:

  • Regular Force Veterans and members who have completed basic training.
  • Reserve Force Veterans and members who have completed at least 21 months of full-time service during 24 consecutive months, or with Special Duty Service or emergency service.
  • Survivors in certain circumstances.

Veterans must apply for the CTS Program no later than two years from release. If eligibility is determined, the effective date for the benefit is the day following the date of release from the CAF. Although members can apply, they are not eligible to receive benefits until after release. A full description of Program eligibility is included in Appendix A.

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