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The New Veterans Charter Health Benefits Program

May 11, 2007

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 (CF) 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 Health Benefits program under the New Veterans Charter. The Health Benefits Program helps eligible CF Veterans and their families who would not otherwise qualify for the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) after military discharge and release. This program fills this gap, offering them the group health insurance they need through PSHCP at an affordable cost.

There are two kinds of coverage:

  • Supplementary coverage helps those who are covered by a health insurance plan through their province or territory.
  • Comprehensive coverage helps those who live outside Canada and are not covered by a provincial/territorial health insurance plan.

Under the New Veterans Charter, CF Veterans and their families will be able to qualify for such things as:

  • drug benefits
  • vision care benefits
  • miscellaneous expenses such as medical supplies; and
  • medical practitioners benefits.

Participation in PSHCP is voluntary. With application for health benefits/services under this program, the client is required to submit an application package which may include the following information: member's name, service number, birth date, gender, language of preference, civil status, address, service dates, whether the client is in receipt of Service Income Security Insurance Plan Long Term Disability (SISIP LTD), service-related rehabilitation needs, member or spouse's PSHCP Certificate Number (if applicable), dependant(s)' name, gender, date of birth, financial institution account information, and for Québec residents only, a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

About the PIA

A Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) 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.

The scope of this PIA is limited to only the particulars of the Health Benefits program under the New Veterans Charter.

The PIA reflects the program status as it existed December 21, 2006 and identifies six privacy-related issues, all deemed to be low risk. To resolve these low-risk concerns, mitigation measures have been brought forward which include:

  • Additional awareness and training
  • Development of Information Management Accountability Framework
  • Addition of Information Management responsibilities into 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
  • Compliance with the Comprehensive Risk Analysis for the USA Patriot Act of the Treasury Board Secretariat
  • Provision of warnings to clients on inherent privacy risks involved with personal information maintained outside of Canada
  • Potential for new Records and Disposition Authorities for client records
  • Consistent management of information through its lifecycle in accordance with legislative and central agency requirements
  • Updated Threat and Risk Assessment following modifications of electronic records system
  • Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Division involvement in contract preparation, input into framing of Statements of Requirements, and bid review

Mitigation strategies for all privacy-related issues are appropriate and in accordance with program management procedures.

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