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2021-22 Service Standards Results

Veterans Affairs Canada is committed to providing you with quality service in a timely manner and this is monitored through our service standards. Our service standards tell you how long you can expect it will take our staff to provide a service or make a decision under normal circumstances. Special circumstances where regular service standards may not apply include holidays, natural disasters, or emergencies as these are not within our control.

Some of our standard processing times were significantly impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Current Service Standard and 2021-22 Results
Accessing Services
When you... You can... Target 2021-22 Results 30 September 2022 Results
Call our National Contact Centre Network (1-866-522-2122) You can expect to be connected with the next available analyst within 2 minutes. 80% 79% 75%
Note: The 2021-22 fiscal year was a successful year overall for the NCCN. Though there was absenteeism as a result of COVID-19 and staffing challenges due to employee departures within VAC, the NCCN was able to respond to 79% of calls within a two minute wait time. The NCCN also finished the year with a 96% response rate and a 1 min 14 second average wait time which is well below the 2 minute threshold. The NCCN continues to focus its efforts on staffing in order to ensure even more timely service.

Applying for ProgramsFootnote 1
When you apply for VAC's... Your decision will be made within... Target 2021-22 Results 30 September 2022 Results
Disability Pension / Pain and Suffering Compensation 16 weeks. 80% 46% 56%Footnote 2
Note: Reducing the processing times for disability benefits remains Veterans Affairs Canada's top priority. In 2021-2022, the Department was able to improve service standard results, and as we work from the oldest, we expect to see even further improvements as we reduce the number of files over the service standard. With the help of both our permanent and temporary employees, in late 2021 and early 2022, we completed an average of 4,900 applications per month, a 40% increase over the average from the previous three fiscal years. Additionally, by the end of 2021-2022, Veterans Affairs Canada had reduced the backlog by approximately 50% since the Spring of 2020. Thanks to the investment of $139.6 million in February 2022, the Department was able to extend the additional temporary employees dedicated to disability benefits for another two years, until March 2024. With these resources, the Department is confident that the service standard will continue to improve. Additionally, we will continue working towards our strategic direction (https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/about-vac/addressing-wait-times/wait-time-strategic-direction) to address the long-standing issue of processing times for disability benefits.

While the Department made progress by improving service standard results in 2021-2022, we realize that there is still more work to do and we are committed to ensuring that Veterans receive their decisions in a timely manner.

Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation 16 weeks. 80% 70% 61%
Note: The Department made significant improvement with the service standard results for Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation, going from 37% (2020-2021) to 70% in 2021-2022. This substantial improvement can be attributed to implementing new workload management practices and creating efficiencies in how we work. Both strategies were designed to improve these processing times, ensuring that Veterans receive their decisions as quickly as possible. The Department recognizes that further improvement is needed to fully meet this service standard, and is committed to continuing this momentum in 2022-2023.
Long Term Care Program 10 weeks. 80% 92% 92%
Rehabilitation Program 2 weeks. 80% 53% 57%
Note: Rehabilitation decisions have a number of multi-step processes which can lead to information being missed and impacting our service standard. A new, simplified process will be implemented in the fall of 2022 which will resolve this issue moving forward.
Career Transition Program 4 weeks. 80% 98% 99%
Income Support: (Income Replacement Benefit and Canadian Forces Income Support) 4 weeks. 80% 95% 97%
Health Benefits Program (Public Service Health Care Plan) 4 weeks. 80% 100% 100%
War Veterans Allowance Program 4 weeks. 80% 93% 91%
Attendance Allowance 6 weeks. 80% 90% 84%
Reviewing a previous decision
Disability Benefits Program - Bureau of Pensions Advocates (BPA) Target 2021-22 Results 30 September 2022 Results
You can expect your case to be ready for hearing 21 weeks from the date of your first contact with the Bureau of Pensions Advocates, less any delays in obtaining necessary medical or other supporting information. 75% 26% 31%
Note: A surge in temporary funding enabled the Bureau to reduce its backlog by an additional 6000 files. Clearing the backlog (i.e., focusing on files greater than 21 weeks), while a positive initiative, resulted in us meeting the service standard only 26% of the time. Improvements will only be seen as the backlog number continues to decrease.
All other programs Target 2021-22 Results 30 September 2022 Results
If you are dissatisfied with a decision you received for any program other than Disability Benefits, National First and/or Second Level of Appeal will complete a review of that decision within 12 weeks of receiving your written request for review. 80% 53% 79%
Note: The department continued to see an increase in the number of appeal cases as well as an increase in the number of complex cases. Both factors impacted our ability to achieve this service standard. Adding to this, work was undertaken to address the backlog of appeals which resulted in a number of cases beyond the service standard being closed. To improve results for 2022-2023, VAC will continue to fill vacant positions, provide enhanced training opportunities to ensure staff are knowledgeable and will look to streamline processes to gain efficiencies where possible.
VAC Program Recipients
Once you are eligible for VAC’s... You will... Target 2021-22 Results 30 September 2022 Results
Disability Benefits Program or War Veterans Allowance Program Be sent your VAC Health Care Identification Card within 6 weeks of your eligibility. 100% 100% 100%
Veterans Independence Program Have your reimbursement processed within 10 business days of claim receipt by the contractor. 98% 100% 100%
Rehabilitation Program Work with your case manager and develop a plan to best meet your needs within 45 days of your eligible Rehabilitation Program decision. 80% 87% 92%
Case Management Veterans
  Target 2021-22 Results 30 September 2022 Results
The ratio of case managed Veterans to case managers will not exceed 25:1 25:1 31:1Footnote 3 30:1
Note: The Department continues to strive to decrease the ratio of Case Managers to Veterans to bring it in line with the Government of Canada commitment of 25:1. VAC has made progress and improved the ratio from the previous year.  In order to meet the growing need for case management services, a number of case management renewal initiatives were implemented which is aimed at improving the ratio.
Applying for Commemoration Programs/Services
When you request... You can expect... Target 2021-22 Results 30 September 2022 Results
War service medals (first issue) Your medals to be shipped within 8 weeks. 90% 68% 100%
Note: During periods of COVID-19 lockdown in Ottawa, VAC staff could not access service documents to verify medal entitlement which reside at Library and Archives Canada (LAC). When open, LAC had reduced hours of service and there were long delays in retrieving documents. As restrictions lifted and accessibility improved, we were able to meet the service standard target.
Replacement war service medals An entitlement decision within 8 weeks. 90% 62% 100%
Your medals to be shipped within 4 weeks of receiving paymentFootnote 4. 90% 100% 100%
Note: During periods of COVID-19 lockdown in Ottawa, VAC staff could not access service documents to verify medal entitlement which reside at Library and Archives Canada (LAC). When open, LAC had reduced hours of service and there were long delays in retrieving documents. As restrictions lifted and accessibility improved, we were able to meet the service standard target.
Commemorative information, products and education material Your materials to be shipped within 2 weeks. 90% 100% 99%
When you submit a request related to... You can expect... Target 2021-22 Results 30 September 2022 Results
Care and Maintenance of Veterans’ Graves A response within 5 working days. 90% 100% 100%
Required actions to be completed within 12 months of the requestFootnote 5. 90% n/a n/a
Note: Veterans Affairs Canada is responsible for the care and maintenance of over 222,000 Veteran graves and grave markers. In the 2018 budget, the Government of Canada announced an additional investment of $24.4 million over the following five years to address urgently needed repairs to over 57,000 graves. As of April 2022, 42,730 of these urgent repairs were completed. The tracking of the 12 month service standard is completed manually. Challenges in collecting this information were encountered in 2021-2022 as a result of the increase in the volume of repairs completed and corresponding changes in business processes resulting from the 5-year project. The Department is currently reviewing the service standard and tracking methods used for its Grave Marker Maintenance program. In 2021-22, more than 8,000 backlog repairs were completed, representing over 14% of the total backlog. In addition to backlog repairs, over 12,000 repairs were completed to other markers that were identified as needing work during our inspections.
When you apply for... Your decision will be made within... Target 2021-22 Results 30 September 2022 Results
Community Engagement funding under the Commemorative Partnership Program (CPP) 12 weeks of receiving your completed application. 80% 94% 100%
Community War Memorial funding under the Commemorative Partnership Program (CPP) 12 weeks of the posted application deadline. 80% 75% 100%
Note: The Commemorative Partnership Program received a high volume of applications to both the Community War Memorial Program and the Community Engagement Program in the 3rd and 4th quarters which resulted in the limited delays in meeting our service standards.
Means-tested funeral and burial benefits 30 calendar days. 80% 91% 98.50%
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