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2019-20 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.

Current Service Standard and 2019–20 Results
Accessing Services
When you... You can... Target 2019–20 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% 73%
Note: The 2019-20 fiscal year proved to be a successful year for the NCCN. Though there were staffing challenges and increased call volume related to the implementation of Pension for Life early in the year, the NCCN was able to respond to 73.1% of the calls within a two minute wait time. This compared to a 36% result the previous fiscal year. The NCCN reduced the average wait time by 4 minutes (from 5min 30sec in 2018-19 to 1min 38sec in 2019-20) and achieved a 93.9% response rate over the 2019-20 fiscal year. The NCCN continues to focus its efforts on staffing in order to ensure even more timely service, and would have achieved a result of 80.0% had the target been set at 5 minutes.
Applying for ProgramsFootnote 1
When you apply for VAC's... Your decision will be made within... Target 2019–20 Results
Disability Benefits (combined): 16 weeks. 80% 24%
Disability Pension / Pain and Suffering Compensation 16 weeks. 80% 23%
Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation 16 weeks. 80% 38%
Note: Since 2015, VAC has seen a 68% increase in disability benefit applications which includes an increase of more than 124% in first applications. During the same period, improvements to decision-making processes and the hiring and training of new staff have significantly increased production rates. In the past four years, more than 152,000 applications were processed. Investments in Service Excellence are expected to improve this service standard result in future years.

The service standard for Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation has been impacted by process and system issues and completion of Career Impact Allowance and Career Impact Allowance Supplement claims that were in progress on April 1, 2019 and needed to be processed first. VAC has developed a strategic wait time Plan to improve Disability Benefit wait times, including Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation. This Plan includes increased staff capacity, training, upgrades to digital solutions, and process innovation to achieve an integrated approach to increasing productivity. Applications continue to be fast tracked for those who are medically at risk or, have an immediate, unmet health need related to their claimed condition.
Long Term Care Program 10 weeks. 80% 87%
Rehabilitation Program 2 weeks. 80% N/A
Note: During 2019-20, the system used to deliver the Rehabilitation program was changed and therefore data is not available for this reporting period. We expect reporting will re-commence for 2020-21.
Career Transition Program 4 weeks. 80% 76%
Note: As part of the eligibility process for the Career Transition Services (CTS) Program, VAC must verify service information with the Department of National Defence (DND) before a decision can be made.  Effective April 1, 2019 VAC launched the Pension for Life collection of benefits. The applications for these new programs also required service verification, thus increasing the service verification workload. To ensure a smooth transition to the new programs, VAC requested that attention be given to the new programs. This had an impact on the turnaround times for CTS decisions. Since September 2019, service verification for CTS is no longer subject to delays. In the last two quarters of 2019-20, 98% of decisions were made within the Service Standard.
Income Support: (Income Replacement Benefit and Canadian Forces Income Support) 4 weeks. 80% 93%
Health Benefits Program (Public Service Health Care Plan) 4 weeks. 80% 42%
Note: As part of the eligibility process for the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) through VAC’s Health Benefits Program, a delay of approximately 12-16 weeks can occur. This is due to the time it takes a releasing CAF member to finalize their choice about options they have related to their Superannuation (note: anyone who has more than 2 years of military service is required to make this decision). VAC is working with internal partners to reassess service standards as it relates to the PSHCP.
War Veterans Allowance Program 4 weeks. 80% 100%
Attendance Allowance 6 weeks. 80% 87%
Reviewing a previous decision
Disability Benefits Program - Bureau of Pensions Advocates (BPA) Target 2019–20 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% 54%
Note: Over 2019-20, BPA’s intake was up 9%, with an overall increase in output by 13%. This is encouraging and is due to both additional temporary resources and an increased focus on streamlining and simplifying our processes. Every year BPA deals with a handful of cases that are considerably older and already beyond the service standard target. That said, with the current number of cases pending at 10,485 (as of March 31, 2020), coupled with a growing intake, it will be some time before the 75% target is achieved. Other factors affecting our ability to achieve our service standard include an increase in benefit decisions, more complex cases, and an increase in evidence required by decision makers to prove a claim. BPA will continue to streamline and simplify its processes to ensure we are providing timely service to Veterans.
All other programs Target 2019–20 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% 64%
Note: In 2019-20, VAC saw an increase in the number of requests for appeals, compared to 2018-19 (2,883 in 2019-20 compared to 2,827 in 2018-19). The Department also saw a corresponding increase in the number of appeals completed (2,519 in 2019-20 compared to 2,418 in 2018-19). The main reason for the increase in requests for appeals was due to the implementation of Pension for Life (PFL) in April 2019. Our ability to achieve the service standard was also impacted by the fact that a higher proportion of appeals received were complex cases that often required consultations with other areas of the Department. Although VAC had planned for additional resources in order to meet the anticipated demand from PFL, the full staff complement was not available for part of the year. To improve the results for 2020-21, VAC will fill vacant positions as well as review staffing levels and enhanced training opportunities to ensure staff are knowledgeable and sufficiently resourced to manage the complexity of files and the number of requests being received.
VAC Program Recipients
Once you are eligible for VAC’s... You will... Target 2019–20 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%
Veterans Independence Program Have your reimbursement processed within 10 business days of claim receipt by the contractor. 98% 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% N/A
Note: During 2019-20, the system used to deliver the Rehabilitation program was changed and therefore data is not available for this reporting period. We expect reporting will re-commence for 2020-21.
Case Management Veterans
  Target 2019–20 Results
The ratio of case managed Veterans to case managers will not exceed 25:1 25:1 31.8:1Footnote 2
Note: The Department continues to strive to decrease the ratio of Case Managers to Veterans to bring it in line with Government of Canada commitment of a 25:1 ratio. While progress has been made in reducing the ratios, the ongoing pressure on Case Management has intensified with increased uptake by Veterans in need. In order to continue our progress and meet this increasing caseload, new technology and tools will be introduced through Case Management Renewal. This initiative will continue to improve the Case Manager ratio and also generate efficiencies for Case Managers, giving them the ability to spend more time with Veterans and supporting them to achieve their goals.
Applying for Commemoration Programs/Services
When you request... You can expect... Target 2019–20 Results
War service medals (first issue) Your medals to be shipped within 8 weeks. 90% 100%
Replacement war service medals An entitlement decision within 8 weeks. 90% 100%
Your medals to be shipped within 4 weeks of receiving paymentFootnote 3. 90% 96%
Commemorative information, products and education material Your materials to be shipped within 2 weeks. 90% 100%
When you submit a request related to... You can expect... Target 2019–20 Results
Care and Maintenance of Veterans’ Graves A response within 5 working days. 90% 100%
Required actions to be completed within 12 months of the requestFootnote 4. 90% 100%
When you apply for... Your decision will be made within... Target 2019–20 Results
Community Engagement funding under the Commemorative Partnership Program (CPP) 12 weeks of receiving your completed application. 80% 95%
Community War Memorial funding under the Commemorative Partnership Program (CPP) 12 weeks of the posted application deadline. 80% 100%
Means-tested funeral and burial benefits 30 calendar days. 80% 89%
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