The Trudeau government has launched a new initiative to eliminate a backlog of disability claims from sick and injured veterans amid revelations that Veterans Affairs Canada was unable to spend about $1 billion in last year’s budget. facing demands.
Lawrence Macaulay’s office at the Department of Veterans Affairs said the backlog of thousands of applications for financial and medical benefits had no impact on unused funds.
But veterans’ groups and others have expressed skepticism that if their claims were processed in a timely manner, at least some of the money would go to help sick and injured veterans. He says it will.
Instead, many continue to wait months, sometimes years, to see if they qualify for federal health and financial assistance for uniform-inflicted injuries and illnesses.
The Royal Canadian Legion says it needs to use the unused funds to quickly clear its backlog.
The Legion and the National Veterans Association Council have also repeated past requests for the government to automatically approve veterans’ claims, which liberals have repeatedly denied.
This report by the Canadian Press was first published on January 31, 2023.