Ottawa struggling to deliver benefits to disabled veterans, vulnerable populations: AG report

A new report from Canada’s Audit President, released Tuesday, ensures that the federal government receives the benefits they need for disabled veterans, injured mountainous areas, and vulnerable Canadians. It is clear that you are having a hard time.

Karen Hogan submitted four reports on Tuesday auditing federal efforts, including: Bring income and other benefits to vulnerable people. Use gender-based analytics to improve people’s lives and support diverse prison populations.

“These audits point to long-standing problems and barriers across a wide range of government activities,” Hogan told reporters Tuesday. “These barriers are unacceptable, whether faced by indigenous or black criminals, or when low-income individuals or veterans have access to profits.”

The report concluded that although Canadian veterans took steps to improve the disability allowance application process, file management was ineffective and could not reduce veterans’ waiting times.

“The initiative was slow to implement,” the report said. “There was a lack of data to measure improvement. Almost half of the employees on the team responsible for funding and processing the application were temporary.

“As a result, veterans took too long to receive benefits to support their physical and mental health and the overall well-being of their families.”

Wait for nearly 40 weeks

According to the report, veterans waited almost 40 weeks for the decision to apply for the first disability benefit, when the department’s average processing time for most other applications was only 16 weeks.

According to the report, this department did not meet the criteria for providing profits for seven years.

The report also found that Francophone, women, and injured RCMP officers had to wait longer than other Canadians could benefit from them.

From April 2020 to September 2021, injured RCMP officers must wait 38% longer than Canadian Army members, women must wait 24% longer than men, and Francophone than Anglophone. I had to wait 21% longer.

“We have concluded that the government failed to fulfill its promises to veterans,” Hogan said on Tuesday. “If they are injured, they will take care of them.”

“This has a major impact on the well-being of veterans and their families.”

According to a new report from the Canadian Audit Director, the way veterans manage disability benefits is ineffective and cannot reduce veterans’ waiting times. (Battle camera / DND)

To address departmental issues, auditors recommended veterans to redesign their data organization so that departments can make better decisions. The report also advised the department to plan resources better so that the application could be processed in a timely manner.

The ministry accepted criticisms and recommendations, but said it was also due to delays due to a 40% increase in overall applications and a 75% increase in initial applications.

“By the end of March 2022, the ministry expects to cut the number of applications that wait longer than our service standards by half,” the ministry said in a response.

Vulnerable population and federal interests

The President of the Audit also considers how the federal government will benefit hard-to-reach and vulnerable people such as refugees, persons with disabilities, the elderly and young people, indigenous peoples, homeless people and newcomers to Canada. Did.

The report is not sufficient for government departments to follow up on the provision of specific benefits to these groups, such as Canadian children’s allowances, Canadian workers’ allowances, guaranteed income supplements, and Canadian learning bonds. I found that.

“The Canada Revenue Agency and the Employment and Social Development Department did not know if most of the targeted outreach activities helped increase the rate of benefiting hard-to-reach people,” Hogan said in a statement. I did. ”

“As a result, they are failing to improve the lives of some individuals and families who may need these benefits most.”

To resolve the issue, the Audit President said the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canadian Ministry of Employment and Social Development need to: Measure benefit receipts more appropriately to understand the problem. Work more effectively with vulnerable people and work more efficiently with other government departments.

Canada Orthodontic Service

Hogan examined the Canadian Orthodontic Service (CSC) and found that the department had not coordinated its program to address the diversification of the criminal population.

The approach contributes to continued failure to remove systematic barriers that “permanently disadvantage certain groups of criminals in custody,” the report said. ..

“While raising similar issues in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 audits, Correctional Service Canada has made few changes to the policies, practices, tools and approaches that produce these different results,” Hogan said. Mr. says.

The report did not remove systematic barriers, so visible minorities, women and indigenous criminals did not have access to programs that helped them successfully reintegrate into society after being released from prison. I found that.

Gender-based analysis

The report found, for example, that black criminals were placed at high levels of security when they entered the system twice as often as other prisoners. According to the report, this is important. “The first security of a criminal affects the likelihood of parole and the length of the sentence in custody.”

Audits also found that the CSC was unable to build a workforce that “reflected the diversity of criminal groups.”

The fourth report found that the federal government did not do enough to improve the outcome of gender equality for groups of diverse people.

“Since the 2015 audit, we have concluded that progress has been limited in identifying and addressing barriers to conducting gender-based analytics plus,” the report said. “Implementation challenges, including those identified in the 2009 audit, were not resolved.”

The report states that the Privy Council Office, the Canadian Ministry of Finance Secretariat, and Canada Women’s Gender Equality will do a better job of working together to ensure that gender-based analysis of the provision of government services and programs yields results. He said he needed to.

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