We Care

May 15, 2009 by Legion Magazine

It has often been asked by Canadian Forces (CF) members and veterans seeking a disability claim if there are any advantages associated with using the services of a command service officer of The Royal Canadian Legion Service Bureau Network. While all advocates bring their own qualities and strengths, we would like to think that the Legion service officers are a special breed. We are there to serve those who serve.

Indeed, Legion command service officers are former members of the CF, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Veterans Affairs Canada, with extensive time and experience with the Service Bureau Network. We understand CF/ RCMP terminology, culture and operational practices. This unique background between a Legion service officer and a CF member or veteran promotes a good understanding between the applicant and his Legion advocate.

On more than one occasion, during a Veterans Review and Appeal Board hearing, a Legion advocate has been called upon to explain how the CF or RCMP operates, what the specifics are of its ethos and culture, to a largely non-military VRAB panel that may have limited military experience. This is particularly relevant when an appeal is heard in absentia—when the applicant is not able to attend the hearing.

Next time you think of submitting a claim or an appeal, remember that we care and our services are second to none.

Integrated Personnel Support Centres

The Department of National Defence, the Canadian Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada are combining efforts to co-ordinate the care and support of ill and injured personnel and former personnel, their families and the families of the fallen.

The opening of the new Joint Personnel Support Unit (JPSU) and Integrated Personnel Support Centres (IPSCs) will provide an equitable level of care and support regardless of environment or location to all Regular Force and Reserve Force personnel and their families.

The JPSU will be the central military unit to which 30 IPSCs will belong. These centres will be organized within eight regions and located at all larger CF bases, and in smaller communities as demand dictates. The IPSCs will cater to both referrals and walk-in clients, to long-term injured personnel and to members considering retirement. It will respond to queries from family members regarding support services for ill and injured personnel, and provide referrals as appropriate.

The services made available through the IPSCs will include the following:
• Return To Work (RTW) Program co-ordination
• Casualty Support Outreach delivery
• casualty tracking
• casualty administrative and advocacy services
• support platoon structure to provide military leadership, supervision, and administrative support for all ill and injured personnel posted to (assigned to) the JPSU
• VAC client and transition services
• CF case management services
• adapted physical fitness managers
• Service Income Security Insurance Plan (SISIP) services
• liaison with Military Family Resource Centres, local base support representatives and local unit commanding officers

When injuries or illnesses occur to CF members, and while they reintegrate into military or civilian life and employment, IPSCs will provide standardized and consistent care and support. Legion command service officers will be engaged at Outreach initiatives at the IPSCs.

Reminder To All Branch Service Officers

In accordance with the Poppy Manual, ex-service personnel of Commonwealth and Allied countries who are resident in Canada, and their dependants who are in need of assistance, are eligible for poppy fund assistance. Veterans and their dependants from the United Kingdom may also be eligible for assistance from the U.K. benevolent funds for which Dominion Command operates as agent.

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