Did You Know Legion Service Officers Care And Can Help You?

July 3, 2012 by Legion Magazine

The Legion Service Bureau Network serves all veterans including members of the Canadian Forces, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and their families while representing their interests with Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) and the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB) free of charge, Legion member or not.

The Legion’s professional command service officers, mandated by legislation, provide counselling, assistance and representation services at all stages of the disability claim process under the Pension Act or the New Veterans Charter and are a gateway to access VAC services and programs. This allows you to work with one person for a variety of services.

A Legion branch service officer acts as a referral agent to the command service officer who will assist you with a disability application to VAC. If unsuccessful, the same service officer can prepare a Departmental Review or represent you at a VRAB review hearing. This is your right. You can attend the VRAB review hearing in person and provide oral testimony. It is your opportunity to tell your story to the VRAB.

If you are unsatisfied with the decision, you have the right to request a VRAB appeal hearing. This is your right. At this stage, the command service officer will forward the appeal to Dominion Command in Ottawa. The Dominion Command service officer will prepare and present your claim to three VRAB members who were not involved in the previous review decision. As you do not usually attend the appeal, this hearing is your last opportunity to raise all potential arguments and provide new evidence. Any new medical evidence is very important at this final stage.

The decisions of the VRAB are final and binding. However, the VRAB is able to reconsider previous decisions if there is an error of fact, error of law, or new evidence which was not previously available. This stage, called Request for Reconsideration, is not by right and must be approved for reconsideration. At this stage a Dominion Command service officer will advise you.

If you, a family member or a friend would like free Legion assistance in obtaining VAC disability benefits and services, call 613-591-3335 or toll-free at 1-877-534-4666 to speak with a service officer or e-mail us at: servicebureau@legion.ca.

We care for all veterans of all ages and their families.

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