Serving You: March/April 2014

March 1, 2014 by Legion Magazine

Question: I am a Class A reservist and I sustained an injury on a training accident with the Canadian Armed Forces. I completed a CF 98 Report of Injury, Disease or Illness and am unable to work. Due to this injury, I could not complete military training nor could I return to my civilian employment. What type of compensation is available since I cannot return to my previous job? Can I submit a claim to Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) for my injury now or do I have to wait until my injury worsens?

Answer: All commanding officers (COs) are obligated to inform injured reservists of the entitlements available to them when they experience an injury related to their military service.

Reserve Force Compensation (RFC) authorizes compensation to reservists who suffer an injury that is attributable to military service when the injury continues beyond the period of service in which it occurred.

It is important that you completed a CF 98 Report on Injury, Disease or Illness and in order to apply for compensation under RFC, your CO must ensure that form DND 2398 is completed and forwarded to the Director Casualty Support Management through the chain of command in a timely fashion.

You may alternatively be eligible to receive compensation for your injury through the Government Employees Compensation Act (GECA), which is administered by the provincial workers compensation boards. The objective of GECA is to provide compensation for loss of earnings, medical care and other related benefits to those who are eligible owing to injury by an accident arising out of and in the course of employment.

Your CO is responsible for reporting within three days all service-related injuries sustained by Reserve Force personnel in their employ that require medical attention or result in lost time. COs must also ensure that information concerning RFC and GECA is provided to you so that an informed decision may be made with regards to your compensation. If you receive GECA compensation benefits, you cannot also be compensated under RFC for the same injury.

You may also qualify for benefits from VAC pursuant to the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act, or New Veterans Charter. You do not have to wait until your condition worsens. If you have a current diagnosis from a physician that an injury is service-related, you can submit an application to VAC at that time.

It is recommended that you contact one of our Royal Canadian Legion professional command service officers who can assist you with your application to VAC. Visit our website www.legion.ca to contact your command service officer.

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