The Royal Canadian Legion’s Service Bureau Network Service Officers can assist and represent still serving CF members Veterans, RCMP members and their families regarding disability claims or related issues with Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) and the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB). We provide professional counselling, and representation services at all stages of the disability claim process under the Pension Act or the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act, commonly referred to as the New Veterans Charter.
Our Professional Command Legion Service Officers provide these services; free of charge, whether or not you are a member of the Legion. Our representation role is mandated through legislation. If you would like assistance in preparing your first application to VAC or representation with an appeal to the VRAB, The Royal Canadian Legion Command Service Officer can assist you at any stage in the disability claim process. We support all who have worn the uniform and those who are wearing the uniform.
As a Dominion Command Service Officer in Ottawa, Carolyn Gasser states: “Not only do we prepare and submit disability claims; we also advise those serving as well as members of the RCMP and CF who have retired and their families. We can be a gateway to VAC programs, allowing Veterans to deal with one person for a variety of services. This is important for Veterans with complex disabilities or for those looking for direction and information on a sometimes complicated process.”
One of the Veterans the Service Bureau recently assisted wrote “I never thought I would be getting such professional help. I am grateful. I was having one of those days and I saw your email. When I did open it I was so surprised. When I asked for your help, I made up my mind to put myself in your hands and after reading that letter I am aware that I am in good hands. You lead and I will follow.”
As well, financial assistance is available for all serving and former Canadian Forces members and their families who are in distress or have a clear financial need. Grants are available for food, heating costs, clothing, prescription medication, medical appliances or equipment, essential home repairs and emergency shelter or assistance.
If you would like Legion assistance in obtaining VAC disability benefits and services or Legion benevolent assistance, or if you have a friend or family member who needs help, please call 613-591-3335 or toll-free at 1-877-534-4666 to speak with a Service Officer or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
WE CARE FOR VETERANS OF ALL AGES AND THEIR FAMILIES
The Dominion Executive Council (DEC) adopted a model of service delivery which recognizes that, because of the complexity of the current service delivery process within Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), and the increasing reliance on such Information Technology (IT) tools as the Client Service Delivery Network (CSDN), the Legion Branch Service Officers should be “Referral Agents” for Command Service Officers who represent clients in their attempt to secure disability benefits from VAC.
Through its network of Branch Service Officers operating across the country since 1926, The Legion Command Service Officers come into contact with potential applicants. The Branch Service Officers are the people who often first come into contact with Veterans, spouses and dependants. They are the eyes and ears of the Service Bureau Network at the grass roots.
All claims initiated by The Legion start with the completion of the Legion Claim Form. Careful completion of this form is of great assistance to the Command Service Officer who will represent the Veteran to initiate a disability claim. The RCL Claim Form should be completed as fully as possible and all authorities must be signed. These authorities give The Legion the right to act as the applicant’s representative, to review Service Health records and other documentation.
If you require assistance in gaining access to VAC benefits, including Legion benevolent assistance, or if you have a friend or family member who needs help, please contact a Command Service Officer, call the Dominion Command Toll Free Line: 1-877-534-4666 (1-877-Legion6) or visit your Provincial Command website for contact information for provincial Service Officers.
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