Thank you Dennis and Rob for this valuable information which is describing very well the situation with VRAB.
I recently received a decision from the adjudicator in Charlottetown about one of my condition known as Chronic Myofacial Pain Syndrome/Capsulitis in my left shoulder. The VAC doctor described my left shoulder condition as a " frozen shoulder" which was sustained during my duties as a police officer in the RCMP back in 1973. This condition has been hurting me since then.
In the Table of Disabilities under the old Pension Act ( RCMP members ) it stated that such condition could be assessed at 20% as a maximum. I received only 2% for the shoulder alone. What a joke. I now have to continue pressing VAC with a appeal through my advocate from the department. My original application for this benefit goes way back to 2001. You talk about people being incompetent.
I also have been cheated of all those years of benefits based on a administrative error by VAC and because of that, I lost 7 years of benefits. I have been dealing with VAC and VRAB for 11 years now and my findings are the following:
1- I feel that while the VAC personnel at the regions are usually trying to do their best within the existing system, it is a totally different story for the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB )that I consider out of control and their sole existance now in my view is to find any possible excuses to deny as much applications as possible. This is why I am convinced more than ever that based on budgetary constraints, there is a secret "QUOTA" system that exist at VAC concerning the awarding of benefits to Vets.
2- I am of the opinion that the VRAB are under strict orders to refuse as much requests for disability pensions as they can based on a " QUOTA " system. VRAB often refuses to enforce the Provision of the old Pension Act under section 35 ( 4 ), section 39 ( a ) , section 39 ( b ) and finally under section 39 of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board which is directing Board Members to provide the benefit of the doubt in favour of the veterans or pension applicant when evidence tend to support the reasons for the application and that no other evidence is forthcoming to dispel the evidence provided by the veteran in his or her application. This is clearly illegal under the Pension Act.
3- VRAB is also lacking accountability , clarilty, transparency, compassion , respect and interest in members of the CF/RCMP.
4- Members of the VRAB do not follow the various Tables of Disabilities ( 1995 ) to assessment the percentage of the disabilities even though evidence tend to support criteria in the Table of Disabilities.
5- Members of the VRAB at time treat applicants as suspects in criminal proceedings as opposed to exercise compassion towards the applicants. Often, veterans have the feeling to be treated as criminals in a court room reserved for criminal proceedings.
6- The actions of the members of the VRAB and their decisions to refuse disability to veterans are clearly indicative of " marching orders" received from the highest level at VAC which in itself is indicative of a systemic "QUOTA" system to refuse applications. Is it based on budgetary constraints or the fear of loosing their jobs?
7- The previous Minister of VAC, (Greg Thompson ) was not interested in fixing the VRAB problems and he washed his hands from his responsibilities.
8- Most members of the VRAB are playing doctors when they second guess the doctor(s) prognosis of a certain injury or condition which in most cases, they are totally incompetent to do so.
9- I would as much as say that the actions of members of the VRAB should be qualified as " people involved in corruption". Take care and have a good day J. Claude ScottRetired RCMP Rockland,ON.