OTTAWA— Wounded Canadian veterans are being required to wait on average twice as lengthy as promised to find out whether or not they qualify for financial help through the government, even as the backlog of unprocessed applications regarding assistance continues to grow.

Veterans are told the great majority will know within 16 days whether they qualify for compensation plus assistance for service-related accidents after filing an application with all the federal government.

The average wait time in late April was 34. five weeks— an increase of almost two weeks since the start of the 12 months and more than double exactly what has been promised.

Veterans Affairs did not state how much the COVID-19 pandemic is contributing to the issue. The department has said authorities are continuing to procedure applications while working at home because of the crisis.

However the federal government has long been accused associated with causing added frustration plus stress to many injured veterans because of the growing wait around times, which have in turn led to a growing backlog associated with requests for help.

More than 46, two hundred applications were in the backlog at the end of December, according to Experienced Affairs. That represented a rise of 1, 600 from Sept and 6, 000 through March.

The amount, which is expected to only raise due to the pandemic, includes over 20, 000 applications how the department says are “ incomplete” and awaiting more information.

Veterans’ advocacy groups in recent months have been inquiring the Liberal government in order to automatically approve all programs for assistance from injured ex-soldiers and conduct an review after the fact to capture any illegitimate claims.

They have specifically stated many veterans are dealing with a hard time collecting all the required information due to various lockdowns, and noted such an strategy has been adopted for some from the federal emergency programs setup due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government has up to now resisted such calls.

Then− veterans ombudsman Guy Parent blasted the us government for the wait times plus backlog in September 2018, at which point the average transformation time for disability-benefits programs was between 23 plus 29 weeks.

“ Now is the time to ensure that the look and resources required to provide disability benefits, both impartialy and in a timely way, are in place, ” the particular ombudsman’ s report stated.

“ Extended turnaround times for impairment benefit decisions is about greater than monetary compensation for discomfort and suffering. Many applicants have got unmet health needs which can be exacerbated by waiting for sufficient treatment. ”

The federal government actually considered within 2018 whether to extend the particular 16-week target, saying this wanted to provide veterans having a more “ realistic” concept of when their application will be processed.

However it abandoned the controversial strategy last year following criticism that will Veterans Affairs was seeking to move its own goalposts.

By Shelter Berthiaume