The Canadian Press
By LEE BERTHIAUME
Jan. 5, 2017
Internal reports show just over half of veterans who applied for disability benefits between April and July last year received a decision within 16 weeks.Internal reports obtained by The Canadian Press indicate that just over half of veterans who applied for disability benefits between April and July last year received a decision within 16 weeks.
Officials say processing times have been sped up, but the department is still falling short of its own targets and leaving hundreds of ill and injured veterans in limbo for months on end.
Many are struggling with mental-health injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder.
The revelation comes amid shock over the shooting deaths of four people in Nova Scotia this week, one of them the apparent suicide of a veteran from Canada’s war in Afghanistan.
Family members say retired corporal Lionel Desmond had been seeking treatment for PTSD without success following his release from the military in July 2015.
Desmond, who served in Afghanistan in 2007, was found dead Tuesday in Upper Big Tracadie, N.S., along with wife Shanna, their 10-year-old daughter Aaliyah and his mother Brenda.
“When combined with issues that members are having with PTSD and occupational stress injuries, it becomes overwhelming for our veterans.” John Brassard
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