The ruling to compensate disabled vets for their military pensions comes with a high price.
The recent ruling that the Canadian government must compensate veterans with disability insurance payments as a part of their military pensions with retroactive payments that span back nearly four decades could be an extremely costly one.
The internal estimates produced by the government have shown that this could cost $600 million.
They have also stated that this figure may be on the low side of the scale. At the end of last week, the attorneys representing the veterans indicated that the negotiators representing the federal government were still working on the totals that would make up the disability insurance compensation package. In a letter, they stated that this process was being “complicated by the fact the proposed amounts may go back to the start of the offset in 1976.”
The disability insurance ruling was made by the Supreme Court in favor of the country’s former soldiers.
One of the veterans, a former sergeant named Ron Cundell, who is also a disabled veteran living in the area of Barrie, Ontario, Canada, said that it is the fault of the federal government that this cost has been accumulated. He stated that “I can’t see it going to $1-billion, but if it does, the government was really stupid to let this go as long as it did over 40 years.”
Until the spring of 2012, the government of Stephen Harper – the country’s prime minister – had held a strong battle against the class action lawsuit that had been filed by 4,500 veterans who were disabled and whose long term disability insurance benefits had been reduced as a result of their monthly pension from Veterans Affairs.
However, in May, the Federal Court ruled in favor of the veterans and the judge in the case has stated that the arguments from the government were “unreservedly” rejected. Cundell, who is also a veterans’ advocate, stated that the federal government “had to have known that what it was doing was wrong.”
According to Cundell, the disability insurance company that is responsible for the administration of the Canadian Forces program had apparently been urging the government for more than a decade to change the way that the system was run.