The process from Veterans Affairs Canada’s perspective is as follows:
- The veteran’s first contact with Veterans Affairs Canada is to start a Disability Benefit Application.
- Veterans Affairs Canada records receipt of the application.
- Veterans Affairs Canada considers the application to be either complete or incomplete.
- If Veterans Affairs Canada considers the application to be complete, it makes a decision on eligibility. The Veterans Affairs Canada standard for making a decision is 16 weeks.
- Next, the veteran receives a health card showing mental health benefits provided by Veterans Affairs Canada. A health card will be received within six weeks.
- Then the eligible veteran can be reimbursed for mental health services payable from the date of a favourable disability benefits decision.
- If Veterans Affairs Canada considers the application to be incomplete, the application is withdrawn by Veterans Affairs Canada if all required documents are not submitted within the required 60-day timeframe, unless an extension has been granted.
- When the required documentation is provided, the application is reactivated by the Department. Veterans Affairs Canada then makes the decision on eligibility.
The Disability Benefits Program application process from the veteran’s perspective is as follows:
- The application is complex and takes time to gather all the required information.
- The veteran must receive an assessment from a qualified health care professional and may experience long wait times for appointments and assessments.
- Veterans Affairs Canada may advise the veteran that the application is incomplete and must be resubmitted.
- From the veteran’s perspective, the application can take up to 16 weeks to submit, before Veterans Affairs Canada starts its time frame to make a decision.