Frequently Asked Questions

 

What does this decision means for disabled vets?

The Federal Court ruled that the Government has been unlawfully reducing disabled Canadian Forces veterans’ SISIP long term disability benefits in the amount of that veteran’s Pension Act disability pension.

Disabled veterans receiving SISIP long term disability benefits will no longer have those benefits reduced by the amount of their Pension Act disability pension. The Government has stated that it will take until July or August 2012 to make this change. The Government is still permitted to reduce the SISIP long term disability payments in the amount of some of a veteran’s benefits under the Canada Pension Plan and Canadian Forces Superannuation Act.

Disabled veterans who have had their SISIP long term disability benefits reduced by the amount of their Pension Act disability pension will receive a refund. Class Counsel and Government lawyers are currently negotiating the amount of that refund and interest on those amounts. Disabled veterans who have been told that they have to pay back an “overpayment” of their SISIP long term disability benefits due to their Pension Act disability pension do not have to pay those amounts back.

Read more about the issue here.

 


 

Now that the Federal Court ruling has been made, what are the next steps?

Class Counsel and Government lawyers have started discussions about implementing the Federal Court’s decision as soon as possible. If the parties are unable to determine the proper process, they may consult the Court.

 


 

How do I find out if I’m a member of the class action?

The Class is described as “all former members of the Canadian Forces whose long term disability benefits under SISIP Policy No. 901102 were reduced by the amount of their VAC disability benefits received pursuant to the Pension Act from April 17, 1985 to date.”

In 2008, the government was required to send a notice to all members of the Class. If you believe that you may be a member of the Class, but did not receive notice, please contact Class Counsel at SISIPClassAction@mcinnescooper.com

 


 

How do I update my contact information?

You may update your contact information by emailing SISIP Class Action at the following address: SISIPClassAction@mcinnescooper.com.

 


 

How do I find out if I will receive money as a result of the Federal Court decision;
How much money will I received as a result of the Federal Court decision;
When will I receive my money; How many years of “back pay” will I receive; and,
Who do I contact to see how much money I will receive?

Class Counsel and Government lawyers are in discussions about implementing the Federal Court’s decision and getting Class members their money as soon as possible. Unfortunately, Class Counsel is not able to give a more specific answer at this point. We will continue to communicate with the class when additional information is available.

 


 

Will I be charged income tax on the money that I receive?

Yes, the Income Tax Act states that these amounts are taxable in the year that it was received. Class Counsel is aware of this issue and are working to minimize the tax consequences of this decision on the Class.

 


 

When will the Federal Government stop clawing back my payments?

Due to the thousands of claims, lawyers for the Federal Government have advised that it may take until July or August 2012 to stop clawing back payments for disabled members. Any amounts that have been clawed back during this period will be paid to Class members.

 


 

Will Legal Counsel be compensated for their service?

As per the agreement with representative Plaintiff Dennis Manuge, and included in the Notice to the Class, Legal Counsel are financially compensated only if the case is successful. If the case is not successful, no legal fees would be charged.

 


 

As a Class member, will I have to pay legal fees?

Class members will not have to pay any direct legal fees out of pocket. Legal fees for a successful Class Action are payable to Legal Counsel from the amounts recovered from the Federal Government.

 


 

How much financial compensation will Legal Counsel receive?

The Notice to the Class advised all Class Members that if the Class Action is successful, the proposed percentage Legal Counsel would receive is 30% plus taxes and disbursements. However, as the matter was certified as a Class Action, Legal Counsel is not automatically entitled to this amount. Legal Counsel will have to appear before the court to have their fees set and approved. The court will determine fair compensation for Legal Counsel based on their time, effort and risk over the past 5 years and is the one who ultimately acts as a watch dog over the payment of Legal Counsel fees.

 


 

When will financial compensation for Legal Counsel be determined?

Until the remaining issues of the Class Action are addressed, there will be no motion before the court to deal with fees.

 


 

Would the legal team consider cost sharing amongst all SISIP recipients from the inception of the clawback?  

 
Legal fees are paid proportionally, so whatever % is awarded by the Court is then deducted from each member’s award.
 
 

 
 

Will SISIP be given the right to cancel all interest on retroactive payments? 

 
No prejudgment interest is payable.  How much will either be agreed upon by the parties or set by the Court.
 
 

 

Will the COLA be maxed at 2% - as the policy indicates?

 
The COLA will be paid as per the terms of the policy.   2% maximum on the gross benefit payable.
 
 

 

Is the class action for zero sum members or non-zero sum members?

 
The class action covers both zero sum and non zero sum members.
 
 

 

I only received monies from SISIP for the first 24 months – after the 24 months, payment ceased.  Am I only entitled to the 24 months?

 
Yes, unless you were determined to be totally and permanently disabled from any occupation during or immediately after the 24 month benefit period.  
 
 

 

Will payments cease on my 65th birthday, or 67 as this is the new retirement age?

 
Yes, payments cease at 65 unless your claim was approved before January 1, 1995.
 
 

 

Clarify zero sum?

 
“Zero sum” members are those members of the Class who received nothing from SISIP LTD due to the deduction of their VAC disability payments.
 
 

 

Do I need to re-apply with Manulife – SISIP?

 
No, but you do need to contact SISIP/Manulife to ensure they have sufficient information on file to assess whether you remain totally and permanently disabled after the 24 months you initially received SISIP.
 
 

 

Should I stop claiming/receiving Canada disability due to SISIP payments?

 
No, the SISIP policy request you claim and receive CPP if you are eligible.
 
 

 

I thought all money from DVA was non-taxable.  Why are there tax implications?

 
DVA is non-taxable.  SISIP Ltd. benefits are taxable.  We are recovering monies that should have been paid to you under the SISIP policy.  The monies are therefore taxable.
 
 

 

Can we have an update on the audit that the Government of Canada conducted?

We have not received a copy of that audit report.

 


Who do I contact to ask additional questions?

If you have any additional questions, please contact the SISIP legal team at SISIPClassAction@mcinnescooper.com.