Vets kept in the dark over medical records and claim applications: ombudsman

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - The country's veterans ombudsman says ex-soldiers and members of the RCMP should no longer be at the mercy of government institutions when it comes to submitting their disability applications.

Guy Parent's new report calls on the federal government to stop keeping veterans in the dark over the medical records used to decide on compensation claims.

Under the current system, when a claim is filed, the applicant's medical records are requested from either the military, the RCMP or Library and Archives Canada, if the documents date back decades.

Federal bureaucrats also cherry-pick the records that are deemed relevant, a process known as flagging.

The applicant never gets a copy of the submitted records, nor the chance to point out if documents are missing.

Parent says the process is unfair, infringes on the applicant's ability to substantiate their claims, and may even result in a biased decision.