Part II, Chapter 1: Canadian Armed Footnote 1 Forces Members Medically Released for Reasons Attributable to Service
1.1 Legal BasisFootnote 2
PSEA 39.1 (1)
39.1 (1) Despite sections 40 and 41, priority for appointment over all other persons is to be given, during the period determined by the Commission, to a person who was released from the Canadian Forces for medical reasons that the Minister of Veterans Affairs determines are attributable to service, who belongs to a class determined by the Commission and who meets the requirements established by the Commission.
(2) A person referred to in subsection (1) has a priority for appointment with respect to any position if the Commission is satisfied that the person meets the essential qualifications referred to in paragraph 30(2)(a).
1.2 The Entitlement
Persons meeting the conditions specified in the PSER are entitled to be appointed to any position for which they meet the essential qualifications, referred to in PSEA 30(2)(a), in priority to all other persons. There are no restrictions with respect to the occupational group, level or location of the position to which an appointment may be made pursuant to this entitlement, as long as the person with a priority entitlement meets the essential qualifications.
1.3 Transitional Provision
The Transitional Provision provides that medically released members of the CAF who held an active CAF medically released priority entitlement upon CIF of the VHA or whose medically released priority entitlement expired between April 1, 2012 and CIF of the VHA, and who have not been indeterminately appointed to the public service nor refused such an appointment without good and sufficient reason, have a new five-year priority entitlement period. Medically released CAF members who meet the above criteria and who have not already been contacted by the PSC regarding this Transitional Provision should contact the PSC at the following e-mail address CFP.AP-Demandes-PA-Inquiries.PSC@cfp-psc.gc.ca.
Persons with an active CAF medically released priority entitlement
Medically released CAF members whose priority entitlement was active upon CIF of the VHA will have a new five-year regulatory priority entitlement period, beginning at CIF of the VHA and until such time as VAC determines that their medical release was attributable to service. If VAC determines that the member’s medical release was attributable to service, they will receive a new five-year statutory priority entitlement, beginning on the date of the Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) determination.
Persons who had a CAF medically released priority entitlement that expired between April 1, 2012 and CIF
Medically released CAF members whose priority entitlement expired between April 1, 2012 and CIF of the VHA and who have not been indeterminately appointed to the public service nor refused such an appointment without good and sufficient reason, will have a new five-year regulatory priority entitlement period, beginning at CIF of the VHA and until such time as VAC determines that their medical release was attributable to service. If VAC determines that the member’s medical release was attributable to service, they will receive a new five-year statutory priority entitlement, beginning on the date of the VAC determination.
Persons with an active or expired CAF medically released priority entitlement resulting from Class A or Class B service
Medically released members of the Primary Reserve of the CAF on Class A or Class B Reserve Service of 180 days or less, whose priority entitlement is either active upon CIF of the VHA or expired between April 1, 2012 and CIF of the VHA and who have not been indeterminately appointed to the public service nor refused such an appointment without good and sufficient reason, will have a new five-year statutory priority entitlement period, beginning at CIF of the VHA, since the determination that their medical release was attributable to service was previously established for their existing or expired priority entitlement.
1.4 Released for Medical Reasons Attributable to Service
To be released for medical reasons attributable to service means that the former member was released from the CAF pursuant to the provisions of Order 15-2 of the Canadian Forces Administrative Orders and that VAC has determined that the medical release was for reasons that are attributable to service. CAF members should contact the Directorate of Casualty Support Management (DCSM) at National Defence (DND) for information and assistance regarding the VAC determination. Contact information for DCSM is provided in the footnote to section 1.10 of this chapter.
CAF members who are released for medical reasons not attributable to service are eligible for a regulatory priority entitlement, in accordance with section 8 of the PSER. Information on this regulatory priority entitlement is provided in Part II, Chapter 6 of this Guide.
1.5 The Five-Year Qualifying Period
In order to qualify for the priority entitlement, members of the CAF who are released for medical reasons attributable to service have five years within which they must be certified by a competent authority as being ready to return to work. In accordance with PSER 8, once certified, they must request that their priority entitlement be activated.
1.6 Competent Authority
The competent authority referred to in PSER 8 who must certify that the former member is ready to work is a health care provider, normally the treating physician. Depending on the situation, the competent authority could also be an ergonomic specialist, a psychologist, physiotherapist or any other specialist who, for the case at hand, could reasonably be considered to be a “competent authority”.
The certification of fitness to return to work must be provided by a person who has examined or treated the former member and can provide a diagnosis of their readiness to return to work and of any employment limitations or accommodation requirements. A clear description of any employment limitations will aid in identifying appropriate employment opportunities and ensure employer awareness of any required accommodation.
For the purpose of the requirements in the PSER, the date of a letter from a competent authority certifying the former member as ready to return to work is the date on which they are “certified”, unless the letter specifically states a different date. This means that the body of the letter could specify a date earlier or later than the date on which the letter is written, in which case the date specified in the body of the letter would be the day on which they are “certified” as ready to return to work and therefore day on which the priority entitlement period begins.
In situations where it is unclear whether the person certifying can be considered a competent authority, questions should be directed to the PSC Priority Administration Unit.
1.7 Duration of Entitlement
The effective date of the statutory priority entitlement period is the later of either the date of the positive Attributable to Service determination from VAC or the date specified by the competent authority in the certification letter, if that day is within five years after the day on which they were medically released for reasons attributable to service, and ends on the earliest of:
- the day that is five years after the day on which the priority entitlement period begins;
- the day on which the person with a priority entitlement is appointed to a position in the public service for an indeterminate period; or
- the day on which the person with a priority entitlement declines an appointment to a position in the public service for an indeterminate period without good and sufficient reason.
Note: The start dates and durations of the various priority entitlements are set by the PSEA and/or PSER and cannot be altered. The PSC will only begin referring the person with a priority entitlement once they are registered in the Priority Information Management System (PIMS). Late registration will reduce the effective period of the priority entitlement and may result in lost opportunities for the person with a priority entitlement.
1.8 Classification on Registration (Occupational Group/Level)
Persons with a statutory CAF medically released priority entitlement (medical release attributable to service) are to be registered in PIMS using code F1 00 to represent their occupational group/level. This code is used because the rank of a CAF member does not equate to the occupational groups and classification structure of the rest of the public service.
1.9 Lower-Level Appointments
The concept of lower-level (or higher-level) appointments does not apply to CAF medically released persons with a priority entitlement. Since these persons positions or ranks within the CAF do not equate to the classification structure of the rest of the public service, their rank upon release or discharge cannot be compared to occupational groups and levels. Appointments of this priority type cannot result in eligibility for the reinstatement priority entitlement.
1.10 Documents Required by PSC to Support Registration
Only authorized DND staff may submit registrations to the PSC. Members of the CAF who have been released for medical reasons who wish to activate their priority entitlement must do so through DND’s Directorate of Casualty Support ManagementFootnote 3. The Manager’s Attestation Form is not required for this priority entitlement type.
- The PIMS on-line Registration Form;
- Privacy Consent Form for Persons with a Priority Entitlement (to be retained in the organization’s CAF medical release file for that member);
- A letter from DCSM concerning the person's release;
- A letter from VAC confirming that the medical release was for reasons attributable to service; and
- A letter from a competent authority indicating the date on which the person can return to work, with a description of any accommodation that is required to assist with referral and appointment.
Note 1: All supporting documents must be provided to the PSC Priority Administration Advisor as soon as possible but no later than 10 working days following registration.
Note 2: The Director Casualty Support Management (DCSM) will provide to the CAF member a letter stating that the member was released on a given effective date and that the release was for medical reasons. In signing this letter, DCSM is confirming that they have reviewed the relevant document(s) from VAC and the release document provided by the Director of Military Careers Administration, as well as other career-oriented information within the CAF. The medically released CAF member is responsible for providing the local DND Civilian HR Service Centre with the DCSM letter, the VAC determination letter confirming that the medical release was for reasons attributable to service and the letter from the competent authority.
Note 3: CAF members who have an active regulatory priority entitlement registered in PIMS and subsequently receive a VAC determination that their medical release was attributable to service, must provide a copy of the VAC determination letter to DCSM who will advise the member on the next steps in the process to have their priority entitlement type updated to the statutory priority entitlement for CAF members whose medical release is attributable to service.
1.11 Considerations for Effective Administration
Organizations should exercise due consideration of the circumstances of persons with a medically released priority entitlement and ensure appropriate sensitivity on the part of hiring managers and HR staff.
Medically released persons with a priority entitlement may not be familiar with the staffing processes, procedures, assessment methods and terminology used by organizations subject to the PSEA. The PSC expects that hiring organizations will take the time to ensure that these persons understand all aspects of appointment processes in the public service, answer any questions they may have about the position and explain how their assessment will be conducted.
1.12 Travel and Relocation Costs
Travel and relocation costs are the responsibility of the Employer. All questions concerning travel and relocation should be directed to the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS).
The responsibility for travel and relocation costs incurred while considering or appointing persons with a priority entitlement varies according to the situation. Typically, responsibility for payment and the amounts payable are negotiated between the hiring organization and the person with a medically released priority entitlement.
All persons with a priority entitlement are encouraged to speak to their organization's HR staff for advice on eligibility for travel or relocation expenses.
These Directives are the responsibility of the Employer and all questions concerning their application and interpretation should be directed to TBS.
- Footnote 1
The term “Canadian Armed Forces” was reintroduced in 2013 by the Government of Canada and is now being used consistently. The terms “Canadian Forces” and “Canadian Armed Forces” are interchangeable, according to the National Defence Act. The PSEA and the Public Service Employment Regulations (PSER) have not been so amended and retain the use of the term “Canadian Forces”.
- Footnote 2
Despite current wording for sections 40 and 41 of the PSEA, the Veterans Hiring Act (VHA) has amended the PSEA and the Public Service Commission (PSC) has amended the PSER such that priority for appointment over all other persons is to be given, during the period determined by the Commission, to a person who was released from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) for medical reasons that the Minister of Veterans Affairs determines are attributable to service, who belongs to a class determined by the Commission and who meets the requirements established by the Commission. The PSER, as amended, will be available only upon the Coming into Force (CIF) of the VHA. As a result, it is not possible to reproduce it here at this time. This Guide will be updated to include the amended PSER as soon as possible after CIF of the VHA.
- Footnote 3
Telephone: Canada-wide Toll Free: 1-800-883-6094*
National Capital Region: 613-995-1457
Worldwide via the military network at: CSN 995-1457
United States collect call: 613-995-1457
For CAF personnel serving outside Canada on operations, DCSM may also be contacted through the National Defence Command Centre (NDCC) in Ottawa. Ask NDCC to connect you to 995-1457.
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