When Are You Considered Permanently Impaired to VAC?
Permanently Impaired
London Ontario, Canada – November 11, 2011. A group of veterans during Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Cenotaph in Victoria Park in London Ontario Canada.

According to Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), a Veteran is considered totally and permanently impaired / incapacitated (TPI) if the Veteran is impaired by a permanent physical or mental health problem that prevents the Veteran from performing any occupation that would be considered suitable gainful employment.

Suitable gainful employment, or “employability”, means employment for which the Veteran is reasonably qualified for, by reason of education, training and experience.

As well when a VAC decision maker has determined, based on evidence, that you are not expected to regain the capacity to engage in suitable gainful employment, despite further rehabilitation.  Your signs and symptoms can get slightly better or worse over time but you are permanently impaired if any further recovery is not anticipated due to the health problem.

You must have a favorable rehabilitation program eligibility decision for any health problem being considered.  If you have an ineligible health problem for the rehabilitation program you can not be found permanently impaired by VAC.  Which means your health problem has to be related to your military service, and has to be recognized by VAC, to even be on the rehabilitation program to start with.

What IF You Have at Least One Eligible and One Ineligible Health Problem?

If this were the case and there was uncertainty of which one was creating the incapacity for suitable gainful employment, then medical and psychological assessments should be obtained, to identify which problem is causing you to be permanently impaired.  If the ineligible health problem is attributed by the eligible problem then you are OK.  Yet, if the ineligible health problem is the more dominant problem you will not be considered for being permanently impaired by VAC.

When Should You Talk to VAC?
Permanently Impaired
Talk to Veterans Affairs Canada.

Your TPI decision may be initiated at any time during your participation in the rehabilitation program.  As well under any of the following circumstances:

  • All reasonable medical and psycho-social efforts have been exhausted and you are no longer able to participate in you vocational rehabilitation as demonstrated in your rehabilitation plan;
  • vocational rehabilitation efforts aimed at achieving at least  suitable gainful employment have been unsuccessful;
  • Given the severity of your health problems you will not likely regain the capacity for suitable gainful employment, even with rehabilitation; or
  • The rehabilitation program is being completed because;
    • there is evidence that further intervention would not be effective in achieving your rehabilitation goals;
    • Your health has deteriorated to the point where participation in the rehabilitation program is no longer possible

Only under these circumstances will VAC consider you permanently impaired.

What Evidence is Required for VAC to Consider You Permanently Impaired?

The first thing is you have to be is on the rehabilitation program and your request for TPI has to be for the health problem you are participating in the rehabilitation program.

You will need,

Permanently Impaired
HMCS Preserver HALIFAX, CANADA – JULY 29, 2011
  • The prognosis regarding your program eligible health problem(s); and
  • The impact of the program eligible health problems on your:
    • Functional Capacity: and
    • Employability

Information to evaluate these factors may be obtained, as required, from (but not limited to) the following sources:

  • Medical/Rehabilitation Reports which reflect your current health status and functional capacity;
  • The VAC 671 Medical Questionnaire: Employment Capacity;
  • A Specialized Functional Capacity Assessment;
  •  An employability assessment and/or a vocational assessment obtained from a vocational rehabilitation provider;
  • SISIP Long Term Disability Reports;
  • Canada Pension Plan Disability Pension Reports; and
  • Any other relevant information needed to make a favorable decision.

Specialized assessments, such as employability and functional capacity assessments, may not be required in all cases.  If it is found that with additional rehabilitation that you could have potential to regain capacity for suitable gainful employment you would not be found permanently impaired.

All information was gathered from Veterans Affairs Canada Totally and Permanently Incapacitated webpage.  All the information is broken down a little bit and easier to read I find.  I hope this will help you and your family find some help when researching TPI.  If you want to talk to Veterans Affairs Canada there is a link at the top of the page.


The Wellness Soldier

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