Canadian Veterans Advocacy

Sunday, March 10, 2013

NEW INFO VIP - Ground Maintenance and Housekeeping Grants

Veterans Independence Program - Ground Maintenance and Housekeeping Grants

As of January 1, 2013, semi-annual up-front grant payments are being provided for grounds maintenance and housekeeping services offered under the Veterans
Independence Program (VIP). These benefits were previously being paid directly to providers, being reimbursed to program recipients, or being given via advance pay. Any new clients (Veterans I Primary Caregivers I Surviving spouses) applying for GK and HK under VIP will automatically be placed in the Grant program. The 105,000 existing VIP recipients will be converted to grants upon their anniversary dates (the date they started receiving VIP).

There have been no changes to the eligibility for the program - the same service eligibility and identified health need requirements are in place. Once eligibility is
determined then the Grant Determination Tool is applied and this tool calculates the grant that the client will receive.

Everyone should have received a letter in fall 2012 advising of changes and a letter to give to their provider. If they did not receive a letter, they can get one by calling the NCCN 1-866-522-2122.

Upon the Anniversary date, the recipient's Benefit arrangement changes from reimbursement I direct bill I advance pay to the semi-annual grants.
Grants calculations for existing recipients are based on:
• If there has been no reassessment in the last year then the grant will be the equivalent on what was spent in the previous year (11 months, 3 weeks).
• If the HK and/or GK was reassessed with the GDT after Jan 3, 2013 then the grant is the what was calculated by the GDT.
• If the HK and/or GK were reassessed in the last 2 months prior to conversion - the grant will be equal to the reassessed amount.
• If the HK and/or GK were reassessed in the past year more than 2 months prior to anniversary date - there is a calculation that is based on percentage of
spending, projected spending, and amount of reassessment. (About 4000 VIP recipients are going to fall in this category)

Six months after the first grant payment, a second grant payment will be sent to the recipient. At that time the receipts that were submitted after the first grant for the previous year will have been factored in and an adjustment will be made to the grant.

As of 1 January 2013, primary responsibility for providing eligible still-serving CF personnel with treatment, home care, home assistance and personal care benefits and seNices shifted from VAC to the CF. Men and women in uniform can access these seNices through their supporting CF Health Services Centre. This means that on a recipient's VIP anniversary date, the VIP benefits from VAC will be terminated.

However, if the member had released, or was in the release process prior to January 1, 2013, that person will not be impacted by these changes. Still SeNing members were advised that documented confirmation of a 2013 release date needed to be forwarded to the VAC Transitional Support Unit. This unit is ensuring that anyone who selfidentified prior to Jan 1, 2013 are not losing nor having a gap in their services. Anyone who releases without having provided the documentation prior to Jan 1,2013 will need to go through the VAC application process again.

- There is no overpayment for grants as there is for pensions or the previous advance pay system. If the recipient was eligible to receive grant on the day it was processed then it is the recipients to keep. For example if an eligible recipient passes away after receiving a grant, there is no requirement for the estate to repay any part the grant. The spouse of the Veteran recipient in cases such as this, is considered a new applicant and will be processed as per the GDT.

-The Spouses I Primary Care Givers of Veterans who live in Nursing Homes I Long - Term Care Facilities are eligible for the grant, however they cannot receive it by direct deposit at this time. This is a system generated barrier that the IT department is trying to have changed.
- Window Washing is no longer a separate element, it is being included in Housekeeping. When existing recipients were converted the spent amount in Window
Washing was added to overall House Keeping amount. Window Washing has always been a part of House Keeping, but it was added as a separate element for billing
purposes. VAC is going back to being in line with policy and including this under House Keeping.
- If a recipient requests a reassessment of the GK or HK because the recipient is reporting an increased health need, and the GDT computes an amount that is less than what the recipient is currently receiving, the recipient is to be 'grand fathered ' at the converted amount and NOT reduced. Please note they are to be grand fathered at the converted amount, not the previously approved amount. If the reassessment was due to a change such as moving into a smaller home (for example from a 3 bedroom house to a 1 bedroom apartment) the recipient's benefits will not be grand fathered.
- For those that may require support in managing the grants, they are eligible to access the support of VAC staff such as a Case Manager to help them identify potential resources.

The Grant Determination Tool
The Annual Grant Determination Tool (GDT) was developed as part of the Budget 2012 initiative to assist with the implementation of the Veterans Independence Program (VIP) Grant for Housekeeping and Grounds Maintenance. The GDT is not an assessment tool. It is a calculation worksheet to determine the amount that can be approved for the Housekeeping and Grounds Maintenance grant.

The Annual Grant Determination Tool works differently for VIP Housekeeping (HK) and Grounds Maintenance (GM). For Housekeeping services, the tool determines the individual's level of need for those services by assigning a level of need score based on answers to a series of questions. The Level of Need Score (LN) is then translated into hours of services.

For Grounds Maintenance, the tool determines how much funds are required (up to annual maximum rates) based on the size of the individual's property and other factors such as geography.

The Level of Need Score derived from the completed Grant Determination Tool will result in a fair and consistent approach that will standardize the way VIP Housekeeping and Grounds Maintenance services and costs are approved for clients nationally. There is no discretion beyond the scoring results provided by the Grant Determination Tool. The amount of the grant will reflect the needs of the recipient, as determined by the GDT.


November 2012 Protected Personal Information

Address 1
Address 2
City, Province Postal Code

Dear [Name],

Starting on January 1, 2013, a semi-annual up-front grant payment will be provided for grounds maintenance and housekeeping services offered under the
Veterans Independence Program (VIP). These up-front payments will replace the current reimbursement process for these services. You will automatically receive your first grant payment when your benefit year expires on [DATE], provided you have submitted your VIP annual renewal form. Please continue to submit receipts for the services that are rendered up until that date.

What this change means:
- Your grant payments are for housekeeping and grounds maintenance services only. You will no longer have to obtain or submit receipts and wait to be reimbursed for housekeeping and grounds maintenance services.
- You will receive your grant payments up front and in two annual installments. Your first grant payment will be received when your new benefit year begins in 2013. You will receive your second payment six months later.


- Your grant payment calculation will be based on your needs, local rates for housekeeping and grounds maintenance services and your previous expense history for these services.
- You will be advised in writing of your annual grant amount.
- You may continue to use the service provider of your choice. You will be responsible for paying your provider directly.
- Service providers registered with Medavie Blue Cross will be informed of this change. We have enclosed a letter that you may share with your housekeeping and/or grounds maintenance provider(s) identifying the date you will begin receiving the up-front grant payments.
- Should you have any receipts outstanding from last year, please submit them as soon as possible.
- If you are receiving other VIP services, please ensure that you or your provider continues to submit receipts for reimbursement. If you are receiving advanced payments, these payments will continue for your other VIP services.

We will continue to follow up with you annually to ensure your VIP services are meeting your needs. You will be required to complete the annual follow-up form
to ensure there is no interruption in your VIP benefits. In the meantime, if your needs change, please contact VAC directly. You are responsible for managing the up-front grant payments issued to you. The funds are intended to contribute to the cost of housekeeping and/or grounds maintenance services. Your annual grant amount will not be increased unless your needs change.

For more information about the Veterans Independence Program and how Veterans Affairs Canada can help you, please visit or call
toll free 1-866-522-2122.

Veterans Affairs Anciens Combattants

November 2012

Dear Provider:

Protected Personal Information


Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) advises you that effective [Date] [Client Name] at [Address] will begin receiving a semi-annual up-front grant payment for grounds maintenance and/or housekeeping services offered under the Veterans Independence Program (VIP). After this date, your client will be responsible for paying you directly and will no longer have to submit receipts or wait to be reimbursed. This also means that you will not be able to submit for reimbursement on a client's behalf for services delivered after the beginning of their new benefit year. Clients will receive two payments each year: The first at the beginning of
their 2013 benefit year, the second six months later.

Other benefits provided under VIP will continue to be administered as usual. If you have any questions, please contact the toll-free VIP Inquiry Line at


VIP Grant - 01

VIP Grant Conversion (First installment, converted based on expenses)



FILE: K1234567

Recipient's First Name Last Name
Address Line 1
City, Prov Postal Code

Dear (Name)
As you know, Veterans Affairs Canada is converting housekeeping and grounds maintenance benefits under the Veterans Independence Program (VIP) to up-front grant payments. Effective (date), your housekeeping and/or grounds maintenance benefits have been converted to a grant and you will no longer have to send in receipts and wait to be reimbursed for services provided after this date.

If you receive VIP benefits other than housekeeping and/or grounds maintenance and submit requests for reimbursement either by sending receipts, signing VIP claim forms, or a combination of both, you will need to continue to do so for those services.

Your grant amount was calculated based on your usage from the previous year. If you have not submitted receipts for expenses in the past year for either housekeeping or grounds maintenance, you will not be receiving a grant payment for that benefit at this time. Based on this, the following will be provided to contribute toward the cost of services:

(Enter applicable amounts:

Housekeeping for $/per year (Enter HK amount)
Grounds Maintenance for $/per year (Enter GM amount).
= Total Annual Grant for $ (Enter grant amount).

Your grant will be issued in two semi-annual installments. The first installment of $ (Enter amount of first installment) has been issued. However, please note that the actual payment you receive may be different if any adjustments were necessary. Please refer to the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statement accompanying the payment which will list any adjustment or any other payments that may have been made at the same time. Your second payment will be provided in (Enter month and year of next payment issue), as long as you continue to be eligible to receive these benefits. Please be assured that your second payment will be adjusted to incorporate any eligible receipts from last year.

While you continue to have 18 months from the date services are provided to submit any outstanding receipts for reimbursement, only those invoices and receipts that we receive by (Enter May 31,2013 for those converted in Jan and advance one month for each conversion month on a go forward basis) can be considered in
calculating your grant amount. Any required adjustments will be added to your second grant payment.

You are responsible for managing the grant payments issued to you and paying your service provider(s) for their services. The payments are intended to contribute to your costs of housekeeping and/or grounds maintenance services.

Your annual grant amount may be increased if your needs change. If you have questions or concerns related to your grant payment, please call us at 1-855-342-3760. This toll free line has been set up specifically to respond to inquiries on grant payments only.

If you feel that your annual grant amount has not been calculated correctly, you may request a review by writing within 60 days of receiving this letter to:

Veterans Affairs Canada
National 1 st Level Appeals
40 Alderney Drive, Stn #202
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 2N5

In your letter, please include the reason you are requesting a review and any additional information to support your request.


Tania Stote
Contract Manager
VIP Conversion Unit

The Canadian Veterans Advocacy Team.


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