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Veterans Review and Appeal Board Act (S.C. 1995, c. 18)

Act current to 2022-06-20 and last amended on 2019-04-01. Previous Versions

Veterans Review and Appeal Board Act

S.C. 1995, c. 18

Assented to 1995-06-22

An Act to establish the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, to amend the Pension Act, to make consequential amendments to other Acts and to repeal the Veterans Appeal Board Act

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Veterans Review and Appeal Board Act.

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 In this Act,

Board

Board means the Veterans Review and Appeal Board established by section 4; (Tribunal)

Bureau

Bureau means the Bureau of Pensions Advocates continued by section 6.1 of the Department of Veterans Affairs Act; (Bureau)

member

member means a permanent or temporary member of the Board; (Version anglaise seulement)

Minister

Minister means the Minister of Veterans Affairs or such other member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada as may be designated by the Governor in Council as the Minister for the purposes of this Act; (ministre)

prescribed

prescribed means prescribed by the regulations. (Version anglaise seulement)

  • 1995, c. 18, s. 2
  • 2000, c. 34, ss. 94(F), 95(F)

Marginal note:Construction

 The provisions of this Act and of any other Act of Parliament or of any regulations made under this or any other Act of Parliament conferring or imposing jurisdiction, powers, duties or functions on the Board shall be liberally construed and interpreted to the end that the recognized obligation of the people and Government of Canada to those who have served their country so well and to their dependants may be fulfilled.

Establishment of Board

Marginal note:Establishment of Board

 There is established an independent board, to be known as the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, consisting of not more than 25 permanent members to be appointed by the Governor in Council and any number of temporary members that are appointed under section 6.

  • 1995, c. 18, s. 4
  • 2013, c. 40, s. 276

Marginal note:Permanent members

  •  (1) A permanent member holds office during good behaviour.

  • Marginal note:Term

    (2) A permanent member shall be appointed for a term not exceeding ten years and is eligible to be reappointed.

Marginal note:Temporary members

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may appoint temporary members of the Board whenever, in the opinion of the Governor in Council, the workload of the Board so requires.

  • Marginal note:Tenure

    (2) A temporary member holds office during good behaviour.

  • Marginal note:Term

    (3) A temporary member shall be appointed for a term not exceeding two years and is eligible to be reappointed for one additional term.

Marginal note:Acting after ceasing to hold office

  •  (1) A person who has resigned or otherwise ceased to hold office as a member may, at the request of the Chairperson, at any time within eight weeks after that event, make or take part in the disposition of any appeal, review, reference or other matter in which the person became engaged while holding that office, and a person performing duties under this subsection is deemed to be a temporary member of the Board.

  • Marginal note:Disposition where member unable to take part

    (2) Where a person to whom subsection (1) applies or any other member by whom a matter has been heard is unable to take part in the disposition of the matter or has died, the remaining members, if any, who heard the matter may make the disposition and, for that purpose, are deemed to constitute the Board.

Marginal note:Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson

  •  (1) The Governor in Council shall designate a Chairperson and a Deputy Chairperson from among the permanent members.

  • Marginal note:Chief executive officer

    (2) The Chairperson is the chief executive officer of the Board and has supervision over and direction of the work of the Board including the allocation of work among its members, the conduct of its work, the management of its internal affairs and the duties of its staff.

  • Marginal note:Reports

    (3) The Chairperson shall make such reports to the Minister as the Minister may require respecting the use of the resources allocated to the Board.

  • Marginal note:Acting Chairperson

    (4) If the Chairperson is absent or unable to act or the office of Chairperson is vacant, the Deputy Chairperson shall act as Chairperson.

  • Marginal note:Acting Chairperson

    (5) If both the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson are absent or unable to act or both offices are vacant, a member designated by the Minister shall act as Chairperson.

Marginal note:Full-time occupation

 A member shall perform their duties under this Act on a full-time basis and shall not hold any office or engage in any occupation inconsistent with those duties.

Marginal note:Remuneration and allowances

  •  (1) A member shall be paid such remuneration and allowances as may be fixed by the Governor in Council.

  • Marginal note:Travel and living expenses

    (2) A member is entitled to be paid reasonable travel and living expenses incurred by them while absent from their ordinary place of work in connection with the work of the Board.

Marginal note:Presumption

  • 1995, c. 18, s. 11
  • 2003, c. 22, s. 224(E), 225(E)

Marginal note:Head office

 The head office of the Board shall be at such place in Canada as the Governor in Council may designate.

Marginal note:Officers and employees

 Such officers and employees as are necessary for the proper conduct of the work of the Board shall be appointed in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act.

Powers, Duties and Functions

Marginal note:Powers

 The Board and each member have, with respect to the carrying out of the Board’s duties and functions under this Act, all the powers of a commissioner appointed under Part I of the Inquiries Act.

Marginal note:Access to records

 Subject to any other Act of Parliament and any regulations made under any other Act of Parliament, the Board may inspect the records of the Department of Veterans Affairs and all material relating to any proceeding before the Board.

  • 1995, c. 18, s. 15
  • 2000, c. 34, s. 94(F)

Marginal note:Additional powers, duties and functions

 The Board shall exercise such powers and shall perform such duties and functions as are conferred or imposed on it by or pursuant to any other Act of Parliament or any order of the Governor in Council.

Marginal note:Panels

 Subject to subsections 19(1), 27(1), 34(2) and 44(2), the Chairperson may establish panels of one or more members to exercise any power or perform any duty or function of the Board designated by the Chairperson.

Review

Marginal note:Exclusive jurisdiction

 The Board has full and exclusive juris­diction to hear, determine and deal with all applications for review that may be made to the Board under the Pension Act or the Veterans Well-being Act, and all matters related to those applications.

  • 1995, c. 18, s. 18
  • 2005, c. 21, s. 110
  • 2017, c. 20, s. 292

Marginal note:Review panels

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), an application for review shall be heard, determined and dealt with by a review panel consisting of not fewer than two members or, with the consent of the applicant, one member designated by the Chairperson.

  • Marginal note:Refusal to establish review panel

    (2) The Chairperson, or any member to whom the Chairperson has delegated the authority, may refuse to establish a review panel to hear an application for review of a decision concerning the amount of an award under the Pension Act, or the amount of a critical injury benefit, pain and suffering compensation, additional pain and suffering compensation, a death benefit, a clothing allowance or a detention benefit under Part 3 of the Veterans Well-being Act, if the Chairperson or member, as the case may be, considers the application to be such that no reasonable review panel could dispose of it in a manner favourable to the applicant.

  • 1995, c. 18, s. 19
  • 1999, c. 10, s. 38
  • 2000, c. 34, s. 66(F)
  • 2005, c. 21, s. 111
  • 2015, c. 36, s. 226
  • 2017, c. 20, s. 292
  • 2018, c. 12, s. 180

Marginal note:Written and oral submissions

 An applicant may make a written submission to the review panel or may appear before it, in person or by a representative, to present evidence and arguments.

Marginal note:Disposition of application

 A review panel may

  • (a) affirm, vary or reverse the decision of the Minister being reviewed;

  • (b) refer any matter back to the Minister for reconsideration; or

  • (c) refer any matter not dealt with in the decision back to the Minister for a decision.

Marginal note:Decision to be made as soon as possible

  •  (1) A review panel shall make its decision as soon as possible and shall notify the applicant of the decision.

  • Marginal note:Decision of majority

    (2) A decision of a majority of the members of a review panel is a decision of the Board.

  • Marginal note:Absence of majority decision

    (3) In the absence of a majority decision, the decision most favourable to the applicant is the decision of the Board.

Marginal note:Reconsideration of decisions

  •  (1) A review panel may, on its own motion, reconsider a decision made by it under section 21 or this section and may either confirm the decision or amend or rescind the decision if it determines that an error was made with respect to any finding of fact or the interpretation of any law.

  • Marginal note:Board may exercise powers

    (2) The Board may exercise the powers of a review panel under subsection (1) if the members of the review panel have ceased to hold office as members.

Marginal note:Applicant and witnesses to be paid expenses, etc.

 An applicant and each witness called by an applicant who attends a hearing by a review panel are entitled to be paid

  • (a) travel and living expenses incurred in attending the hearing, in accordance with regulations made in relation to veterans health care under section 5 of the Department of Veterans Affairs Act; and

  • (b) in the case of a witness who is a medical practitioner, such attendance fee as may be fixed by the Treasury Board.

  • 1995, c. 17, s. 73, c. 18, s. 24
  • 2000, c. 34, s. 95(F)
  • 2015, c. 3, s. 158

Marginal note:Appeal

 An applicant who is dissatisfied with a decision made under section 21 or 23 may appeal the decision to the Board.

Appeals

Marginal note:Exclusive jurisdiction

 The Board has full and exclusive jurisdiction to hear, determine and deal with all appeals that may be made to the Board under section 25 or under the War Veterans Allowance Act or any other Act of Parliament, and all matters related to those appeals.

Marginal note:Appeal panel

  •  (1) An appeal shall be heard, determined and dealt with by an appeal panel consisting of not fewer than three members designated by the Chairperson.

  • Marginal note:Prohibition

    (2) A member of a review panel may not sit on an appeal panel that has been established to hear an appeal of a decision made by that review panel.

Marginal note:Written and oral submissions

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), an appellant may make a written submission to the appeal panel or may appear before it, in person or by representative and at their own expense, to present evidence and oral arguments.

  • Marginal note:Documented evidence

    (2) Only documented evidence may be submitted under subsection (1).

Marginal note:Disposition of appeals

  •  (1) An appeal panel may

    • (a) affirm, vary or reverse the decision being appealed;

    • (b) refer any matter back to the person or review panel that made the decision being appealed for reconsideration, re-hearing or further investigation; or

    • (c) refer any matter not dealt with in the decision back to that person or review panel for a decision.

  • Marginal note:Where matter cannot be referred to review panel

    (2) Where the members of a review panel have ceased to hold office or for any other reason a matter cannot be referred to that review panel under paragraph (1)(b) or (c), the appeal panel may refer the matter to the Chairperson who shall establish a new review panel in accordance with subsection 19(1) to consider, hear, investigate or decide the matter, as the case may be.

Marginal note:Questions of interpretation

 Where the appellant raises a question of interpretation relating to this Act, to the Pension Act, to Part 3 of the Veterans Well-being Act, to any other Act of Parliament pursuant to which an appeal may be taken to the Board or to any regulations made under any such Act and the appeal panel is of the opinion that the question is not trivial, frivolous or vexatious, it shall notify the prescribed persons or organizations and give them an opportunity to present argument on the question before it makes its decision.

  • 1995, c. 18, s. 30
  • 2005, c. 21, s. 112
  • 2017, c. 20, s. 292
 
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