You Said

In total, 853 people completed the survey. The data shows there was good range of participant representation in terms of gender identity (76% male, 21% female), language preference (84% English, 16% French) and geography with all regions in Canada represented.

Application method

The majority (71%) of respondents applied online. For the remainder (29%) who applied using a paper application: almost half of them said they did so because it was the only option they were aware of; and a quarter did so because they preferred a personal connection.

Help applying for Disability Benefits

29% of respondents indicated having help with their application, most commonly from a third party. 16% of respondents told us that filling out the application form was the most difficult or frustrating part of applying for disability benefits.

Understanding the application process and next steps

61% of participants said that they were not confident, or only somewhat confident that they submitted all the information required for a decision.

In addition, 79% indicated that they were not clear—or only somewhat clear—on the next steps in the process after submitting their application. When we asked what applicants found the most frustrating, not knowing the status of the application was a major concern, with 22% of applicants finding the lack of real-time status tracking frustrating.

Wanting a better explanation of how the process works and what is needed to apply was also referenced often in the open text answers of the survey.

Incomplete applications

Of participants who indicated they had been contacted by VAC for additional information to complete their application, 81% indicated that VAC had contacted them within six months or sooner (20% within 6 months, 22% within 3 months, 26% within one month, and 13% within a week). Almost 60% of respondents were not satisfied with the length of time VAC took to determine they needed more information. When we asked how long it should take for VAC to follow up for more information: 50% indicated that within a month; 29% indicating within a week; and 12% within three months.

Accessing medical information and diagnosis

35% of respondents said that getting a medical diagnosis/documentation was a difficult and frustrating part of the application process. In the open text question on how to improve the process, many told us that improving how medical information is obtained is one of their top concerns.

Your top concerns

In response to the question “If there was one thing you could change about the application process, what would it be?”, the top answer was faster processing of applications. This was followed by better communication about and through the application process, and making the application and process easier.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

<span class="translation_missing" title="translation missing:">Load Comment Text</span>