VETERANS AFFAIRS CANADA
SERVICES FOR MST
If you believe that you have suffered an injury or developed an illness as a result of sexual trauma during service and would like to learn more about what supports and services you may be eligible for, please contact us at 1-866-522-2122 or go to My VAC Account for more information.
What is a Service-Related injury?
In the December 2016 Report of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs : REACHING OUT: IMPROVING SERVICE DELIVERY TO CANADIAN VETERANS the testimony of Mr. Jarmyn states that "to prove that a case was related to military service, a legal argument had to be made" and later added that "The question we ask is whether or not the sexual assault occurred in the course of military service and, further to the Federal Court case in Cummings, whether or not the military was exercising significant control over the activities of the veteran at the time of the assault."
Can I get a disability award for MST?
Military Sexual Trauma (MST) is not a diagnosis, but can be the source of an injury. Just as combat trauma can be the source of a mental injury such as PTSD. You can therefore receive a disability award for an injury (physical or mental) that resulted from a military sexual trauma.
What evidence can support a disability claim for a mental or a physical injury as a result of MST?
Veterans Affairs Canada does not provide a list of examples. Of course, official reports of sexual assaults or harassment and investigative reports during military service are clear evidence to support a claim. However, we know that not all MST are reported. For this reason, Veterans Affairs U.S.A created a list that may help provide some indication that a sexual trauma happened during your service. The list below might help you substantiate your claim:
what if the court gave a non-guilty verdict?
A non-guilty verdict or an investigation that resulted in an "inconclusive" case does not necessarily means that you cannot be eligible to VA care and disability award.
In order to receive a guilty verdict in court, their needs to be unreasonable doubt that the crime happened. In order to get a disability award, the benefit of the doubt applies.
Are there other service available?
MAXIMIZING VA BENEFITS FOR SURVIVORS OF
MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA: A PRACTICAL GUIDE
FOR SURVIVORS AND THEIR ADVOCATES
We found this amazing American resource offers a short-term practical orientation for working within the current constructs for documenting, substantiating, and adjudicating MST claims. There are some differences, for example, the Canadian Armed Forces have a Duty to Report while the United States military is allowing restricted and unrestricted reporting, but the rest is overall pretty helpful.