A quiet protest is taking place this week in front of the federal building downtown Hamilton. A Canadian Armed Forces veteran says Veterans Affairs is releasing him from the vocational rehabilitation program, even though he suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and physical disability.
Shane Corbeil served in the Canadian Armed Forces from 1989 to 1997 where he was stationed at CFB Trenton and in Bosnia.
“Your average day citizen doesn’t see people hanging from their basements because they killed themselves with an electrical chord and a soldier has to see that stuff,” he says.
His time in the military not only left him in physical pain, there was emotional scarring as well.
“In the 90’s there was nothing for a veteran to get any help. You were given a release and they said see ya later.”
It wasn’t until 2007 that Corbeil sought help. He says Veterans Affairs Canada paid for initial psychiatric treatment where he was told he had symptoms of PTSD.
He was receiving $3,000 a month in lost income, until 5 days ago when his case worker told him he was being released from their vocational rehabilitation program because he does not suffer from PTSD.
“I’m going to be homeless within then next couple months. My wife my son and I, we’re going to lose everything.”
Psychologist Margaret McKinnon says for certain PTSD sufferers, it can be incredibly difficult to work.
“If you consider for example PTSD can result in difficulties with concentration, it can be difficult for someone to focus on a precise detail oriented job.”
Corbeil says he’s since gone to a new psychologist who has diagnosed him with PTSD and is in the process of submitting that information to the government. A representative from the Minister of Veterans Affairs says officials have now been directed to reach out to him with information he needs to access the appropriate support.
Corbeil says he’s already applied to the Canadian Forces Income Support Program, but even if he is eligible it could take up to 6 months to kick in, and is only about $1000 a month.