To hear the audio introduction to A Homeless Vet’s Journey – Week 8, click on the play button below:
The letter with updated information for Kurk’s account for CPP was faxed by Catherine McKenna’s (MP Ottawa Centre) office on Week 6 and two weeks later, with no mail, and no news on his CPP, I called McKenna’s office to follow up.
I was becoming quite frustrated with this process by now, the bureaucracy and all the red tape, and I wondered how I would hold up in this process if it was MY CPP cheque that was not forthcoming.
Kurk told me in fact, that he had given up. He was done waiting. He was in a depressed state, and in serious trouble. On several occasions by now, Kurk had spoken to me about taking his life, considering himself not worth the effort. This was very disturbing to me, because I sensed he meant it.
Here is the response from McKenna’s office on Week 8: “I just called CPP about the case, they had a mix up on their end and had changed the address but did not send out the cheque. They have now corrected that and are sending it out now. He will receive the retroactive amount plus the most recent payment. This month’s payment will come at the end of this month. I am sorry about this, it is very strange as I have called several times on this file to make sure things were moving.”
Kurk made seven trips (over several months) to Service Canada before we took up his case with Catherine McKenna’s office.
The Time Line: the date of the initial fax from McKenna’s office to Service Canada took place on Week 5; the second inquiry on Week 8.
I received a letter from the Government of Canada and delivered it to Kurk on Week 9.
We sat in my car and Kurk cried when he opened the letter. Through tears of joy he said, “I would never, never have this unless you helped me. Thank you. Thank you.”
The contents? A cheque for several months of back pay from Canada Pension Plan.
Ken MacLaren, Executive Director
Interact: Finally, a breakthrough for our friend Kurk! Imagine if you were Kurk, homeless and finally seeing that small silver lining – after 2 long months of waiting! What feelings would you be experiencing in that moment? How would this impact you?
(Kurk’s Journey is a 10-Part Series. Stay tuned for Part 7)