Advice needed over disturbance allowance

Discussion in 'Army Pay, Claims & JPA' started by Archerake, Jun 15, 2010.

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  1. Hi,
    Due to move soon and could really do with some help on what we are or aren't entitled to. Basically to cut a long story short my husband is soon to deploy to Afghanistan. We have three young kids and I have a chronic illness for which I'm registered disabled, and which often results in hospital stays. My consutant was concerned about me coping on my own for such a long period of time, so following advice we therefore set about getting an au pair to help out. To do this we needed an extra bedroom, so therefore put in a request to move, which luckily was granted. Initially I was so grateful that I didn't bat an eyelid when they said that we'd have to pay for the move ourselves and wouldn't qualify for any disturbance allowance. To be fair we're only moving 12 miles down the road, so we just accepted that we'd crack on and do it all ourseves. However I've since been advised (by a Families Officer) that he thought we may be entitled to something. I went back to try and find him yesterday and he wasn't in.
    Like I said we're more than happy to accept the advice from the HIC if this is just the way it is, but equally it seems silly not to even try to find out if there is any chance of anything!
    Would be massively grateful for any help whatsever!
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. DISTURBANCE ALLOWANCE

    GENERAL

    07.0101. Aim. The aim of Disturbance Allowance (DA) is to contribute towards the necessary additional expenses that arise when the Services require their personnel to make a qualifying move to or from a RWA on permanent assignment.

    07.0102. Scope. DA applies equally for moves within the UK, between the UK and overseas, or for moves between overseas stations. Expenditure associated with moving from one residence to another varies from move to move. The allowable expenses (see Annex A to this Section) that underpin the DA rates are kept under review to ensure the rates cover the expenses necessarily incurred in the majority of the UK and overseas moves. Some personnel will find that the expenses they incurred in connection with a particular move will be higher than the allowance paid, while for other moves they will be lower. Over the course of their career, therefore, DA will have made a significant contribution.

    07.0103. Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs). In accordance with ITEPA 2003 Section 271 to 287 elements of DA are taxable. Where required, tax and NICs will be met by MOD and paid by SPVA under a PSA for:

    a. Mid-assignment moves for Service reasons within the UK.

    b. Final Tour of Duty moves within the UK (see Section 4 of this Chapter).

    c. Under the Army Over 37 Provision (see Section 8 of this Chapter).

    d. Any other UK move to a Residence at Work Address (RWA) which is within 50 miles or 90 minutes travelling time of the previous RWA.

    e. The Child Element of DA (see paragraph 07.0109) associated with moves within the UK.

    f. A percentage, as agreed between SP Pol P&M (Allces) and the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), of all other claims associated with moves within the UK.

    ELIGIBILITY

    07.0104. Eligible Service Personnel.

    a. Regular Service and Full Time Reserve Service (Full Commitment) (FTRS(FC)) personnel (irrespective of PStat Cat) are eligible to receive DA on moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2 training on a qualifying move, and on subsequent qualifying moves. MPGS personnel are eligible to receive DA for a qualifying move under the same regulations as those for Regular Service personnel.

    b. Exceptionally, FTRS (Limited Commitment) (FTRS(LC)), FTRS (Home Commitment) (FTRS(HC)), Additional Duties Commitment (ADC) and TA Non Regular Permanent Service (NRPS) personnel may be eligible for DA, but only when they are invited to be assigned to a new duty station in the interests of the Service and it is authorised by the SPVA Pay and Allowances Casework Cell (PACCC).

    INELIGIBILITY

    07.0105. Initial (Phase 1) Training. Service personnel joining their initial (Phase 1) training unit are ineligible for DA.

    07.0106. Non-Qualifying Moves. The following moves are ineligible for DA:

    a. Where Service personnel move between 2 residences when neither is a RWA (ie between 2 Selected Places of Residence (SPR)).

    b. Where Service personnel return from an assignment where they occupied public accommodation to a property that they previously lived in which their family continued to occupy during their absence (eg those returning from SSSA to a home that has been continually occupied by their family, or single personnel returning to privately owned or rented property that has not been let).

    c. Where Service personnel move into accommodation in a seagoing unit.

    d. Where Service personnel undertake operational tours.

    e. For moves between SLA within the same Unit.

    07.0107. Ineligible Service Personnel. Service personnel assigned to the European Union Military Staff (EUMS) are ineligible for DA for both their move to and from their EUMS assignment as they receive EU Daily Subsistence Allowance (EUDSA) (see Chapter 6 Section 6) which contributes towards these costs. University Cadets, Medical or Dental Cadets and Foundation Year 1&2 Doctors, including re-designated deferred University Cadet Entrants (UCEs), are ineligible for DA when in receipt of pay that includes an element for education grant. With the exception of those personnel specifically identified at paragraph 07.0104, Reserve Forces personnel are ineligible to receive DA.

    ENTITLEMENT

    07.0108. General. Only one claim and therefore one rate of DA is payable when a Service person is permanently assigned to a new duty station (but see paragraph 07.0111) (plus the Child Element of DA where appropriate).The DA payment is to be based upon the type of accommodation the Service person is going to occupy for the majority of the assignment (but see paragraph 07.0117). The property for which DA is claimed must be occupied for a minimum of 6 months during the assignment. In cases where the accommodation for which a DA payment is made is vacated within 6 months for other than Service reasons recovery action may be taken. Rates payable are for moves into:

    a. SFA. This rate is payable to Service personnel who occupy SFA or Substitute Service Families’ Accommodation (SSFA).

    b. SLA. This rate is payable to Service personnel who occupy SLA or Substitute Service Single Accommodation (SSSA). For the purposes of DA accommodation in a seagoing unit is not SLA and those moving into such accommodation do not have an entitlement to DA.

    c. Privately Owned Accommodation. This rate is payable to Service personnel who occupy living accommodation owned by them.

    d. Privately Rented Accommodation. This rate is payable to Service personnel who occupy privately rented accommodation for which they are a signatory on a tenancy agreement.

    07.0109. Child Element. The Child Element of DA contributes towards costs necessarily incurred for the child as a direct result of a family move which qualifies for DA. It is intended to contribute towards the extra costs of buying new school uniform items and books on moving a child from one school, or place of apprenticeship, to another. Service personnel entitled to DA may claim the Child Element for each child who satisfies one or more of the following conditions:

    a. The child is 3 years of age or over and receiving full-time education at a day school (including nursery school or technical college), which is defined as daily attendance for at least half of each weekday, and there is a requirement to purchase new school uniform for the child. Any nursery school or playgroup is to be one that is established under formal arrangements with the Local Education Authority (LEA) or equivalent overseas (normally HQ Service Children’s Education located at Wegberg).

    b. The child is moved from a day school to a boarding school, or vice-versa, after the date on which the Service person is notified of the assignment, but not later than the beginning of the first school term after the Service person joins the new duty station.

    c. The child is serving a full-time apprenticeship for which a wage, less than the UK National Minimum Wage, is received.

    07.0110. Temporary Accommodation. Service personnel who move into SLA on a temporary basis while arranging permanent accommodation may defer the payment of DA until they move into their selected permanent accommodation and therefore claim the appropriate SFA or Private Accommodation rate (see paragraph 07.0108). DA may not be claimed for both moves. Should a move to permanent accommodation not take place within the 3 month period, where eligible, the SLA rate of DA may then be claimed for the original move to SLA and any subsequent move at that assignment will be deemed to be a mid-assignment move and eligibility to DA will be limited to that detailed in paragraph 07.0111.

    07.0111. Mid-assignment Moves. DA is only payable for mid-assignment moves where the move of accommodation is for Service, compassionate, welfare or medical reasons. DA is not payable for mid-assignment moves between SLA. Where the Service person’s accommodation entitlement changes due to promotion or a change in the size of the immediate family (other than as a result of first setting up of home) the Service person will normally be entitled to a mid-assignment move and therefore the associated level of DA. The Service person must have an expectation of occupying the new property for at least 6 months. Mid-assignment moves for other personal reasons, including on estrangement, and for operational deployments do not give an entitlement to DA.

    07.0112 Service Couples. Where a Service couple occupy the same private accommodation (owned or rented) or public accommodation (SFA or SSFA), only one individual is eligible to claim DA for that accommodation. This is normally to be the individual who is recognised as PStat Cat 1s.

    07.0113. Service Personnel Sharing Private Accommodation. Where a Service person entitled to DA moves into shared private accommodation with people other than their immediate family, the rate of the allowance payable will be as follows:

    a. The full appropriate rate when no other occupant of the accommodation is or was entitled to DA on occupying the accommodation.

    b. Half the appropriate rate when sharing with one other person on occupying the accommodation. When calculating this rate, the resultant sum is to be rounded up to the nearest whole pound.

    c. One third of the appropriate rate when sharing with 2 or more other persons on occupying the accommodation. When calculating this rate, the resultant sum is to be rounded up to the nearest whole pound.

    07.0114. Families of Deceased Service Personnel. Following the death of a Service person, their immediate family is entitled to DA for any move between Service accommodation and for their final move from Service accommodation into private accommodation.

    07.0115. Evacuated Families. For entitlement to DA as a consequence of emergency evacuation from an overseas assignment, see Section 6 to this Chapter.

    CONDITIONS

    07.0116. Qualifying Moves. It is the move of the Service person, not the immediate family (unless bereaved or in the circumstances at paragraph 07.0118), which provides eligibility for DA. To qualify for DA Service personnel must:

    a. Be ordered in writing to move to a new place of duty to undertake a permanent assignment following Phase One training (but see 07.0107); or

    b. Be required to move from a RWA to alternative accommodation awaiting a further assignment (eg on an extended period of sickness). Where the subsequent assignment necessitates a further move to a RWA this will also attract DA; or

    c. Undertake a mid-assignment move for Service reasons, as a result of a change of Service accommodation entitlement (other than as a result of first setting up of home), or for compassionate, welfare or medical reasons when authorised by SPVA Pay and Allowances Casework Cell (PACCC).

    07.0117. Qualifying Residences. To qualify for DA Service personnel, irrespective of PStat Cat, must be entitled to move at public expense and the move must be to or from a RWA.

    a. If a Service person elects to serve unaccompanied (UnAcc) and settle their immediate family in a SPR, DA may be claimed at the rate for the type of accommodation their family moves into (ie privately owned or privately rented accommodation or SFA).

    b. Where a Service person occupies SFA by virtue of their appointment, in accordance with JSP 464 Part 1, paragraph 0302, DA will be paid at the SLA rate unless they are entitled to claim DA at the higher rate for a family move (see paragraph 07.0117a).

    07.0118. Service Couples. A PStat Cat 1(s) or (c) Service person, whose authorised change of PStat Cat was effected at the time of the new assignment, may claim DA provided a claim, other than at the SLA rate, has not been made by either of the partners in the previous 182 days. Determination of entitlement in exceptional circumstances (eg short notice change of assignment) should be referred to SPVA PACCC.

    07.0119. Qualifying Periods. DA is not admissible for moves solely as a consequence of a temporary assignment (ie periods less than 183 days) except in the following circumstances:

    a. A family move to a residence, which is to be occupied during 2 or more assignments or courses (which may be at different places) provided the total period of occupation is expected to exceed 182 days.

    b. Service personnel returning from an overseas assignment with an expectation of at least 91 days service (this period includes resettlement courses and terminal absence) from the date of arrival in the UK. Where it can be demonstrated that the 91 days qualifying period cannot be achieved for Service reasons, a case is to be made to SPVA PACCC who, if satisfied that genuine Service reasons exist, will waive the requirement.

    07.0120. Cancelled Assignment. A Service person whose formally notified assignment is cancelled and who has necessarily incurred expenses in anticipation of a qualifying move, may submit, to SPVA PACCC, a claim for these expenses. The total claim must not exceed the appropriate rate of DA and any Child Element (see paragraph 07.0109). Only items of expenditure which the allowance was devised to cover (see Annex A to this Section) will be admissible. Receipts must be provided to prove expenditure. If the full entitlement to DA has been claimed prior to notification of the cancellation, the unit HR admin staff are to identify the difference between the receipted actual costs incurred and the DA already claimed and are to notify SPVA PACCC of the amount for recovery.

    07.0121. Medical Evacuation to the UK. Where a seriously ill Service person is medically evacuated to the UK and the immediate family relocates permanently (ie they vacate their previous accommodation), they may occupy accommodation near the hospital. This will be treated as accommodation at an assignment station and therefore eligible for DA. A further payment of DA will not be debarred if the immediate family subsequently moves when the Service person reports for duty at the next duty station (which could, coincidentally, be their previous duty station).

    07.0122. Medical Discharges. Service personnel who are discharged from the Services on medical grounds, and who will be in receipt of a pension, are entitled to the benefits of the Final Tour of Duty Provision (see Section 4 to this Chapter).

    07.0123. Personnel Transferring Between the Services. Where a Service person transfers from one UK Armed Service to another, with no break between the 2 periods of service, this will be treated as an assignment for DA purposes and DA will be payable if they are otherwise eligible.

    RATES

    07.0124. Method of Rate Calculation. The rates are based upon the average additional expenditure incurred when Service personnel are required to move into specific types of accommodation (eg a room in a barrack block, a privately-owned house). MOD then determines the type of expenditure it will support (eg at present it will support the cost of providing new school uniforms; but it will not support loss of income as a result of a spouse/civil partner or partner giving up their employment). Some personnel will find that the expenses they incurred in connection with a particular move will be higher than the allowance paid, while for other moves they will be lower. Over the course of their career, therefore, DA will have made a significant contribution. The full list of items to which DA currently contributes is at Annex A to this Section.

    07.0125. Publication of Rates of DA. The rates of DA will be published in the annual MOD SP Pol P&M (Allces) Directed Letter “Rates of Entitlement for Allowances for Service Personnel”. The current rates are also at Chapter 1 Section 6.

    METHOD OF CLAIM

    07.0126. Method of Claim. Claims for DA may be submitted 45 days prior to the expected move date. Service personnel are to claim using the JPA on-line self-service system. For those personnel with no access to the JPA on-line system, JPA Form F018 is to be submitted to unit HR admin staff. The unit HR admin staff will then check the claim prior to its authorisation by the unit Allowances Checker and input to the JPA system via an Element Entry.

    METHOD OF PAYMENT

    07.0127. Method of Payment. The appropriate rate of DA and Child Element may be paid in advance of, but not more than 30 days prior to, a DA qualifying move. DA payments will be made via the Service person’s salary. The rate of DA payable, will be the rate in force on the date of the qualifying move. DA payments to families of deceased personnel will be made under arrangements made by JPAC. Unit HR admin staff are to ensure that the amount paid is refunded if the move does not take place, or payment is appropriately adjusted if the type of accommodation eventually occupied differs (see paragraph 07.0120) from that for which payment was made.

    Annex:

    A. Expenses that Disturbance Allowance Contributes Towards.
    EXPENSES THAT DISTURBANCE ALLOWANCE CONTRIBUTES TOWARDS

    1. Expenses Included in the DA Rate. The following expenditure is included in the DA Rate calculation:

    a. Provision of/alteration to curtains.

    b. Additional furnishing costs.

    c. Loss of subscriptions (eg Gymnasium).

    d. Costs associated with the preparation of current accommodation for march out/sale/letting (eg cost of paint for making good, commercial cleaning, window cleaning, dry cleaning, laundry).

    e. Bulk clearing of garden/household rubbish.

    f. Loss of food (opened packets/non transportable).

    g. Satellite/cable reconnection/installation.

    h. Cost of moving and installing new TV aerials.

    i. Mail redirection.

    j. Telephone reconnection/installation.

    k. Extra cost of postage/telephone calls.

    l. Insurance of goods in transit.

    m. Meals out due to cleaning of residence.

    n. Plumbing-in of domestic appliances.

    o. Alterations to electrical fittings (eg plug/voltage changes on assignment to/from overseas).

    p. Loss of purchased guarantee or extended warranties (when assigned outside mainland UK).

    2. Expenses Included in the Child Element of the DA Rate. The following expenditure is included in the Child Element of the DA Rate calculation:

    a. School uniform.

    b. School shoes.

    c. School sports kit.

    d. School books.
    3. Expenses Excluded from the DA Rate. DA does not contribute towards the following as these may be covered by other allowances:

    a. Hotel Costs.

    b. Legal and estate agent’s fees and other fees associated with the buying/selling/ letting and repossession of property.

    c. Removal of Personal Effects (PE).

    d. Storage of furniture when not taken overseas at public expense.

    e. Cost of a hire car when moving between UK and overseas.
     
  3. Get your other half to speak with his RAO staff, the families officer will not be an SME on this.
     
  4. Many thanks! Have had a read through all that and it was really useful. Have spoken to my husband and he's going to speak to his RAO staf tomorrow.
    Thanks again!
     
  5. A case will need to be staffed up the Chain of Command to PACC at Glasgow and they will make the decision whether you are entitled to claim Disturbance and Removals for your move.

    You will need to provide all the paperwork from your consultant / doctors stating that it is in your medical interests to have a living in au pair, which means you need a bigger house !

    Good luck
     
  6. Again, huge thanks! I'm v. aware that people are going out of their way to offer me advice, so really am grateful!
    Yup, we have already have all those letters (needed them to get the house in the first place). Think I'd just be mortified to ask about something only to find out we were never entitled to it in the first place!
    My husband's now onto it, so we'll just have to wait and see!
    Thanks again :D