SFA/SSFA Charges & Allowances

On this page:

SFA and Garage Charges 2015
Disturbance Expense - all you need to know
How charges raised on Move Out are collected in the UK
Changes to Fuel and Light (F&L/XY) Allowances
Changes to garage charges


SFA and Garage Charges 2015

Click here to download the SFA and garage charges for 2015.

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Contribution in lieu of council tax (CILOCT) is what all families living in SFA/SSFA, or soldiers in SLA, pay instead of council tax. It is collected by the MOD and then paid to the councils dependent on how many SFA/SLA are in their area.

With effect from 1 April 2015 daily rates of CILOCT for families living in SFA/SSFA have increased by around1%.

This is in line with increases for civilian housing, where the local authority has chosen not to freeze the rate of council tax.

CILOCT - Service Families Accommodation (SFA)

ii 5.65
iii  5.37
iv  4.54
v 4.09
d 3.72
c 3.54
b 3.23
a 2.67

CILOCT - Single Living Accommodation (SLA)

 Officers 0.32
 SNCOs 0.23
 Other Ranks 0.08

Council Tax Relief:
From 1 April 2014  - 2.88 daily. 

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Disturbance Expense - all you need to know

Entitlement to Disturbance Expense

“The aim of Disturbance Expense (DE) 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.” 

We’ve all had those moves where DE has been more than the costs incurred with moving and also those where it doesn’t quite cover it – the amount of DE we receive is based on many factors such as mail redirection and transit insurance (for the full list see below) but over the period of a Service career it will generally balance out.

When are you entitled to DE?

Remember that it is the move of the Service person which provides eligibility to DE and not the move of the immediate family and in order to qualify you must fit one of the following criteria;

  1. If you have received a posting order to a new place of duty – if you are required to move, however small the distance, you will be entitled to DE.
  2. If you move mid tour for Service reasons (this includes a move due to increase in size of family which takes you up a size of SFA, promotion, or if you are asked to move by DIO Service Delivery Accommodation) you can claim DE; if, however, you move for Compassionate, Welfare or Medical reasons you will have to get your Unit Welfare Officer (UWO) to help you put up a claim to PACCC via the Commanding Officer (CO) and if this is successful then you will get DE.
  3. If you are required to move SFA to an alternative accommodation while waiting for a posting order.

How do you make a claim?

Claims for DE may be submitted 45 days before the expected move date. Your Serving person (SP) needs to claim using the JPA on-line self-service system. For those SP 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.

How will you be paid?

The appropriate rate of DE and Child Element may be paid in advance of, but not more than 30 days prior to, a DE qualifying move. DE payments will be made via the SP’s salary i.e. at the end of the month so make sure you apply before that month’s pay run has gone in or you may find that you move before you get DE! 

If you have any queries on whether or not you are entitled to DE, and for the current rates, AFF advises you to ask your RAO or UWO. If you have any issues with being entitled to DE contact Cat Calder at housing@aff.org.uk.  



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

a. Provision of/alteration to curtains.
b. Additional furnishing costs.
c. Loss of subscriptions (eg Gym).
d. Costs associated with the preparation of current accommodation for move 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 DE Rate. The following expenditure is included in the Child Element of the DE Rate calculation:

a. School uniform.
b. School shoes.
c. School sports kit.
d. School books.

3. Expenses Excluded from the DE Rate. DE 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.

Disturbance Expense Rates (from Apr 14):

Privately Owned / Rented 1,036
SFA/SSFA 1,036
Child Element 81

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How charges raised on Move Out are collected in the UK

As of the 1st October 2013 all charges for damages and deficiencies (barrack damages in old money!) on SFA and SSFA in the UK are now recovered from the serving person’s pay – this is to reduce the time and costs involved with chasing those who don’t currently pay on time (or at all). See the Move In / Move Out page for full details.

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Changes to Fuel and Light (F&L/XY) Allowances

From the 1st November 2012 anyone who pays for their heating and electricity through the F&L/XY scheme saw an increase in the amount they contribute towards it. 

The reason for the change was that the method used in the past to calculate F&L has resulted in the charges becoming considerably less than those people who pay through a civilian utility company have been paying. The new method of calculation is designed to bring the two more in line and that the F&L will now be reviewed annually in October. 

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Changes to garage charges

Is your garage currently classified as substandard and are you on a lower tariff? If so in future it might be re-assessed as standard! Before you panic too much even if your current garage is re-assessed and qualifies as standard your tariff will not change whilst in post. However the people moving in after October 2013 will be charged at a standard rate. 

What are the new rules?

This new ruling does not affect those whose garages are classified as below standard, which is when their construction is deemed insubstantial by DIO. Instead the new ruling targets garages which were classified as sub-standard on grounds of its size. Currently a garage that is less than 4.3 metres in length and/or 2.3 metres in width (internal measurements) and less than 2.5m high is deemed sub-standard. DIO is changing the height requirement to 1.85m clearance height (at entrance with the door open).


Well that is what we asked and were given this answer:

  • To ensure the policy was fair and reasonable to the Service person and the tax payer.
  • 2.5m was a high entrance threshold and not industry standard.
  • Interpretation of height was inconsistent – was it the door or ceiling to floor? Now it is clearance for a vehicle to enter.
  • 1.85m was chosen as it is the clearance required for a Ford Galaxy & BMW X5.

What to do

If you believe these changes will affect you and you are concerned please contact our Housing Specialist, Cat Calder at housing@aff.org.uk.

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AFF is interested to hear your views or concerns about issues discussed on our website. Please email us at housing@aff.org.uk.