AFF will continue to support Army families navigating their way through the redundancy process. It is always a very unsettling time for families as they face an uncertain future potentially losing the security of their only income and their home. For those who can’t afford a mortgage or commercial rents, the transition to social housing is far from smooth, and experiences vary from local authority to local authority. We have Specialists at hand, as well as Co-ordinators, reaching out to families on the ground. Looking forward, AFF remains concerned with the perceptible increase in soldier's working hours and has supported this with a survey and comprehensive report. Further cuts to manpower is likely to exacerbate these long working hours even if only in the short/medium term and this has a very real and detrimental effect on family life.
Are you or your serving soldier in the bracket for this year’s redundancies? If you think Tranche 4 redundancy will affect your family and you want to know more then take a look at this fact sheet produced by the Army. The redundancy process can be daunting and confusing so if you want to talk to someone or ask specific questions AFF may be able to help! Contact Caroline Mayne, AFF Employment Training Allowances and Money Specialist on 07799 045 955 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for a series of videos produced by the Army on aspects of redundancy.
AFF has put together a list of FAQs asked by families about the upcoming redundancies. Information is gathered largely from the DINs issued regarding redundancy – your soldier should have a copy.
We will add to it when other questions come in.
Below are the questions and answers.
Q. If my soldier is made redundant on 12th June when can he/she start their resettlement? Click here to show answer
Answer: All personnel selected for redundancy are eligible for the Full Resettlement Programme. Once the individual has been selected for redundancy, and the Notifiying Officer and Redundee acknowledgement forms have been returned to the Army Redundancy Cell in Glasgow, JPA will trigger a series of messages to their account. This entitles them to the resettlement activities that they are entitled to. Until this is done, it is much more difficult to proceed. Individuals are strongly advised to check JPA regularly throughout the termination process.
The redundee is provided with a series of interviews with a Resettlement Officer who will provide them with all the detail they need to understand the process of leaving the Army. Redundees with over sixteen years of service are entitled to thirty five working days Graduated Resettlement Time (GRT) – see the table on Page 30 of JSP 534. This is flexible time which may be used to complete resettlement activities. However the time taken must be agreed with the chain of command. Individuals could also use any unused annual leave to conduct resettlement activities; again this time away needs to be agreed by the chain of command. They are also entitled to twenty working days terminal leave, which could be used to undertake a course.
Individual resettlement plans are just that, bespoke to the individuals’ time. However individuals should expect to conduct GRT on a gradual basis, ie not all at once, as a balance is needed between doing the job for which the soldier is being paid and preparing for resettlement. Tranche 4 Redundancy Applicants will leave the Army by 11 Dec 2014 and Non-applicants by 11 Jun 15. There are options available to leave early, Redundancy Early Release Scheme, which the chain of command must endorse.
Those individuals selected for redundancy will receive comprehensive details in the Notification Letter on 12 Jun 14.
Q. Where can we get more support? Click here to show answer
- Chain of command (for officers/soldiers)
- Your Unit Welfare Officer/Regimental Operations Support Officer
- Army Welfare Information Service - Access to the Army’s professional and confidential welfare support service for servicemen and women and their families.
- Army HIVE - Provides information support to all members of the Service community. To find out about relocation, local unit and civilian facilities, places of interest, schools and further education, housing, healthcare facilities, employment and training opportunities in your location use the link to find the nearest HIVE Information Centre.
- Children’s Education Advisory Service - Provides a dedicated service exclusively for Service and MOD families providing professional advice about all aspect of children's education both in the UK and Overseas. CEAS has 13 full time advisors to answer queries via telephone, e-mail or in person. The Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) is an integral part of The Directorate Children and Young People (DCYP), which is the focal point within the Ministry of Defence for all matters relating to Service children and young people.
- Joint Service Housing Advice Office - Provides Service personnel and their families with information and advice on the increasingly complex range of civilian housing options. The JSHAO provides a focal point for housing information and advice to all Service personnel and their families in particular those about to return to civilian life, and to ex-Service personnel who are still in Service Families Accommodation.
- Forcesline - Offers totally confidential, non judgemental, guidance on personal/welfare issues to the Army community.
- Connexions Direct - The government's support service for all young people aged 13 to 19 in England. The helpline provides a listening service and advice on subjects including education, training and employment and a range of other issues affecting young people. Calls from a landline are free and won't show on a phone bill. Calls from a mobile are charged, but the helpline will ring back once contact is made.
- Directgov website - Advice/Signposting on Government sources of support for coping with redundancy.
There are lots of other agencies that you may wish to speak to if you are in need of assistance such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, the Samaritans and debt advice lines such as the National Debt Line.
Check back regularly to the MOD website to find out the latest information.
Other useful contacts
Q. What is the right of appeal for a solider against selection for redundancy? Click here to show answer
Answer: Selected non-applicants and applicants who are not selected may appeal against the decision of the Redundancy Board in writing within 30 days of their acknowledgment of receipt of notification of non-selection or selection. They must be able to demonstrate exceptional circumstances that was not known to the Board at the time of selection.
Q. Legally if someone is on notice of redundancy they are entitled to "reasonable" time off to look for another job. Does this mean if I am stationed abroad and I have a job interview in the UK that I would be allowed time off to attend the interview? Click here to show answer
Answer: As long as you have started the resettlement process you should be able to take time off for job interviews.
Q. If my serving soldier gets offered a job early – can he/she leave in order to take up the job? Click here to show answer
Answer: Individuals will be able to apply for Early Release once selected for redundancy. The needs of the Service will be paramount in any decision to facilitate leaving the Service early.
Q. How is the MOD liaising with local councils to ensure that families who may be made homeless as a result of redundancy are given assistance with trying to secure a council house? Click here to show answer
Answer: Garrison Commanders are liaising with local councils ensuring they are up to date with the potential impact of redundancies in their area.
The Minister for Housing & Local Government has written to Local Authority Leaders and Chief Executives about assisting Service personnel who are no longer entitled to SFA and reminding them that the Certification of Cessation of Right to Occupy is sufficient for Local Authorities to provide advice and assistance.
Contact details for your local authority www.direct.gov.uk/en/DI1/Directories/Localcouncils/index.htm
Q. Can I apply for redundancy even though I am not on the list? Click here to show answer
Answer - Only those who come under the redundancy fields listed are eligible to apply for redundancy. If you wish to leave, it would have to be under your own steam without the redundancy associated package. However, with the Army reducing in size to around 82,500, there may well be plenty of opportunity, depending on your cap badge, to be eligible for redundancy in the future.
Q. Why aren't we being informed about the numbers of eligible personnel within each bracket? I would like to be able to judge how many I am up against. Click here to show answer
Answer - To understand the odds of selection for redundancy is an entirely understandable wish however, each individual circumstance is different and therefore publishing the numbers in Field could be extremely misleading. The number actually in field and eligible as both applicants and non-applicants is affected by a number of factors such as: the number of individuals excluded by their operational or medical status; the number of Appraisal Reports they hold; and individual performance in annual Appraisal Reports. Crucially, you should note that the numbers quoted in the DIN are the maximum required and could be revised downward. Given these factors and the likelihood that erroneous conclusions could be drawn, the decision has been taken to not provide Field size.
Q. Do you just select the soldiers who are bottom of their year leaving those who are scoring as middle now at the bottom? Click here to show answer
Answer - Those eligible under the Army Redundancy Programme are scored by a board and placed in an order of merit based upon the evidence contained within their annual reports. These Boards take into consideration an individual’s performance, potential and wider employability. Generally, applicants are then selected in preference to non-applicants, with the lowest scoring applicants taken first. Where there are insufficient applicants to meet the requirement the lowest scoring non-applicants are then selected for redundancy.
Q. What does LoS (MP) mean? Click here to show answer
Answer - Length of Service for Manpower Planning (LoS (MP)) is the measure used to determine who is in a redundancy Field and who is not. It is not the same as your age or the length of time you have been in the Army as it takes into account breaks in service and/or prior service. In this sense LoS (MP) is simply a tool for redundancy planning and nothing else, it is however in your interests to double check that your LoS MP is correct. The guide for working out your LoS(MP) is in Annex A of the DIN, if you need help your RAO can provide it.
Q. If a soldier applies for voluntary redundancy whilst on operations, can the application be retracted once the soldier returns from tour? Can consideration be given to a soldier asking for a retraction if the soldier had experienced a 'difficult' tour? Click here to show answer
Answer - The ‘Withdrawal of Application for Redundancy’ forms are at the back of the Tranche 4 DIN and must be with the ARedC by 06 March 2014. Any application not rescinded by a withdrawal beyond 06 March will go forward for consideration for redundancy. There is a process for dealing with exceptional circumstances through appeal (post selection) but the soldier would have to demonstrate exceptional circumstances not known when the board made the selection.
Q. How is LSAP affected by redundancy? Click here to show answer
Answer - Upon notification of selection for redundancy, LSAP claimants must make arrangements for the full repayment of their outstanding balance prior to discharge, either by paying a lump sum, increasing monthly repayments, or by requesting that repayment is deducted from any terminal benefits that are due. JSP 752 para 02.0428 refers. Under current policy, personnel who have applied for, or who have been given notice of, redundancy may still apply for LSAP to assist them with their initial house purchase costs, providing they still have 6 months left to serve and meet all other qualifying criteria. JSP 752 para 02.0409c(5) refers.
Q. Is the final payout taken from the date they were notified of redundancy or termination date? Click here to show answer
Answer - There are two different pension and redundancy schemes that apply. The soldier must know which one he is on as the terms and conditions of the relevant scheme will determine the basis on which pensions and redundancy benefits are paid. However, in both pension schemes 15 years service would fall short of qualifying for a pension that would be immediately payable upon departure from the Army; in this case the soldier’s pension becomes what is called a preserved pension and the soldier would be entitled to claim this preserved pension from either 60 or 65 years of age, pension scheme dependant. It cannot be stressed enough: soldiers must attempt to obtain a forecast of their redundancy compensation and pension entitlements through the Armed Forces Redundancy Calculator at www.mod-rc.co.uk and should also seek guidance from their RAOs. There is no such term as ‘half pension point’, but 12 years of reckonable service is the point at which soldiers on both pension schemes become eligible to a Resettlement Grant. Again, the RAO can provide further guidance. In outline here are the basic details of the schemes:
a. Armed Forces Redundancy Scheme 10 applies to members of Armed Forces Pension Scheme 1975 (AFPS 75). Either, an Immediate Pension (IP) and tax free lump sum if they have completed:
(1) At least 18 years’ qualifying service from age 18 for officers and soldiers; or
(2) For officers, at least 16 years’ qualifying service from age 21, if that point is reached earlier.
The value of the IP will remain fixed until age 55 at which point it will be adjusted to take account of increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the date that service ended. It will be increased in line with CPI every thereafter.
(3) Or, a preserved pension and tax free lump sum paid at age 60 for service earned before 6 Apr 06 and subsequently uplifted at age 65, along with a second tax free lump sum, to take account of service after 6 Apr 06.
(4) A Resettlement Grant (RG) may be payable. To qualify for a RG, an officer or soldier must have served at least 9 years from age 21 or 12 years from age 18 respectively and not be entitled to receive an IP on termination of service.
b. Armed Forces Redundancy Scheme 06 applies to members of Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2005 (AFPS 05). This includes personnel who joined the Regular Armed Forces on or after 6 Apr 2005, or who were in service on 5 Apr 2005 and accepted the Offer To Transfer (OTT) their previously accrued pension and other rights from AFPS 75 to AFPS 05, or who have opted out of AFPS 75 or AFPS 05 in favour of their own private pension. Personnel made redundant under the terms of AFRS 06 may receive:
(1) For personnel who have served a minimum of 18 years’ service AND who are at least age 40, an Early Departure Payment (EDP) made up of a tax-free lump sum equal to 3 times the value of the preserved annual pension and an income payment equal to at least 50% of the preserved pension. This will increase to 75% of the preserved pension at age 55, at which point it will be adjusted to take account of increases in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) from the date that the EDP was originally taken. It will be increased in line with CPI every year thereafter. EDP income ceases at age 65 when a preserved pension and tax free pension lump sum become payable instead.
(2) For personnel who have served less than 18 years’ service AND/OR who are less than age 40, a preserved pension and tax free pension lump sum payable at age 65.
(3) A Resettlement Grant (RG) may be payable. To qualify for a RG, an officer or soldier must have at least 12 years’ relevant service and not be entitled to receive an EDP payment on termination of service.
Q. Is the final payout taken from the date they were notified of redundancy or termination date? Click here to show answer
Answer - The date of discharge/retirement is the key date for calculating pension entitlement and redundancy benefits.
Q. Do volunteers and non-volunteers get the same financial pay out? Click here to show answer
Answer - Applicants and Non-applicants have the same entitlement to Redundancy and Pension benefits. However, the level of compensation and pension entitlement will differ according to individual circumstances, this includes when they are actually discharged under redundancy. All personnel should therefore get a forecast of their redundancy compensation and pension entitlements through the Armed Forces Redundancy Calculator at www.mod-rc.co.uk and should also seek guidance from their RAOs.
Q. How much will the redundancy payment be? Click here to show answer
Answer - Personnel selected for redundancy will be entitled to receive a lump sum in compensation for shortening their career as well as entitlements to other terminal and retirement benefits which will be paid in accordance with existing rules. The level and type of compensation personnel receive will depend upon which Redundancy Scheme is appropriate to their terms of service and the date they leave the Service.
The Redundancy calculator gives a forecast of benefits for prospective redundees on the AFRS 06 and AFRS 10 schemes. More information and details can be found at www.mod-rc.co.uk
Q. Will the redundancy pay-out be taxed? Click here to show answer
Answer: The compensation lump sum will be tax-free. However you and your soldier are advised to check the status of the other pay-outs you may be entitled to receive on redundancy as some of those elements will be taxed.
Q. When will we receive the redundancy payment? Click here to show answer
Answer: Final pay-out for redundancy compensation and pension benefits may take up to 35 working days post their discharge/retirement date.
For information about a Service pension we suggest that the soldier speaks to their chain of command but AFF recommends the Forces Pension Society who can provide independent, confidential and accurate advice. There is a membership fee but they are a valuable tool when considering leaving the Forces.
For further details please contact the AFF Employment, Training, Allowances and Money Specialist on 0779 9045955 or email email@example.com.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. My husband has been made compulsory redundant. My daughter will be half way through her GCSEs and BTEC course when we have to vacate our SFA. Nowhere else offers the same courses and exam boards as her current school. Can we stay? Click here to show answer
Answer: Voluntary redundees with 6 months’ notice to leave are entitled to 93 days at SFA rates however this is not available to compulsory redundees with a year’s notice. However, you are allowed to apply to the HASC for 93 days at market rates on compassionate grounds and the above scenario would come into this.
Q. My soldier is leaving the Army on redundancy. When will we be expected to vacate our Service Families Accommodation (SFA)? Click here to show answer
Answer: Personnel compulsorily discharged on redundancy grounds with six months or less notice can have 93 days after discharge at SFA rates but you must contact the HASC in order to register for this.
Q. What happens if a property was purchased under the Armed Forces Home Ownership Scheme (AFHOS)? Click here to show answer
Answer: It is suggested that contact is made with the AFHOS agent on 0800 0281980 to discuss transition arrangements.
Q. We won’t have sorted out our civilian housing in time for the Notice to Vacate date. What happens if we don’t move out of our quarter? Click here to show answer
Answer: Should you remain in your SFA once the NTV has expired, you will become an ‘Irregular Occupant’ and will no longer be entitled to pay normal quartering charges for your property. You will be charged a market rate that is based on local council rents, council tax and water/sewage rates and, whilst this may not equate to civilian market rates, it may be considerably higher than your current quartering charges. The letters sent out by Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) once you become an Irregular Occupant use legal housing jargon. Terms such as ‘Damages for Trespass’ and ‘Violent Profits’ (in Scotland) can seem intimidating but they are simply legal phrases used to describe the total charges for the use and occupation of a SFA, so do not be concerned by the language used. Always keep up a dialogue with the HASC so that they know what you are doing to find other accommodation. Be aware that should you become an IO and still fail to leave your SFA the HASC will take you to court to get you evicted and you will be liable for court costs and legal fees so it is advisable to try to move into civilian housing as soon as you can.
If you have a case for final removals and Disturbance Allowance this has to be used BEFORE your last day of service so if you are staying in the quarter for the 93 days at SFA rate to enable a house purchase etc. you won’t be eligible for a service move.
Q. Is there any temporary accommodation that we can use until we have sorted out our civilian housing options? Click here to show answer
Answer: If you find that you temporarily have nowhere to live after you leave your SFA or you are leaving the Army from overseas, then the Cotswold Centre in Wiltshire is a good alternative until you have made more permanent arrangements. Click here for more information.
Those who find themselves in immediate housing difficulty on leaving the Services may be able to occupy surplus SFA where available.
Q. My soldier is being made redundant do we still need to clean our quarter for move-out? Click here to show answer
Answer: When the time comes for you to finally move out of the quarter it must be cleaned to move-out standard in the normal way or charges will be raised against you. You should arrange a pre move-out inspection through your local HASC so that your Housing Officer can give you all the guidance you require on the preparation of your SFA for move-out.
Q. When my soldier leaves the Army on redundancy will we be automatically entitled to a council house? Click here to show answer
Answer: Do not assume that just because you have served in the Army that you are entitled to a council house. There is a severe shortage of social housing at the moment and it is being made available to applicants based on severity of need. With a redundancy payout, and possibly a gratuity as well, you may find that you do not qualify for a social housing or are on an extremely long waiting list. The best advice is to make an appointment to speak with the housing officer at the council as early as possible so that you can make housing plans accordingly.
The NTV should be taken by councils as proof of becoming homeless and they will then have a duty of care to put a roof over your head but this may well be a hostel or B&B not a house or a flat.
For more information on sourcing accommodation in civvi street please contact JSHAO on 01980 618925 or on AWS-JSHAO-Mailbox@mod.uk
As from 1 December 2008, anyone serving in the Armed Forces is now able to establish a local connection through time spent in Service accommodation.
Update – AFF has contacted various Local Authorities (LA’s) trying to get an idea of entitlement. It is clear that each area is very different, many having different rules about how much or how little money disbars you from being entitled to council housing. You are advised to contact your LA asap to look into your options.
Q. Are we entitled to council housing if we have been serving overseas? What counts as our ‘local’ council? Click here to show answer
Answer: Subject to Parliamentary scrutiny, Authorities must not disqualify members of the Armed Forces on the grounds that they do not have a local connection with the authority’s district. This recognises the special position of members of the Armed Forces (and their families) whose employment requires them to be mobile and who are likely therefore to be particularly disadvantaged by local connection requirements.
Your ‘local’ council will be the area where you choose to live and work after leaving the Army.
Q. Will we receive any advice on civilian housing options before my soldier leaves the Army? Click here to show answer
Answer: If you are leaving the Services then the Housing Briefings offered by the Joint Services Housing Advisory Office (JSHAO) during resettlement are a good source of information. Spouses are welcome to attend these briefings with their soldier.
JSHAO also produces a monthly magazine called Housing Matters which can be obtained at your local HIVE.
Q. We live overseas; will we be relocated back to the UK by the Army at public expense? Click here to show answer
Answer: The intention is where possible to allow voluntary applicants to return to the UK in time to undertake resettlement training and terminal leave. In addition, personnel being made redundant and returning from overseas who have fewer than six but more than three months to serve can apply to occupy vacant SFA , if available.
Those being made compulsorily redundant will be repatriated where possible to serve at least their last six months service in the UK.
If you are posted overseas you will be entitled to a single relocation back to the UK either to an SFA or a house designated as Selected Place of Residence (SPR) as close to your preferred final settlement area. You will be able to claim Disturbance Allowance (DA) but will be not be eligible for any moves at public expense after that.
Geographic preferences for relocation to the UK should be submitted to the Unit HR staffs for the APC by voluntary applicants within 21 days of selection. Those being made compulsory redundant should apply within 2 months of selection. Applications for relocation must specify whether Service accommodation will be required.
Q. We live overseas and would like to settle in that country. Will we get removals paid for? Click here to show answer
Answer: Service personnel who are made redundant while permanently assigned overseas and who wish to settle overseas, may claim notional costs (of a theoretical move to Catterick Garrison) to put towards their relocation and claim DA. Information available at JSP 752 07.0205e
Q. We live within the UK; will we be eligible for our last move and Disturbance Allowance to be paid? Click here to show answer
Answer: Service personnel will be ineligible for any publicly funded removals or DA if they wish to settle in the geographical area that they are already in, i.e. within 50 miles or 90 minutes travelling time of their final duty station. If Service personnel who will be in receipt of a pension on leaving wish to settle at an address over 50 miles or 90 mins travelling time away from their last duty station, and there is a post that they might have occupied within 50 miles J-3 or 90 mins travelling time of that address, there may be an entitlement under the Final Tour of Duty package For more details about FTOD please ask your soldier to discuss this with chain of command.
For further details please contact our AFF Housing Specialist, Cat Calder on 0778 955 1158 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The AFF Employment and Training Specialist is not able to offer redundancy advice to soldiers however, dependants can contact the Employment Specialist for advice on creating your CV, making a job application and on searching for jobs.
Spouses living overseas should make use of the Army Education Centre to get CV advice, update or gain qualifications.
Q. I have been made redundant and my family and I have decided to return to our home area. My wife will have to leave her job and has been subsequently told she is not entitled to JSA as she is voluntarily resigning though this is due to Service reasons. Click here to show answer
Answer:The Armed Forces Intranet Site states “Spouses of Service personnel who leave employment to follow their partner will have just cause for leaving that employment provided they did not leave earlier than was reasonably necessary in order to arrange the move”.
Q. How do I claim JSA? Click here to show answer
Answer: For information visit the AFF Employment and Training page. Use the time left during the year to top up National Insurance (NI) contributions so you are eligible for JSA.
Q. What other things should I be thinking about? Click here to show answer
Answer: Preparing your CV, polishing your interview techniques, networking (letting people in your circle of friends and associates know that you are looking for work). Have a CV with you at all times, spend time organising your administration so you can track who where you have applied for work, register with recruitment agencies, get yourself on courses, attend employment fairs and franchise exhibitions, contact the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), check out your Education Learning Centre and resettlement entitlement. Visit the Jobcentre, and find out what benefits and training you may be entitled to.
For further details please contact our AFF Employment and Training Specialist, Caroline Mayne on 0779 904 5955 or email email@example.com.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ensure statements are completed before leaving; Local Education Authorities (LEAs) have a legal obligation to uphold a completed statement until it is reviewed.
When looking at property get up to speed with Local Authorities’ processes for adaptations.
Q. My child has special needs and moving school during the school year will be very unsettling – what can be done to help? Click here to show answer
Answer: Those of you with children with special education needs who are already undergoing statutory assessment at their current school, SFA/SSFA may be retained for two academic terms or until the end of the academic year as appropriate, subject to the CEAS issuing an impact statement. It is worth noting that the end of the school year can be more distressing to the child as it leaves them with a new school to face without friends in the long summer holidays. Easter may be less stressful for the child. This is particularly an issue for children with social/communication problems such as Aspergers or ASD. The Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) is an integral part of The Directorate Children and Young People (DCYP), which is the focal point within the Ministry of Defence for all matters relating to Service children and young people.
Q. We are concerned about getting our new house ready with adaptations before we have to move out of our adapted SFA. Click here to show answer
Answer: If the Service person is compulsory discharged on redundancy grounds and has six months or less notice you can remain in your SFA for 93 days after the termination date at Service rates. You will then be issued with a notice to vacate. If you are unable to vacate the SFA at this time you need to contact the HASC to request ‘irregular occupancy’. As an irregular occupant you will pay market rates which are based on local council rates and are lower than civilian rates but higher than your current quartering charge. AFF is sure that DIO Ops Accn would be sympathetic in these circumstances because they will have a good idea of how long adaptations to a property can take.
AFF would recommend that once your next property has been identified you contact the Local Authority (LA) that it is in to discuss the adaptation process in that area and seek any advice on the support available. If you are going to rent a property you need to discuss any adaptations required with your landlord.
For further details please contact our AFF Health and Additional Needs Specialist, Karen Ross on 0755 286 1983 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Are there any agencies in Scotland that can help me with education matters for both children and adults following my redundancy? Click here to show answer
Answer: A website has recently been developed to assist and signpost children’s and young people of veterans living in Lothian and the borders: www.veteransfirstpoint.org.uk
Q. We are in receipt of Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) – how will this be affected if my soldier decides to go for redundancy? Click here to show answer
Answer: If child is within two years of taking public examination, CEA will continue to be paid up to the end of the academic term in which the child takes the examination i.e. GCSEs or A levels. This is providing that the claimant remains eligible in all respects at the time of leaving the Army. If they have impaired their eligibility in any way they may be barred from claiming. This is dealt with on a case by case basis by the CEA Governance Team. For those children outside the public examination phase, CEA payment will cease at the end of the term that contains the last working day or if the last working day is in a main holiday, entitlement ceases at the end of the previous term. Therefore those that are finishing in Dec 2014 can leave their children (if not doing public examination course) in their boarding school until the end of the Winter Term 2014 and those leaving in June 2015 will lose their entitlement at the end of the Summer Term 2015. For those in a public examination phase this should be completed by summer 2016.
Q. Will living apart for the purposes of settling into our own home on redundancy affect our eligibility for CEA? Click here to show answer
Answer: Once selected for redundancy, individuals will be permitted to serve Voluntarily Separated (VOLSEP) and retain their eligibility for CEA.
Q. We have a child with Special Education Needs. Is there anything that we need to be aware of? Click here to show answer
Answer: For children with special education needs who are already undergoing statutory assessment at their current school, SFA/SSFA may be retained for the following two academic terms or for a maximum of six months to allow for completion of the process, subject to the receiving chain of command and /or Advisory Service (CEAS) issuing an impact statement..
Q. Will children at crucial key exam stage be allowed to remain in SCE schools, therefore remaining in SFA until exams are completed? Click here to show answer
Answer: As some schools in BFG are closing down this can be an added complication but JSP 342 chapter 5 allows a child to remain in an SCE school if they have started the second term of a one year recognised course or the third term of a two year course. The head teacher must confirm that they have a reasonable chance of success. Help for retention of quarters on educational grounds in BFG can be sought from the CEAS parent support officer by emailing email@example.com. Other areas of the world may mean it is more difficult depending on the local forces agreement. The Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) is an integral part of The Directorate Children and Young People (DCYP), which is the focal point within the Ministry of Defence for all matters relating to Service children and young people.
For further details please contact our our AFF Education and Childcare Specialist, Lucy Scott on 0752 749 2869, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Once an F&C soldier is discharged, the ‘exempt’ stamp is cancelled and you have 28 days in which to make another application to remain in the UK.
Q. Will the Army fund my families flight back to our home country once redundancy is complete? Click here to show answer
Answer: Only the soldier may have any entitlement and this will be dependent on whether he or she was attested overseas (details in the Tranche 3 DIN, Annex E2-4, paragraph 19 c and d). The family have no entitlement. Paragraph 31 of the Foreign and Commonwealth Support Guide states: Travel – First and Last Moves To and From Overseas.Commonwealth citizens attested in the UK are responsible for paying for the cost of travel including for their dependants and any household effects, to and from the UK from overseas, both prior to enlistment and subsequently on discharge if they return to their country of origin. Last moves from overseas assignments to the UK are normally funded at public expenses.
Q. Can my soldier apply for ILR? Click here to show answer
Answer: If you have completed four years, you should be eligible to apply for ILR for yourself and any dependants upon discharge. (There is no requirement for your family to have been in the UK for any length of time).
Q. What if he/she hasn't served for four years? Click here to show answer
Answer: We have been assured that there will be no redundancies for private soldiers, therefore no F&C soldier with less than four years service should be in the position of being made redundant.
Q. When can my soldier apply? Click here to show answer
Answer: Individuals who have completed at least four years’ service with HM Forces and meet all other Home Office criteria may apply for settlement (also known as ILR) up to six months prior to discharge on Home Office Form SET (AF), which can be found on the Home Office website. SET (AF) forms must be endorsed in red at the top with ARMED FORCES REDUNDANCY APPLICATION to ensure that the Home Office process it using the agreed special arrangements. Applicants will also need to meet the other Home Office eligibility criteria.
It is strongly recommended that you apply as soon as you are able to, this will limit the amount of time you will be waiting post discharge. Remember that you may not be able to claim benefits, get social housing or employment until you have your ILR stamp.
If you have made the application whilst you were still serving then you should receive an ‘indicative letter’ from UKBA to assist in making arrangements for employment and for liaising with the relevant authorities for housing, healthcare and benefits – if you do not receive a letter please contact the AFF Foreign & Commonwealth team.
Biometric Data: Serving Foreign and Commonwealth (F&C) and Gurkha personnel selected for redundancy applying for settlement who at the time of application are based in the UK are advised to provide their biometric data at the appropriate time. Biometrics entails the recording of applicant’s details such as fingerprints. When UKBA receive your postal settlement application they will send out a biometric notification letter which will tell you what you need to do. We strongly recommend that you take the required actions as soon as possible after you receive this letter. This is because the sooner UKBA receive the completed process the sooner they can make a decision under the special arrangements MOD have agreed with UKBA.
Q. Can the spouse and children apply at the same time?
Answer: Yes, if the spouse does not already hold ILR then they can be included on the application form. They will not have to take the Life in UK test or meet any language requirements. Spouses of British soldiers can also apply for ILR using the form SET(AF) as long as they meet the suitability requirements.
Q. How do we apply for ILR? Click here to show answer
Answer: Follow the guidance at this link. You and your family are not required to take the 'Life in the UK' test or meet any English language requirement. You should declare all criminal convictions regardless of the date of conviction. You can choose to apply for ILR at a Public Enquiry Office for a one-day service, this will cost slightly more and you will have to wait until after you have discharged to do this.
Q. How much does it cost to apply? Click here to show answer
Answer: For up to date costs please see the Forms & Prices page.
Q. What documents do we have to provide? Click here to show answer
Answer: The most important document (apart from those requested in section 12 of the form) is the ‘Interim Certificate of Discharge’ (Army Form B108C). You are asked to submit a certificate of discharge with the form but the JPA ‘Certificate of Service’ does not include the Queens Regulation (QR) paragraph number confirming why someone has been discharged. The QR is required by UKBA to process the application and this can be found on the B108C form which your unit needs to sign and give to you. This is very important as UKBA will not issue your ILR without it - AFF has been contacted by a number of people who have not been given this form by their units. This has resulted in their ILR applications being delayed.
Q. What support can we expect from my soldier’s unit? Click here to show answer
Answer: You should be briefed on the changes to your immigration status during resettlement interviews at least three months prior to discharge, where possible. It is the responsibility of the unit to inform UKBA of your decision and personal details up to ten weeks before the discharge date by faxing a Discharge Proforma to the Armed Forces Team at UKBA. On the day of discharge, the unit should stamp your passport to state that the exemption has ceased. They should also ensure that a faxed letter granting you 28 days leave to remain arrives from UKBA. They also need to give you the signed B108C form. Units should refer to Annex D to DPS(A)/28/9/PS4(A) for all details.
Q. What if my soldier has a criminal or military conviction, will he/she still get ILR? Click here to show answer
The table below indicates whether you will be eligible for ILR(settlement) if you have been convicted of a criminal offence.
Sentence for a criminal offence
Impact on Settlement applications
4 years or more imprisonment
Application should be refused, regardless of when the conviction occurred.
Between 12 months and 4 years imprisonment
Application should be refused if the conviction occurred in the last 15 years.
Up to 12 months imprisonment
Applications should be refused if the conviction occurred in the last 7 years.
A non-custodial sentence
Applications should be refused if the conviction occurred in the last 2 years.
The guidance at this link gives more information about what constitutes a non-custodial sentence, download document 1 and scroll down to pages 49 onwards.
If you are not eligible to apply for ILR because of your conviction, you are able to apply for a period of limited leave to remain.
Limited Leave route
- You will apply using form FLR(AF)
- You should be granted a period of leave for 30 months
- You will be able to work and apply for benefits
- You will be able to renew for another period of 30 months if you don’t meet the requirements for ILR at the end of the initial 30 months
- You will be able to apply for ILR once you meet the requirements
- Your spouse and any children who also have limited leave can be included on the application form and will be granted the same leave
You still need to meet the other requirements including the requirement to have served for 4 years, to have made the application within 28 days of discharge and not to fall for refusal under another grounds (see below).
For all other information and a link to the form, click here.
Q. If the soldier has already lived in the UK for 5 years, can he/she apply for Citizenship before they are discharged? Click here to show answer
Answer: Yes, this is a good option in most cases because once you are discharged you would have to get ILR first before you could get Citizenship, not having to apply for ILR would save a lot of money. Whilst you still have your ‘exempt’ stamp, you don’t need ILR first. However it is very important that you leave plenty of time to apply because if you have not been granted Citizenship 28 days after your date of discharge, you will be considered to be an overstayer. You should ensure that you apply at least 6 months prior to discharge.
Spouses are no longer required to change their visa once a soldier becomes a British Citizen so if the spouse does not have ILR it will not affect his/her route to settlement if the soldier becomes British first and then discharges as the spouse will be able to apply for ILR once the soldier has discharged.
Q. What if we haven’t got anywhere to live? Click here to show answer
Answer: See the 'Housing' section above for information about your options.
Q. What if we are currently in Germany? Click here to show answer
Answer: You should speak to your Unit and negotiate a date when you and your family can return to the UK to make your application for ILR (soldiers cannot currently apply for ILR whilst in Germany). This should be in plenty of time for you to put your application in prior to discharge. If your spouse/children only have limited leave visas they can travel back to the UK and then be included on your application for ILR. They do not need to wait until the visa expires.
Q. Where can we find more information? Click here to show answer
Answer: The full discharge procedures produced by the Directorate of Personal Services (Army) can be found by clicking here.
For further details please see our Foreign and Commonwealth Section---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------