Frequently asked questions on CANFORGENS issued in relation to COVID-19
Is Active Posting Season 2020 cancelled?
Active Posting Season 2020 is proceeding. To meet our institutional needs and members’ professional needs, both for the current and future environment, we must continue to put our valued CAF members in positions where they are needed.
However, the upcoming Active Posting Season will not be a typical year and will need to be adapted to take into consideration the impacts of COVID-19.
Is Active Posting Season being postponed? Am I still going to be moving in the July-August timeframe?
Active Posting Season 2020 is proceeding with planned Change of Strength dates from mid-July to mid-August.
However, while efforts to observe the traditional Active Posting Season in the summer months will remain preferable, it is expected that Active Posting Season 2020 will extend well into the fall period and possibly to the end of the calendar year.
Measures, such as an increase in the number of days commanding officers can now authorize for reporting dates, have been put in place. Commanding officers can now authorize a reporting date 30 days in advance of a Change of Strength date and up to 90 (vice 30) after the Change of Strength date. Level one Commanders have additional flexibility to adjust Reporting Dates beyond the 90 Days if there is a defined need or requirement to support the member’s needs.
Are posting messages still being issued?
Posting instructions, for other than specific operational or essential posts, have been paused until further notice. Senior leadership will review the posting plot and establish new priorities.
I was advised that I was getting posted this year but have yet to receive my posting instruction. Is there anything I should do?
As we seek to execute the Active Posting Season, we will take into account individual circumstances. If you have been advised that you were going to receive a posting message and have specific requirements and/or concerns, you must address them with your chain of command and your career manager as soon as possible. This will ensure that the CAF’s leadership remain aware and can influence the plan going forward.
You are also reminded that you are not permitted to make any financial commitments until you are in receipt of an official posting instruction.
Are House Hunting Trips (HHTs) and Destination Inspection Trips (DITs) cancelled?
House Hunting Trips and Destination Inspection Trips are currently paused until further notice. This is necessary in the interests of CAF members, families and community safety during this unprecedented time. Although every attempts have been made by BGRS and HRG to cancel affected HHTs/DITs commercial travel bookings, CAF members who had HHTs/DITs commercial travel booked between now and 30 Apr 20 should communicate with BGRS to ensure travel arrangements have in fact been cancelled.
I have received a posting message, but have not yet conducted a house hunting trip (HHT). Can I list and/or sell my home? Can I buy a home virtually?
If your posting has been confirmed, you can go forward with listing and selling your home; however, it is important to take the following steps:
- Confirm that your posting is still going ahead, and to the same location, via your chain of command, who will seek confirmation from your career manager;
- Register with BGRS;
- After you have confirmation that your posting will continue, you are not restricted from continuing with certain aspects of your move; however, you are still expected insofar as possible to conduct a door-to-door move. It is thus important to make decisions on when/how to sell your house wisely;
- For example, if you think your Change of Strength date might be changed, or you might not be able to secure new accommodations in time, the recommendation is to wait to sell your home if possible.
- While authorization for extended Interim Lodgings, Meals and Miscellaneous is being sought from higher authority, approval has not yet been granted and the current policy remains in place.
Yes, purchasing a home virtually is approved. If this route is chosen, please be aware that you will forego entitlement to an HHT. You will have the right to a Destination Inspection Trip (DIT), once travel restrictions are lifted, which includes up to three days and three nights at the new location, for the CAF member or spouse. The total duration, including travel time, should not normally exceed five days and four nights. However, members are reminded that, currently travel restrictions are still in place— something to take into consideration when submitting an offer online. As well, you should still try to achieve a door-to-door move.
I am being posted and want to live in Military Housing, how do I apply?
The Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) has ramped up the capability to serve you better remotely and to continue to provide service to our current and potential occupants. Please contact via phone or email the local Housing Service Centre of your new posting location to submit your application. CFHA will be happy to answer your questions or guide you through the application process.
I applied and accepted an offer with the Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) to live in a Residential Housing Unit (RHU), do I still have an RHU waiting for me?
CFHA is concurrently preparing RHUs for Active Posting Season (APS) move-ins for in-coming families. If you have been offered and have accepted an offer for an RHU, it should be ready for you. CFHA is actively working on preparations to ensure the continued availability of safe and healthy RHUs. Contact the local Housing Service Centre of your new posting location to speak to a representative to obtain re-confirmation.
Will my Residential Housing Unit (RHU) be ready in time for my move-in?
The Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) continues to prepare RHUs for occupancy this APS. CFHA is taking the necessary steps to ensure that RHUs are ready and available for move-in and that those RHUs are safe for occupancy. Contact the local Housing Service Centre of your new posting location to speak to a representative to obtain re-confirmation.
I received my posting message prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and have already incurred expenses tied to relocation after completing my House Hunting Trip. Is my posting still valid?
Yes, if you have already received a posting instruction with a Change of Strength date that is soon approaching and/or have completed your house hunting trip and secure accommodation at your new place of duty, your relocation will continue as planned. Your move will continue without restrictions other than the requirement to adhere to provincial and municipal restrictions and regulations.
I received my posting message but have yet to conduct my House Hunting Trip. Is my move considered underway? Is my posting still valid?
If you have received a posting instruction that involves a cost move out of the area but have yet to conduct your house hunting trip you are to discuss this with your chain of command and your career manager as soon as possible.
Outside of Canada Postings
I received an outside of Canada (OUTCAN) posting instruction and have commenced screening. Is my move still valid?
If you have received an OUTCAN posting instruction, and commenced screening, you should continue to do so. You should however be aware that any and all OUTCAN moves are subject to increased considerations given the impacts of COVID-19 on many of the nations where the Canadian Armed Forces serve.
If you have received an OUTCAN posting instruction for a Developmental Period 3 or Developmental Period 4 programs, you are to contact your career manager to receive updated information related to advanced training list plans. Currently, no OUTCAN Developmental Period moves are authorized.
I received an outside of Canada (OUTCAN) posting instruction but haven’t commenced screening. Is my move still valid?
If you have received an OUTCAN posting instruction but have not commenced screening, you are to wait for further direction. Any and all OUTCAN moves are subject to increased considerations given the impacts of COVID-19 on many of the nations where the Canadian Armed Forces serve.
I am currently posted abroad. Am I being asked to come back to Canada?
If you are currently posted outside of Canada, you are asked to remain in place if safe to do so. You must stay safe, stay healthy and take care of yourself and your family. You are also encouraged to keep Canadian Armed Forces authorities advised of your personal circumstances so that assistance can be made available if needed.
I am currently posted abroad and have received a posting message for a Canadian position. Is my posting still valid?
If you are currently serving outside of Canada and have received a posting message, you should remain in place if safe to do so, until such time as direction is passed to relocate. Normal procedures for postings are not in effect and deliberate decisions are forthcoming.
What is the impact of the situation on promotions? Am I still going to be promoted?
We will aim to protect promotions to the greatest extent possible and will work to identify how this can be achieved while still meeting service requirements.
I received a posting instruction but have yet to conduct my House Hunting Trip. Can I go ahead with registering my kids for school even if postings may be delayed for a few months?
Yes, you can register your kids for school now. However you should refrain from making any financial commitments with school registration until the travel and relocation restrictions to the new place of duty are lifted.
I received my posting message and need to vacate my Residential Housing Unit, what do I do?
Provide your local Housing Service Centre a confirmation of your posting and the date of departure as soon as possible. Please provide this information remotely via email as to respect physical distancing efforts.
I live in a Residential Housing Unit (RHU) and a person in the household has COVID-19, what are my responsibilities?
You must notify your local Canadian Forces Housing Agency Housing Service Centre. This is to ensure the safety of you and your family/household members, our employees and contractors should there be emergency work required in the RHU.
I am on leave with my family but have been recalled to duty due to COVID-19, am I authorized for reimbursement of expenses?
Yes, reimbursement of expenses when members are recalled from or on cancellation of leave are authorized in accordance with CBI 209.54. You may also contact your local administrative authority for direction. Furthermore, the Director Compensation and Benefits Administration will entertain any clarification requests staffed through the local administrative authority with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic and responses shall be expedited.
Do I have to take annual leave if I’m self-isolating?
No. All military personnel returning from leave or duty from outside Canada will be required to self-isolate for up to 14 days, even if asymptomatic. When directed to self-isolate, members are considered on duty.
When I cancelled my travel plans, the commercial carrier gave me a credit that must be used within 12 months. Can I be reimbursed the value of this credit?
No. Credit notes are issued in the member’s name, therefore it is considered to already be paid and cannot be reimbursed a second time by the crown. Members will have the opportunity to utilize this credit during the period of validity. Should there be imperative operational reasons that prevent the approving authority from granting any leave during the credit duration, a request for adjudication must be submitted to +DCBA 3 Clarification (P-OTG.DCBA3Clarifica@intern.mil.ca) with all the supporting documentation and substantiation from the chain of command.
I was on Leave Travel Assistance (LTA) and was recalled from leave, can I have another LTA this year?
Yes. Any member who had elected to use LTA will not be considered as having used their annual entitlement to LTA if they have been recalled to duty. If you were recalled to duty during your LTA, you will be able to use that benefit at a later date. DCBA will request approval to the Treasury Board for a second LTA in the new fiscal year.
I was on home leave travel assistance (HLTA) and was recalled from leave, can I have reimbursement for costs I incurred due to COVID-19?
Yes, CANFORGEN 052-20 CMP 027-20 061958Z APR 20 is to be used as authorization for local administrators to provide reimbursement of costs resulting from changes to HLTA that are a direct result of COVID-19 and the CDS directive on international travel. Reimbursement shall be limited to travel costs, cancellation fees and expenses incurred for breaking contractual arrangements, providing these costs are incurred as a direct result of the new CDS direction.
I was approved leave for March but I can no longer go on my vacation as planned. Will I be able to accumulate annual leave due to COVID-19?
Members who could not take or use the remainder of their annual leave because they were employed in the performance of critical or essential tasks will be afforded the opportunity to accumulate or cash out this leave. Leave is very important to ensure CAF members are rested and ready for future operations.
Can I receive reimbursement for non-refundable tickets to resorts, cruises airline tickets if my leave is cancelled?
Yes. However, if you have travel insurance, you should first seek reimbursement against your travel insurance. Members can be reimbursed for breaking contractual arrangements or cancellation fees if no compensation was available from the supplier.
Ref: CBI 209.54
Is BGRS continuing to provide services to the Canadian Armed Forces?
There have been some adjustments in BGRS’ service delivery as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. You will continue to have access to a solid support network and many resources to assist you throughout the phases of your relocation. BGRS will be your first point of contact, via the BGRS app or email through the Member Secure Website. BGRS will continue to provide essential services limited to advance of funds, payments for home closings, essential travel arrangements, and providing guidance for the essential movement of Household Goods and Effects. They are exploring options on how to provide planning session information.
I am relocating with my family this Active Posting Season (APS) but have yet to conduct my House Hunting Trip (HHT). Given ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions, will I be able to conduct an HHT prior to traveling to my new place of duty?
Members will be given the opportunity to conduct an HHT. However, the conduct of your HHT will vary depending on your personal circumstances. In order to obtain information specific to your personal circumstances, we recommend that you contact your CFIRP Coordinator.
I have been informed that my Household Goods and Effects (HG&E) delivery may be delayed at destination. Will this put my family out of pocket?
The requirement to closely coordinate door to door moves remains. Any extension to Interim Lodgings, Meals and Miscellaneous (ILM&M) beyond basic entitlement will be reimbursed upon approval of the appropriate authority. The Director of Compensation and Benefits Administration will seek higher approval for reimbursement of 100% of meals beyond the basic entitlement.
Can I still elect the Real Estate Incentive (REI)?
Yes you can. However, you only have 15 days from the date of your appraisal to elect the REI. Be aware that once the decision is made, it is irrevocable.
If I purchase a residence online without taking a House Hunting Trip (HHT), can I still be reimbursed relocation benefits?
The costs associated with home purchase are reimbursable in accordance with the CFIRP directive, regardless of whether or not you take an HHT. Current policy also states if you currently own the home, you or your spouse can proceed on a Destination Inspection Trip once the restriction is lifted.
Once the travel restrictions are lifted, how do I proceed on a House Hunting Trip (HHT)/Destination Inspection Trip (DIT)?
In order to book or rebook your HHT/DIT, you will require a new HHT authorization form with the new travel dates and signed by your Commanding Officer. This form must be uploaded to the Member Secure Website (MSW). For commercial travel, you will have to submit a trip request through the MSW.
I sold my house prior to COVID-19, and now my posting has been cancelled. What happens now?
When a posting is cancelled or postponed for service reasons, CAF members are entitled to reimbursement for all actual and reasonable expenses incurred prior to posting cancellation based on the limitations of the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program Directive.
I was scheduled to move to my Intended Place of Residence, but my move is being delayed due to COVID-19. Am I eligible for an extension?
Yes., members, or retired members still on a valid IPR, may request an extension to the time limit to complete their move to Intended Place of Residence through the CFIRP Coordinator at their release base who shall initiate a request for staffing to the Director of Compensation and Benefits Administration for an adjudication.
I elected to rent a principal residence when I was initially moved to my place of duty but was scheduled to move-in to a new purchased residence this summer prior to the two year expiry date of my purchase benefits. Due to COVID-19, my move-in date has been delayed past my expiry date for purchase benefits. Am I eligible for an extension?
Yes, members may request an extension to the time limit to complete their purchase and move through their local CFIRP Coordinator who shall submit the request to the Director of Compensation and Benefits Administration for an adjudication.
I have questions about the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program Directive and the impact COVID-19 may have on my move benefits. Who should I contact?
If you have a relocation question directly related to the impacts of COVID-19, submit a clarification to the Administrative Response Centre at +CMP ARC - CRA CPM@CMP DGMP@Ottawa-Hull CMPARC.CRACPM@forces.gc.ca. Members are also advised to keep up to date by remaining engaged with your chain of command and by reading messages from the CDS, CANFORGENS, and other official information sources.
Military Foreign Service Instructions (MFSI’s)
In considerations of all precautions at my post due to COVID-19, I have evacuated my dependants from my post before the evacuation order was given. Will I be eligible to be reimbursed travel related expenses, meals and accommodations at the location to where I have evacuated my dependants?
Yes, you will be. Foreign Service Directive 64 (Emergency Evacuation) may not cover all expenses incurred by members due to the early departure of the member and/or dependants from the post. In these cases where members have not received an evacuation order, they are encouraged to keep receipts and keep track of all related expenses as other government directives may be implemented to cover these unique circumstances.
I am posted abroad and one of my children is attending full time university in Canada. Due to COVID-19, all students were required to vacate the University Campus. Will my child be eligible for expenses related to Emergency Evacuation outlined in Foreign Service Directive (FSD) 64 (Emergency Evacuation)?
No. As your child is in Canada, he/she is not eligible for expenses under the FSD 64 (Emergency Evacuation). Some out of pocket expenses may be reimbursed based on receipts due to the requirement of vacating the University campus. Your support unit is required to submit your request to the Director of Compensation and Benefits Administration for further analysis and adjudication.
My dependants have been evacuated under the provisions in Foreign Service Directive 64 (Emergency Evacuation) and are currently living with family in Canada. Will my Foreign Service Premium (FSP) allowance be impacted due to their departure from the post?
Yes, Foreign Service Premium (FSP), will be adjusted commencing on the 26th compensation day of the absence of your dependants. FSP will resume the first compensation day following the return of the dependants at the post.
Authority is being sought to cover expenses for dependant children to travel to the nearest family member (or caregiver) in Canada as a result of end of shelter assistance benefit or end/expiration of current lease. You should retain any receipts related to provision of shelter or temporary residence for your dependants who are required to remain in Canada.
I was on deployment and due to COVID-19, I was relocated and required to come back to Canada. I have taken my special mission leave and I am currently awaiting instruction to redeploy or cease mission. Will my Operations Foreign Service Premium (Ops FSP) be impacted as I have departed the mission?
Yes, your Ops FSP will be ceased commencing on the 26th compensation day of your departure from mission. In the event that you are not returning, it will be ceased the first day following your departure from the mission.
Are Canadian Armed Forces members getting paid?
The Canadian Armed Forces have implemented the necessary measures to ensure that pay of CAF Regular Force members’ pay will continue uninterrupted.
Are Reserve Force members getting paid?
Reserve Force members on valid Class B and Class C contracts continue to be paid.
Pay and Allowances
I am a Class A reservist. Am I going to continue being paid?
Yes, Class A Reservists who are conducting authorized military duties at home will continue to be paid for regularly scheduled pre-COVID-19 training activities until 18 May 2020.
Ref: Chief of the Defence Staff Tasking Order 002 Op LASER 20-01 Dated 03 April 2020
I am a Class A reservist. Am I eligible to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or the Canada Emergency Student Benefit?
If you are a Class A member conducting authorized military duties at home and in receipt of Class A pay, you may not be eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or the Canada Emergency Student Benefit. If your cumulative income from all employment sources is greater than $1,000.00 within the calendar month, your eligibility to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or the Canada Emergency Student Benefit may be affected. You should consider your personal circumstances and decide if it is appropriate for you to continue your Class A service during COVID-19 precautions. If you elect not to serve on any Class A service, you are to notify your chain of command. Any such election will not, under the current circumstances, result in you being considered Non-Effective Strength.
I am a Reserve Force member deployed in support of Op LASER. What type of allowances am I entitled to?
When the environmental factors warrant it, reservists may be entitled to Land or Sea Duty Allowance (casual). These allowances are being provided in order to compensate for sporadic exposure to the environmental conditions associated with employment on operations and related training.
Op LASER Class C Contract
I am a Class B reservist who is looking to elect a Class C contract in support of Op LASER. What do I need to do?
If you are a Class B reservist and you would like to voluntarily seek to move to Class C service in support of Op LASER, you must reach out to your chain of command.
I am a Class B reservist who elected a Class C contract. What do I need to know?
If you are a Class B reservist who was selected for Class C service in support of Op LASER, you will not be required to conduct medical and dental exams and the force test in advance of this particular employment. This adjustment to pre-requisites applies to Operation LASER 2020 employment only.
As a Class C reservist, you will automatically become participants in the Supplementary Death Benefit plan and you will be, as a Class C Reservist, subject to the Code of Service Discipline 24/7, on or off duty, for the duration of your time on Class C contract
I am a Class C reservist. What happens if I become injured or ill?
If a declaration of Op LASER as a Special Duty Operation is made, and you suffer an injury or illness while serving on Class C service in this special duty operation, you may have that service extended.
Ref: CBI 210.72
I am a Reserve Force member whose contract has just been extended or who just elected a new contract. Am I eligible to the Public Service Health Care Plan? What should I do?
Reserve Force participation in the Public Service Health Care Plan depends on the member’s class and length of service. Consequently, if you are extending or commencing a period of Class C or Class B (181 days or more) service, you should ensure that you continue or start coverage. Read CANFORGEN 059/20 for additional direction that is specific to your circumstances.
I am a Reserve Force member. Am I eligible to the Reserve Dental Care Plan? Are my dependants eligible to the Dependants Dental Care Plan?
Reserve Force participation in the Reserve Dental Care Plan and their dependants’ eligibility to the Dependants Dental Care Plan depends on the member’s class and length of service. For more information on eligibility, please read CANFORGEN 059/20.
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