# 2014-119 - Post Living Differential (PLD), Recovery of Overpayment/Debt Write-Off

Post Living Differential (PLD), Recovery of Overpayment/Debt Write-Off

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2014–12–16

The grievor had received Post Living Differential (PLD) benefits, to which he was not entitled, for a number of years. When the error was discovered, recovery action of the PLD paid to him was undertaken. The grievor submitted he had applied for the benefit as a new recruit in good faith and he should not be held liable for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) negligence in first approving the benefit and then in allowing him to continue to collect it for seven years without question. As redress, the grievor requested that the debt be remitted and that he be approved to move his dependents, household goods and effects ((D) HG&E) within the geographical boundaries of the PLD Area.

The Initial Authority (IA) found that the grievor's residence was located outside of the geographical boundaries of the PLD Area and thus, the grievor was not entitled to PLD. The IA acknowledged that CAF administrative authorities should have denied the grievor's application for PLD, however, he found that the CAF had a duty to recover overpayments without consideration of the circumstances giving rise to the overpayment. Nonetheless, the IA did forward the grievor's file to the Canadian Forces Legal Advisors Claims and Civil Litigation for special consideration. In addition, the IA requested and received authorization from the Director Military Careers to lift a move restriction and enable the grievor to relocate within the geographical boundaries, at Crown expense, and thereby qualify for payment of PLD.

The Committee found that the grievor was living outside of the boundaries of the PLD Area and in accordance with Compensation and Benefits Instructions 205.45, he was not entitled to PLD. The Committee agreed with the IA that the grievor's application should have been denied from the outset.

The Committee recommended that the CDS acknowledge that the CAF may bear some responsibility for causing the grievor's financial burden and refer the case to the Director Claims and Civil Litigation with his support.

FA Decision Summary

The CDS partially agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation. The CDS recognized that the CAF made an error and must bear some responsibility as it failed to exercise due diligence and ensure that the grievor was entitled to the benefit. However, the CDS added that it was also incumbent on the grievor to be knowledgeable about his eligibility, to familiarize himself with the applicable policies, and ensure that his residence was located in a PLD area. The CDS understood that the grievor and his family may feel oppressed by the repayment, but he found that being required to repay public funds to which one is not entitled is not an abuse of authority. Therefore, he was not prepared to pursue this matter further with DCCL.

Page details

Date modified: