# 2014-199 - Separation Expense (SE)

Separation Expense (SE)

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–03–24

The grievor submitted that he was unfairly denied payment of separation expense (SE) benefits for two periods during which he was separated from his dependents, household goods and effects ((D) HG&E) for service reasons.

During the first period of separation, the grievor's (D)HG&E were located at his place of enrollment, while he was absent to attend training. During the second period of separation, the grievor's (D) HG&E were located at a Canadian Forces Base, 150 kilometers away from the grievor's place of enrollment, where he had moved them at his own expense. The grievor had specifically been told when he asked about moving that his benefits would not be affected.

The Initial Authority (IA) found that although the grievor's situation met the purpose of SE benefits, as prescribed in Compensation and Benefits Instructions (CBI) 208.997(1), it did not meet all of the eight criteria required for entitlement to SE as prescribed by CBI 208.997(3). Given that the grievor had moved his (D) HG&E from the location marked as his “principal residence” upon enrollment, to a new location at his own expense, the grievor's HG&E were no longer found at the last address to which he had been moved at public expense and were not located at the principal residence indicated on his enrollment documents. The IA concluded that the grievor was not entitled to SE benefits during either of the requested periods.

The Committee found that during the first period in question, the grievor's principal residence was the same as noted on his enrollment. Thus, the Committee found that the grievor was eligible for SE as he met all eight of the conditions for SE benefits as prescribed by CBI 208.997(3) and recommended the grievor be paid SE for the first period.

The Committee found that during the second period in question, the grievor no longer met the condition of having his primary residence, as defined by CBI 208.997(2)(a)(ii), at the place he enrolled and technically speaking, he was no longer entitled to SE benefits. The Committee noted that this was an especially restrictive condition, as it applied to newly recruited members, as it failed to take into consideration the possibility that a member's personal situation could change subsequent to their enrollment but prior to their entitlement to move their (D) HG&E. The Committee was of the view that, similar to a finding in a recent grievance, no member should be expected to pay for two accommodations where there was no choice but to attend required training in another location. Thus, the Committee recommended that even if the grievor was not strictly entitled to SE during the second period, his circumstances should have been recognized as exceptional and any charges for quarters remitted in accordance with Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Forces, article 208.52

FA Decision Summary

There is no Final Authority decision as the grievor withdrew the grievance.

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