# 2016-166 - Eligibility to collect Hardship Allowance (HA) and Sea Duty Allowance (SDA) concurrently., Environmental Allowances, Hardship Allowance
Eligibility to collect Hardship Allowance (HA) and Sea Duty Allowance (SDA) concurrently., Environmental Allowances, Hardship Allowance
F&R Date: 2016–10–17
The grievor claimed that he was aggrieved by the denial of the sea duty allowance (SDA) while he was in receipt of the hardship allowance (HA) during the period of his deployment on one of Her Majesty's canadian ships (HMCS). The grievor argued that there was nothing in Treasury Board (TB) approved orders to preclude payment of both the SDA and the HA concurrently and that the CAF did not have the authority to unilaterally decide otherwise. As redress, the grievor sought payment of the SDA, in addition to the HA he had already received during his deployment.
The initial authority (IA) found that pursuant to the TB approved Compensation and Benefits Instructions (CBI), the grievor was entitled to the HA and the SDA for the period in question. However, the IA found that there was a TB precondition, not clearly articulated in the CBI, that CAF members not be compensated twice for conditions related to the SDA entitlement. The IA found that CAF members are compensated for both the SDA and the HA through the HA assessment construct and that the CAF had correctly sought to ensure that a TB direction to avoid double compensation had been respected. The IA directed that the CAF seek TB approval for appropriate clarification to underscore the fact that no CAF member is entitled to receive more than one allowance at the same time when the purpose of each allowance is to compensate for substantially the same adverse environmental conditions.
The Committee found that, in accordance with the TB-approved CBI, the grievor was entitled to be paid the SDA and the HA for the period he was deployed on a maritime operation and that there was no bar to him receiving both allowances.
The Committee was of the opinion that the two allowances served different purposes and although there might be common factors associated with each allowance, this did not automatically equate to double compensation. Furthermore, even if it could be argued that there was overlap in the rationale for the HA and the SDA, the Committee found no clear instruction from TB that both allowances could not be paid.
Accordingly, the Committee determined that in the absence of regulatory concurrence from TB, the CAF was without authority to decide that a benefit was not payable when a military member was plainly eligible. The Committee concluded that if it was TB intent to disqualify members receiving the HA from entitlement to the SDA, then the proper route was to amend the CBI and, to date, this had not been done.
The Committee recommended that the grievor be paid the SDA for the period of his deployment, in addition to the HA already received. The Committee also made a systemic recommendation that the CAF conduct a review to ensure that all military members who had deployed on maritime operations since 2 September 2003 had been appropriately paid the HA and the SDA, as applicable.
FA Decision Summary
FA Decision Pending
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