# 2020-182 Pay and Benefits, Separation Expense
F&R Date: 2020-04-12
The grievor filed a grievance contesting the refusal to grant him Separation Expense (SE) benefits.
The grievor, who has joint custody of his child for nearly 40% of the time as per a court ruling, argued that the condition for obtaining SE benefits discriminated against separated parents. It requires his child to live with him full-time in his principal residence while he is away in his new place of duty on Imposed Restriction (IR).
The Initial Authority denied the grievance because the grievor did not meet all the requirements stipulated in the Compensation and Benefits Instructions (CBI) for the granting of SE benefits.
The Committee noted that although the grievor had joint custody, it was unlikely his child would live in his principal residence for the period of time the grievor was not there. The CBI makes it possible for the child of a separated parent to live in another location at times; however, the child must live at the claimant's principal residence most of the time to qualify for SE benefits. The grievor was authorized to move his household goods and effects to his new location, but he chose to request an IR, although there is no evidence that a dependant lives in his principal residence during his absence.
The Committee concluded that the grievor was not entitled to SE benefits and recommended that the Final Authority deny the grievance.
FA Decision Summary
The Acting Chief of the Defence Staff agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation not to afford redress.
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