# 2020-197 Pay and Benefits, Post living differential, Recovery of overpayment

Post living differential (PLD), Recovery of overpayment

Case summary

F&R Date: 2021-12-21

The grievor received post living differential (PLD) benefits because his residence, at the time of his enrolment, was deemed to be located in a post living differential area (PLDA). When the grievor was posted to his first place of duty, with an authorized move, he was approved for imposed restriction (IR) status and did not relocate his dependants nor his household goods and effects at public expense. The grievor continued to receive PLD benefits for over a decade, even after his IR ended halfway through. The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) determined that he had been receiving PLD in error and initiated the recovery of the overpayment. The grievor sought dismissal of the recovery of the overpayment.

There was no Initial Authority (IA) decision, as the designated IA did not render a decision within the prescribed timelines.

The Committee noted that throughout the different iterations of the Compensation and Benefits Instructions for the Canadian Forces (CBI) 205.45 since the grievor's enrolment, the purpose of PLD has consistently remained subject to the needs of military service and the posting of a CAF member to a place of duty in a PLDA. As the CAF never moved the grievor or posted him to the PLDA where his residence was located, the Committee found that his residence did not meet the definition of principal residence under CBI 205.45 and that he was not entitled to receive PLD benefits.

However, the Committee concluded that the grievor shared no responsibility for the actual overpayment. The CAF failed to administer PLD benefits properly and to recognize their error for a significant period. The Committee found that the recovery was unfair and that the grievor should be relieved of the debt. The Committee explored the option of remission of the grievor's debt under subsection 23(2.1) of the Financial Administration Act, and found that provisions in the Queen’s Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Forces do not preclude the CAF from seeking relief in deserving cases. The Committee also found that the grievor's circumstances met criteria for a claim of negligent misrepresentation.  

The Committee recommended that the Final Authority (FA) afford the grievor redress by preparing a submission to Treasury Board seeking a remission order for deletion  of the overpayment, As an alternative, the Committee recommended that the FA refer the grievor's case to the Director Claims and Civil Litigation.

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