IR/SE benefits for members with shared custody arrangements

Topic

IR/SE benefits for members with shared custody arrangements

Case number

Description

In the course of examining several grievances on the issue of Separation Expenses (SE), the Board noted that the difference between imposed restriction (IR) status and the SE was generally not well understood and pointed out that errors arising from this misunderstanding often had disastrous financial consequences for military personnel.

Contrary to the apparently prevailing interpretation within the Canadian Forces (CF), the Board explained that granting IR status to a CF member does not entail automatic payment of the SE.

The Board also emphasized that, in general terms, IR status was put in place in order to provide CF members some flexibility in response to the disruptions caused by relocation for a posting. The Board is of the opinion that, when a CF member is on IR and is receiving SE, the CF expects that the military member and his family will eventually be reunited at the new place of duty, as the aim is to delay, not to replace, the move. Granting SE is temporary and its purpose is to delay relocating dependants, household goods and effects (D, HG & E) for a limited period of time and in situations defined by policy. The purpose is not to financially compensate CF members who have chosen, for reasons of their own, to not move their D, HG & E to the new place of duty indefinitely.

The Board made it clear that, in addition to the authorization for IR, it is mandatory for CF members to meet all the conditions in Compensation and Benefits Instructions Article 208.997 – SEPARATION EXPENSE (formerly Article 209.997) to be eligible for SE.

The Board concluded that an information campaign would be appropriate and beneficial.

Recommendation

The Board therefore recommended that the Chief of the Defence Staff ask the Chief Military Personnel to publish a CANFORGEN explaining the difference between an IR and the SE, taking particular care to clarify that SE is not automatically granted and that a CF member could have IR status and not be entitled to the SE.

Final Authority Decision

This systemic recommendation was not considered as the grievor withdrew his grievance after the issuance of the Committee's Findings and Recommendations.

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