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Military Life

10 Unusual Military Allowances You Might Not Have Heard Of

Life in the military can be tough but here are some unusual allowances that can help make up for it.

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1. Experimental Test Allowance (ETA)

Service personnel are regularly exposed to stressful situations and if you take part in officially approved experimental tests you can be financially compensated for the associated pain and discomfort levels.

Testing might include exposure to extreme temperatures or using experimental clothing/equipment and you may have to provide blood or urine samples.

Who is eligible?

All Regular and Reserve personnel.

What is it worth?

£3.00 per test.

How do I claim?

Payable via salary once authorised by HR.

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2. Civilian Clothing Daily Allowance and Civilian Clothing Annual Grant

Some postings in the military require you to wear civilian clothing while on duty, either in the UK or further afield.

Who is eligible?

Non-commissioned Regular and Reserve personnel.

What is it worth?

£0.94 per day or £343 for each 12-month period.

What’s the catch?

The Daily Allowance only starts after you have been on duty and worn civilian clothes for a total of 60 days (but it is backdated to day 1). It doesn’t apply if you are provided with the clothing separately by the MOD or if you only wear the clothing when travelling between duty stations and home.

How do I claim?

Submit claim through JPA Form F019.

A separate Climatic Clothing Grant for Hot Posts also exists for overseas Close Protection Unit appointments, in support of Government departments.

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3.Tax Relief for Motor Mileage Allowance (MMA)

There are various allowances and expenses available to those in the military who need to travel to and from work, including; Get You Home (GYH), Home to Duty Travel (HDT) and Motor Mileage Allowance (MMA).

What you may not know is that you are entitled to claim tax relief on the amount the military pay you per mile and the government approved rate.

Who is eligible?

Regular and Reserve personnel.

What is it worth?

MMA claims are paid at £0.25 per mile and the Gov.uk approved mileage rate is £0.45 per mile.

What’s the catch?

Your vehicle must be approved for work/business use (and your insurance company) by the military before they will authorise payment of MMA.

How do I claim?

Reclaim MMA through JPA and the offset by way of a tax refund through HMRC.

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4. Refund of Foreign Currency Exchange

If you need to make a temporary journey overseas and need to purchase foreign currency to cover your daily expenses, fees and charges can soon add up and leave you out of pocket.

Who is eligible?

All serving personnel undertaking temporary overseas journeys.

What is it worth?

You can only claim for charges related to the minimum overseas currency that you need to see you through until you can cash a Sterling cheque through local Service facilities.

What’s the catch?

You must have suffered a net financial loss from the transaction. You are not eligible to claim if you use Service related sources to buy your currency or you’re on a permanent assignment.

How do I claim?

Claims can be submitted through JPA but make sure you keep any receipts.

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5. Unpleasant Work Allowance

Everyone knows that serving personnel are expected to work in unpleasant conditions at times, but there are some particularly ‘objectional’ or ‘harrowing’ circumstances that mean you get paid extra to compensate for this.

Who is eligible?

All Service personnel.

What is it worth?

Level 1 £2.81 per day

Includes working with hazardous and noxious substances (sewage and cesspits) for up to four hours and requiring additional PPE to be worn. Can include working in extreme variations of temperature where air conditioning is unavailable.

Level 2 £6.83 per day

Working for at least four hours in overly unpleasant conditions. Can include the recovery or handling of corpses and remains and sanitary duties.

Level 3 £20.21 per day

For tasks that include the recovery and exhumation of large numbers of human remains e.g. during a humanitarian relief or military operation.

What’s the catch?

The unpleasant working conditions!

How do I claim?

This allowance is paid into your salary once authorised by CoC and processed by Unit HR.

There is also an Unpleasant Living Allowance for a variety of living conditions, authorised in the same way.

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6. Refund of Legal Expenses

Moving around is an expected part of military life but if this means that you need to buy/sell/rent/ repossess your home then the associated legal fees can soon rack up.

Who is eligible?

Regular, Reserve and Military Provost Guard Service (MPGS)

What is it worth?

Maximum allowance of £5,000.

What’s the catch?

You must have a permanent assignment order requiring you to move to a new duty station for a minimum of 12 months or for letting and repossession fees you must be likely to serve at least six months.

You must meet all the conditions in JSP 752 and provide documentary evidence.

How do I claim?

Using F004 you can submit your claim through JPA

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7. Publicly Funded Higher Education

Up to £9,000 per year towards your first full Level 3 or Higher Education qualification, foundation degree, full undergraduate degree or a vocational equivalent.

Who is eligible?

Regular Serving personnel and Service leavers. (Reservists on certain full-time contracts are also eligible for the scheme).

What is it worth?

Up to £9,000 per year.

What’s the catch?

You will have to pay any fees that exceed the £9,000 annual rate.

If you already have a level 3 qualification you won’t be able to benefit from this, so if you had a degree or equivalent before joining - tough luck.

How do I claim?

Through the Education/Learning Centre. You will need to register for learning credits.

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8. Part Time Service Instructors Allowance

It’s not always financially viable or practicable for the Military to pay for you to attend civilian courses. If you have specialist skills and educational qualifications, you may be able to use these to teach your colleagues outside of your normal duties and working hours.

Who is eligible?

Regular and Reserve personnel but excludes Service Education Officers.

What is it worth?

Academic instruction rate £22.82 per hour (if it leads to an exam or qualification)

Vocational instruction £17.62 per hour.

What’s the catch?

Teaching duties must not be included in your posting terms of reference.

Courses must be taught to classes of six students or more and you can’t claim for preparing classes or marking work.

How do I claim?

Claims are authorised by Unit Education Officer and processed by Unit HR (Chapter 13 of JSP 752).

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9. Movement and Storage of Personal Effects

Moving you, your family and your worldly possessions around whilst serving in the military can be problematic and expensive. To help with the inconvenience and costs when moving to a new location, you and your family can move or store your belongings at public expense.

Who is eligible?

Regular Service and accompanying immediate family. Some exceptions may apply for some Reservists (FTRS Full Commitment)

What is it worth?

The maximum volume that homeowners or that may be moved or stored is 67.92 cubic meters.

What’s the catch?

Your new duty station needs to ‘qualify’. Further details can be found in JSP 752.

How do I claim?

Speak to your HR department and submit your request using contractor’s website.

Who is excluded?

Reserve Forces (some exceptions apply e.g FTRS in certain circumstances).

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10. Service Risks Insurance Premium Refunds and Insurance Allowance

Most insurers charge a premium when it comes to insuring military personnel and their belongings. High risk occupations like parachuting, bomb disposal and diving can make policies even more expensive so this allowance is designed to help cover these additional costs.

Insurance allowance can be claimed for the transit of your belongings for work related travel (deployments or posting).

Who is eligible?

Regular service personnel. (Some Reserve exceptions apply e.g FTRS)

What is it worth?

You can claim back up to a maximum rate of £58.11 for Insurance Allowance and specific eligible policies can attract a full or partial refund.

What’s the catch?

You can’t claim for Insurance Allowance if you are in receipt of Disturbance Expenses.

Speak with HR/CoC to ensure your policy covers your role specific duties-make sure you check the small print to ensure you are adequately covered and able to claim the money back.

How do I claim?

Speak to HR and submit claims through JPA.

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