Military allowances


01   Making sense of military allowances

There are a wide range of military allowances they can support you whether you are moving on assignment, going on deployment or even if you want to buy your own home. Eligibility to allowances can be based on several factors like the serving person’s Personnel Category Status and the rules and regulations of each allowance. JSP 752 is the policy for allowances and can be found here at JSP 752 -Tri-Service regulations for expenses and allowances – GOV.UK

The serving person can speak to their unit admin team, who will be able to help support and confirm any eligibility to allowances.

The MOD has recognised that military allowances can be complicated, and there are useful tools which can help:

  • They have produced this helpful, easy-to-read guide for soldiers and their families. The booklet provides information about the various expenses and allowances the soldier can claim.
  • They’ve also launched an online tool to help Service personnel, their families and anyone interested in joining the Armed Forces discover the range of support and benefits available to them. For more details visit Discover My Benefits

AFF regularly fed back your views, issues and concerns with allowances and pay. If you want to tell us your thoughts or need help with an issue you can contact us at

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02   Relocation allowances

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The aim of Disturbance Expense (DE) is to contribute towards the necessary additional expenses that arise when the Services require their personnel to make a qualifying move to or from a RWA on permanent assignment. The amount you will receive will depend on the type of accommodation you are moving into, and if it is in the UK or overseas.

There is also a Child Element that helps support with the costs towards things like school uniform, because a child needs to change school.

We’ve all had those moves where DE has been more than the costs incurred with moving and also those where it doesn’t quite cover it – the amount of DE we receive is based on many factors such as mail redirection and transit insurance.

How do you make a claim?

Claims for DE may be submitted 45 days before the expected move date. The serving person needs to claim using the JPA on-line self-service system.

For those with no access to the JPA on-line system, JPA form F018 is to be submitted to the unit admin team.

How will you be paid?

The appropriate rate of DE and Child Element may be paid in advance of, but not more than 30 days prior to, a DE qualifying move.

DE payments will be made via the serving person’s salary i.e. at the end of the month so make sure you apply before that month’s pay run has gone in or you may find that you move before you get DE!

If you have any queries on entitlement to DE, the serving person can speak to their unit admin team.

If you have any issues, concerns or feedback about DE, please contact

Disturbance Expense Rates from April 2024

Overseas moves to SFA/SSFA/privately owned/rented = £1,882
UK moves to SFA/SSFA/privately owned/rented = £1,041
Overseas moves to SLA/SSFA = £371
UK moves to SLA/SSSA = £103
Child Element (for each eligible child) = £109.41

If you are moving on assignment to a new duty station, then you may be eligible for support with your hotel and food costs during the move – this is known as subsistence.

Day Subsistence (DS) – allows for support for food and drink costs up to a limit of £30 for each eligible family member per day. You will need to keep your receipts and claim it back but you can get an advance to support with 80% of costs if needed.

Night Subsistence (NS) – supports with hotel accommodation during your move when you are without accommodation and your belongings.

Private Arrangements Rate (PAR) – you can choose to stay at a friend or relative’s home. If you choose this option, you can claim one amount of £35 per night per family.

The number of days of subsistence will vary depending on your assignment. For more information, see chapter 5 section 1 in JSP 752 or speak with the unit admin team.

If you are moving on assignment, then you may be eligible for support with removals.

MOD contractor support – means that the MOD packs your belongings and will move them. For more information on how to apply for removals with the MOD contractor, please see Housing – How to apply for removals

The UK Private Arrangements Self-Help Scheme (UKPASH) – allows serving personnel to claim for costs towards hiring a van or trailer up to a maximum cost of £291.24

Can I get removals and Disturbance Expense if I am moving mid- assignment?
Mid-tour moves are not normally paid unless it is for Service reasons – these include a move due to a change in entitlement to SFA, promotion or if you are a dual serving couple and change your Personnel Category Status. It will also apply if you are asked to move by DIO Service Delivery Accommodation.

If you are moving for compassionate, welfare or medical reasons, the serving person will need to put in a PACCC casework via the unit admin team, who will make a decision.

What allowances can a soldier in a long-term relationship claim when moving on assignment from one surplus SFA to another?
Generally for cohabitation with your LTR partner, you are not eligible to receive any additional allowances in support of your cohabitation. However, changes to policy confirmed by the Army allowances team mean that Service personnel in the UK who are in a registered long-term relationship on JPA can get the SFA rate of Disturbance Expense on a qualifying move (e.g. on assignment to a new duty station), when occupying surplus SFA in a non-FAM area.

They can also claim UK Private Arrangements Self-Help Scheme (UKPASH). This is a private removal arrangement that could help pay towards the cost of hiring a van. We would advise that the soldier contacts the unit admin team to discuss this. Please note that UKPASH applications must be pre-approved by the unit admin team and receipts provided.

For example, if a single soldier in a long-term relationship were to move from London to Catterick and successfully applied for surplus SFA, the SP would be entitled to Disturbance Expense at £1,041 and could claim UKPASH up to £291.24 (correct as of April 2024).

If you are having problems claiming these allowances or would like to share your views on allowances for those in long-term relationships, contact

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03   Overseas allowances

If you are moving overseas, there are a range of allowances which help to offset some of the additional costs of living abroad. They are designed to reflect the differences in the cost of living overseas against the UK.

The rates of the allowances are reviewed regularly and can go up or down so, it’s important not to budget based on the current rates.

If you are going overseas on a Loan Service or Defence Attaché post, you may get different allowances or travel packages.

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Local Overseas Allowance (LOA) is intended to contribute towards the additional local cost of day-to-day living in the overseas location compared to the UK. It is available when Service personnel are required to serve overseas on permanent assignment, temporary duty or exercise.

Service personnel will receive the same rate regardless of their rank, but if the spouse accompanies them on the assignment overseas, you will get an accompanied rate. You can also get the Child Element for children who accompany you overseas.

You get a greater rate of LOA if accompanied Service personnel can demonstrate that they are running two private vehicles at the overseas location.

How much will I get and how is it paid?

LOA is paid alongside the monthly salary.

The rates change yearly and can go up and down. The rates are not in the public domain – for more information, the serving person can check MOD SharePoint or speak to their unit admin team to access it.

Some locations may be on a transitional rate of LOA until July 2024, this is because the way LOA was calculated changed in July 2021. These locations may see a decrease in July 2024 when the transitional protection ends.

To find out more, see

If you would like to provide any feedback about LOA, please contact

Overseas Private Vehicle Provision (OPVP) is available to families receiving LOA and helps on overseas postings with the cost of accessing a private vehicle in an overseas location. Depending on the circumstances, it can be claimed on assignment both into and out of the overseas location.

What can it be used for?

Service personnel can use the provision to:

  • contribute towards administrative and vehicle depreciation costs when selling and buying a vehicle or selling a vehicle and starting a new lease. The Service person must be able to demonstrate that two separate financial transactions have taken place. This is called Overseas Private Vehicle Provision – Selling/Buying/Start Lease (OPVP(S/B/SL)) or
  • contribute towards the charges incurred when required to cancel a vehicle lease agreement. This is called Overseas Private Vehicle Provision – Cancelling Vehicle Lease (OPVP(CVL)), or
  • contribute towards the cost of privately shipping one vehicle to and from the permanent overseas assignment location. This is called Overseas Private Vehicle Provision – Shipping (OPVP(S)) or
  • contribute towards the cost of returning to the UK to get an MOT. This applies to specific countries where you are legally prevented from getting an MOT. This is called Overseas Private Vehicle Provision (MOT) – (OPVP (MOT)).

What are the rates?

The current rate is set at £1,066 as of April 2024 and will be reviewed on an annual basis.

What if we wish to drive?

Service personnel have the option to drive their personal vehicle instead of using OPVP and may be eligible to claim Motor Mileage Allowance and one day’s subsistence as a contribution towards this journey, depending on location.

What if we have two vehicles?

OPVP only supports one car but you may be able to get a greater rate of LOA if you are accompanied and running two vehicles overseas.

Where can I get more information?

More details can be found in JSP 752 Chapter 9 Section 4. Any queries should be directed to the Service person’s unit admin team. If you would like to provide any feedback about OPVP, please contact

Respite Provision is a contribution towards accommodation and travel costs to allow the serving person and their family to have a short respite break away from the duty station overseas.

Who can claim it?

Respite is available to all Service personnel and their immediate family members who are permanently assigned overseas and when in receipt of permanent rates of LOA.

If you are claiming School Children’s Visits (SCVs) for a child, then you will not be able to claim Respite Provision for that child.

How much can I claim?

  • Each overseas location that the Service person is assigned to is given a set number of claimable Respite days per person, per year. This varies by location.
  • There is a maximum claimable rate per day, per person. Again, this varies in each location. You can find the number of days and claimable rate per day in JSP752 Chapter 3 rates.

What can I claim for?

  • You can claim for accommodation but not food and drink.
  • You can claim travel costs for travel to and from your Respite destination.
  • Respite days can be taken in one block of days or individual days up to the maximum entitlement for that country.
  • You are able to use Respite Provision when you are using the Get You Home Overseas allowance but this would only be for the accommodation element.

How do I claim?

Respite costs are retrospectively claimed through the JPA Expenses Claim system. You will need to keep all your receipts and claim no later than 14 days after your break. You may be able to get an advance of pay of up to 80% of your maximum claim rate.

Where can I get more information?

More details can be found in JSP 752 Chapter 9 Section 5. Any queries should be directed to the Service person’s unit admin team. If you would like to provide any feedback about Respite Provision, please contact

Get You Home Overseas (GYH (O)) helps to support towards the costs of one return flight every 12 months for a serving person and their immediate family to return to the UK, or their domicile country (if you are non-British and a have a dual nationality passport).

Who can claim it?

GYH (O) is available to all Service personnel and their immediate family members who are permanently assigned overseas. If you are on an overseas Loan Service or Defence Attaché post, you may get different travel packages.

If you are claiming School Children’s Visits (SCVs) for a child, then you will not be able to claim GYH (O) for that child.

The amount you can claim with be up to a capped cost specific to each overseas location.

How do I claim?

You can retrospectively claim using the JPA online self-service system. You may also get an advance of up to 100% of your costs up to 90 days before.

The rates will change at least three times a year and can go up or down, but the rate at the time of booking should apply.

Where can I get more information?

More details can be found in JSP 752 Chapter 9 Section 11. Any queries should be directed to the Service person’s unit admin team.

If you are going overseas there may be initial outlay and costs. An Advance of Pay can be requested, which allows an advance of up to four months of the Service person’s net salary. The Service person can then pay this back out of their salary over a 24-month period, or sooner if convenient.

If you are accompanying your spouse/civil partner overseas and fall pregnant, you may be entitled to an Ex-Gratia Payment in lieu of Maternity Allowance if you are prevented from claiming the normal Maternity Allowance. The MOD Ex-Gratia Payment in lieu of Maternity Allowance policy applies to eligible spouse/civil partners who accompany their Service spouses overseas to countries outside the EEA and where there is no reciprocal benefit agreement.

The Department for Work and Pensions restricts payment of UK Maternity Allowance to those who are living, and have worked, in the UK. If you do not meet the criteria for UK Maternity Allowance because you are not resident in the UK at the time of application, or your qualifying work was undertaken within the EEA, or in a country where there is a reciprocal benefit agreement, your claim will be dealt with by that country. However, if you lived and/or worked in a country outside the EEC and one without a reciprocal agreement, the MOD may consider the payment of an ex-gratia payment in lieu of Maternity Allowance. There is no automatic entitlement and payment is at the discretion of the MOD, however the intent is to consider such requests favourably.

In all cases, regardless of where you live or have worked, the first application for Maternity Allowance should always be made to the Department for Work and Pensions. They will determine your entitlement to Maternity Allowance and will notify you how to proceed. If you receive notification that you may be entitled to an ex gratia payment from the MOD, you will need to claim via your spouse/civil partner’s unit admin team. Defence Information Note 2018DIN01-026 2023DIN01-043 provides further guidance on how to do this; this is available to serving personnel and unit admin teams on the Defence Intranet.

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04   Travel allowances

There are costs which can help support you if you are travelling to work or home at weekends.

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Home to Duty (HDT) helps support with travel costs if you are commuting to and from your home to work daily.

If you are working remotely and just travel in on some days, you may also be able to claim HDT up to 250 miles for the days you need to go in.

The amount you get will depend on how many miles you travel per day, but the first three miles will not count in SFA or the first nine in your own private accommodation.

You can also claim if going by push bike and only the first mile is discounted.

For more information on HDT see JSP 752 Chapter 7 – commuting

Get you Home Travel (GYH (T)) helps support if you live in SLA during the week and need to commute to your own home during weekends or leave periods.

You own home would need to be a selected place of residence (over 50 miles or 90 minutes travel from your duty station).

The amount you receive depends on the number of miles you travel, but it is based on supporting the average costs of two journeys a month. It is paid at a daily rate.

You need to show evidence like a council tax bill, mortgage, or tenancy agreement to your unit admin team to claim.

For more information on GYH (T) see JSP 752 Chapter 7 – commuting

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05   Deployment

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Council Tax Relief (CTR) is a relief payment that gives financial support when the serving person is on specified operations and deployments.

How do you claim this?

If you live in SFA the unit admin team will process this automatically. If you are in your own home you will need to show the admin team your council tax bill for the period in question which confirms that the serving person is counted for council tax at the property, and also a letter (or other proof) from the local authority showing that you haven’t been given a discount from them due to being on Op Tour.

Payment is calculated on a daily rate and CTR will be paid as a lump sum at the end of the Op Tour in the soldier’s salary.

For more information, see JSP 752 Chapter 11 Section 3.

Concessionary Travel for Families (CTF) is an allowance which helps support the immediate family to visit their extended family when a serving person is deployed.

It allows them to claim costs towards train or bus travel, flights or towards the petrol cost by mileage allowance.

The number of journeys will depend on the length of deployment. The serving person should speak to their unit admin team to check if their deployment qualifies and the amount of journeys they can claim.

For more information see JSP 752 Chapter 11 Section 2.

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06   Allowances - own home

The Forces Help to Buy (FHTB) scheme is an advance of salary scheme, which is available to help Service personnel who want to buy their first home and to enable the option to self-build amongst eligible Service personnel.

Regular Service personnel are able to take an advance of up to 50% of their gross annual salary (capped at £25,000), interest free, to purchase their own home.

The scheme aims to address low levels of home ownership in the Armed Forces, overcoming the disadvantages that mobility brings in line with the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant. It supports greater lifestyle choice and retention of personnel.

The loan is repaid through the Service person’s monthly salary, over a period of 10 years but must be paid back prior to leaving Service. You will be expected to live in the home whenever Service needs allow.

For more information, please read the full government guidance at Further information can be found in JSP 464 Chapter 12.

If you have any questions, comments or further suggestions, then please contact AFF’s Money & Allowances team at

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07   Leaving Service

There is a little known regulation that covers ‘Final Tour of Duty’ requests.

Ordinarily, final house moves in the military are not paid for at public expense; however, provision does exist for paying both Disturbance Expense (DE) and removals at public expense for a final move, providing that a request to reside in a particular area has previously been made to the appropriate Career Manager.

If the serving person is due to complete their Service and receive an immediate pension (e.g. completed 22 years or for Officers, 16 years reckonable Service), and has completed a JPA form F024 and submitted it to their Career Manager, they may be eligible.

Critically, if Career Managers are unable to meet the needs of the Service person (i.e. by posting them within 50 miles or 90 minutes travel time of the requested area) then they may be entitled to DE and removals for their final move.

The main eligibility criteria are:

  • The preferred location must be within the UK, and must be a unit or establishment in which an assignment exists that the claimant could fill if it were vacant.
  • The soldier is serving at a duty station more than 50 miles from a location for which they expressed a first preference.
  • The Service person is accompanied and resides in SFA or an alternative Residence at Work (RWA) address.
  • Or, if single, they are a homeowner or householder.
  • JPA form F024 must be submitted during the soldier’s penultimate assignment. For final postings more than four years in duration, the form must be submitted and approved no later than two years before the end of Service.

Further information on Final Tour of Duty eligibility can be found in JSP 752, or contact your unit admin team for more details.

Given the high cost of removals these days, filling in one little form may well save you a great deal of money in the future – it’s worth a look.

If you would like to provide any feedback about final removals or Final Tour of Duty, please contact

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08   Modernised Accommodation Offer allowances

The Army Over-37 Provision helped support married/civil partnership Army personnel who were over 37 years of age and who met criteria to settle their family into their own home before the end of their career. The costs for Single Living Accommodation (SLA) were waived and it helped with Disturbance Expense (DE) and removals costs.

The Army Over-37 Provision closed to new entrants from 1 April 2024, and new SLA waivers have been introduced.

From 1 April 2024, if you are claiming the Army Over-37 Provision you will continue to have a waiver of SLA charges for a minimum of 12 months whilst the MOD accommodation team reviews the Modernised Accommodation Offer. N.B: If you are assigned between April 2024 and 2025 you will automatically move from the Over-37 Provision to the new SLA waiver.

If you had any entitlement to removals and DE under the Army Over-37 Provision, you must apply before 31 March 24 and move within 6 months.

To do this you need to complete an eligibility certificate. It’s important to check eligibility now, as no certificates will be accepted after 31 March.

More information on SLA waivers for those not claiming the Over-37 Provision or moving to an SLA waiver but who are living in SLA during the week and have their own home, is also available. See also Housing: Modernised Accommodation Offer

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