AFF has worked hard over the last 10 years to highlight disadvantage families have faced to the MOD and we are proud to have helped with the following successes:
- Mobile phone contracts: after raising the disadvantage faced by families who could not suspend their contract when posted overseas, the main mobile phone providers in the UK have amended their policies so that they can now be suspended for up to two years during an overseas posting.
- Job Seekers Allowance: we gained an exemption from the three-month resident rule that applies to anyone wanting to apply for JSA who has returned to the UK after a period of being overseas.
- Vetting guidance: AFF was aware that spouses and dependents of Service personnel who had been posted overseas were experiencing issues when going through vetting when applying to work for the police. Having raised this issue, the College of Policing has published updated vetting guidance that has resulted in spouses and dependents no longer failing the residency requirement due to accompanying their Service person overseas.
- Local connection for social housing for recently divorced/separated spouses: AFF is delighted that new guidance has been given by the Ministry for Communities, Housing and Local Government that local connection should not be demanded for recently separated/divorced spouses of Service personnel.
- 50% discount for second homes: AFF has helped several Service personnel who were refused this discount by local authorities, resulting in the discount being awarded and backdated.
What is the Covenant legislation?
The Armed Forces Bill is currently going through parliament and one element is looking at how the Armed Forces Covenant can support in the areas of housing, health and education. AFF has given verbal and written evidence to the committee looking at the Bill and will continue to monitor it to ensure Army families’ issues are taken into account. For more info, click here.
POSTED ON 26 JULY 2021