Disturbance Expense

​The aim of Disturbance Expense (DE) is to contribute towards the necessary additional expenses that may arise when the Services require their personnel to make a qualifying move to or from a RWA on permanent assignment.

This guidance does not supersede policy contained within JSP 752 or related Defence policy. See JSP 752, Chapter 12, Section 1. 

Qualifying Criteria​

Qualifying Moves

It is the move of the SP, not the immediate family which provides eligibility for DE. To qualify for DE SP must:

  1.  Be ordered in writing to move to a new place of duty to undertake a permanent assignment following Phase 1 training or on subsequent qualifying moves or 
  2.  Be required to move from a RWA to temporary accommodation awaiting a further assignment (e.g. on an extended period of sickness). Where the subsequent assignment necessitates a further move to a RWA this will also attract DE; or
  3.  Undertake a mid-assignment move.

Non-Qualifying Moves

The following moves are ineligible:

  1.  Where SP move between 2 Selected Places of Residence (SPR).
  2.  Where SP return from an assignment, where they occupied public accommodation, to a property that they previously lived in (and had claimed DE for previously) and which their family continued to occupy during their absence (e.g. those returning from SSSA to a home that has been continually occupied by their family, or a single SP returning to privately owned or rented property that has not been let, or those returning to a home under Final Tour of Duty moves). 
  3. Where a couple move accommodation mid-assignment following their marriage/civil partnership, regardless of whether they have established a home prior to marriage/civil partnership.
  4. When SP move into accommodation in a seagoing unit.
  5. When SP undertake operational tours.
  6. Moves between SLA within the same Unit.

Qualifying Residences

To qualify for DE SP must be entitled to move at public expense and the move must be to or from a RWA.  

  1.  If a SP elects to serve unaccompanied (UnAcc) and settle their immediate family in a SPR, DE may be claimed at the SFA or privately owned or rented accommodation Rate. 
  2.  Where a SP occupies SFA by virtue of their appointment, in accordance with JSP 464 Part 1, paragraph 0302, DE will be paid at the SLA rate unless they are entitled to claim DE at the higher rate for a family move.

Service Couples

A PStat Cat 1(s) or (c) SP, whose authorised change of PStat Cat was effected at the time of the new assignment, may claim DE provided a claim, other than at the SLA rate, has not been made by either of the partners in the previous 182 days.  

Qualifying Periods

There is no entitlement to DE for moves solely as a consequence of a temporary assignment except in the following circumstances:

  1.  A family move to a residence, which is to be occupied during two or more assignments or courses (which may be at different places) provided the total period of occupation is expected to exceed 182 days.
  2.  SP returning from an overseas assignment when leaving the Services and with an expectation of at least 91 days service (this period includes resettlement courses and terminal absence) from the date of arrival in the UK.  Where it can be demonstrated that the 91 days qualifying period cannot be achieved for Service reasons a case is to be made to PACCC. 


General. Only one claim and therefore one rate of DE is payable when a SP is permanently assigned to a new duty station including the Child Element of DE where appropriate. The DE payment is to be based upon the type of accommodation the Service person is going to occupy. The property for which DE is claimed must be occupied for a minimum of six months during the assignment. In cases where the accommodation for which a DE payment is made is vacated within 6 months for other than Service reasons recovery action will be taken. Rates payable are for moves into:

  1.  SFA or Privately Owned or Rented Accommodation. This rate is payable to SP who occupy either SFA or Substitute Service Families’ Accommodation (SSFA), their own property or privately rented accommodation for which they are a signatory on a tenancy agreement.
  2. SLA. This rate is payable to SP who occupy SLA or Substitute Service Single Accommodation (SSSA). For the purposes of DE accommodation in a seagoing unit is not SLA and those moving into such accommodation do not have an entitlement to DE. Where a SP occupies SFA by virtue of their appointment, in accordance with JSP 464 Part 1, paragraph 0302, DE will be paid at the SLA rate unless they are entitled to claim DE at the higher rate for a family move.

Accommodation in the USA is classed as SFA/SLA and not privately rented. 

Child Element

The Child Element of DE contributes towards costs incurred for a child as a direct result of a family move which qualifies for DE. It is intended to contribute towards the extra costs of buying new school uniform and associated items on moving a child from one school, or place of apprenticeship, to another. SP entitled to DE may claim the Child Element for each child who is receiving full-time education, which includes nursery school or technical college, and there is a requirement to purchase new school uniform for the child. Any nursery school or playgroup is to be one that is established under formal arrangements with the Local Education Authority (LEA) or equivalent overseas.

Delayed Moves

COs may authorise a delayed move for up to six months after the assignment start date to allow for a house sale or purchase, where SFA is not available at the new duty station  or where a child’s schooling is involved, providing there is at least six months left to serve at the new duty station. SP who move into SLA on a temporary basis while arranging permanent accommodation may defer the payment of DE until they move into their selected permanent accommodation and therefore claim the appropriate rate. DE may not be claimed for both moves. Delayed moves for any other reason may be authorised by PACCC.

Mid-assignment Moves

The following rules apply for entitlement to DE on mid-assignment moves:

  1.  DE is payable for mid-assignment moves where a move of accommodation is directed by DIO, or equivalents, or for Service reasons.  Where there are compelling welfare, medical or compassionate reasons for a mid-assignment move approval should be sought from PACCC.  The CO or authorising officer should stipulate whether the case requires urgent resolution or not.   
  2.  Mid-assignment moves for other personal reasons, including on estrangement, and for operational deployments do not give an entitlement to DE.  

Service Couples

Where a Service couple occupy the same private accommodation (owned or rented) or SFA/SSFA, only one individual is eligible to claim DE for that accommodation. This is normally the individual who is recognised as PStat Cat 1s.

Families of Deceased SP

Following the death of a SP, their immediate family is entitled to DE for any move between Service accommodation and for their final move from Service accommodation into private accommodation.

Evacuated Families

For entitlement to DE as a consequence of emergency evacuation from an overseas assignment please contact USA SpGp. 

The payment of DE is initiated by a self service activity (via JPA) and authorised by Unit HR.  If JPA access is unavailable, it can also be initiated by proxy by Unit HR.  In this instance the Service Person will need to complete JPA Form F018 and send it to USA SpGp​ HR staff ([email protected]).

DE can be claimed a maximum of 45 days prior to the Taken of Strength Date (ToS), will only be paid with main pay run, and should appear at end of month in the Service Persons pay. 1 

Disturbance Expense Rates

​Type of Property Moved into

1 April, 2018

1 April, 2019

Overseas Moves to SFA/SSFA/Privately Owned/Rented​



​​UK Moves to SFA/SSFA/Privately Owned/Rented



​Overseas Moves to SLA/SSSA



​UK Moves to SLA/SSSA



​Chile Element (for each eligible child)



​​​Expenses that Disturbance Expenses Contribute Towards

​Expenses Included in the DE Rate

DE contributes to the following areas of expenditure incurred as a result of moving property:

  • Costs associated with the preparation of current accommodation for march out/sale/letting (e.g. cost of paint for making good, commercial cleaning, window cleaning, dry cleaning, laundry). 
  • Meals out due to cleaning of residence. 
  • Insurance of goods in transit.
  • Mail redirection.
  • Telecommunications reconnection. 
  • Extra cost of postage/telephone calls.
  • Loss of food (opened packets/non transportable)
  • Plumbing-in of domestic appliances.
  • Alterations to electrical fittings (e.g. plug/voltage changes on assignment to/from overseas).
  • Loss of purchased guarantee or extended warranties (when assigned outside mainland UK).
  • Loss of subscriptions (e.g. Gymnasium).
  • Additional furnishing costs.
  • Bulk clearing of garden/household rubbish.
  • Provision of/alteration to curtains. 

Expenses Included in the Child Element of the DE Rate

DE contributes to the following areas of expenditure incurred as a result of moving property:

  • School uniform.
  • School shoes.
  • School sports kit.
  • School/Course books.

​Expenses Excluded from the DE Rate

DE does not contribute towards the following as these may be covered by other allowances:

  • Hotel Costs.
  • Legal and estate agent’s fees and other fees associated with the buying/selling/letting and repossession of property.
  • Removal of Personal Effects (PE).
  • Storage of furniture when not taken overseas at public expense.
  • Cost of a hire car when moving between UK and overseas.

1  But only where SFA has been applied for immediately upon receipt of an Assignment Order

Last Updated: Feb 17, 2021 @ 12:08 am

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