According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, young people live with their parents for longer than they did 20 years ago. For service families with over-18s who are still at home and not in full-time education, employment or training (NEETs), there can be some challenges when their entitlements stop. AFF Housing Specialist, Cat Calder, tells us more…

Within policy, while NEETs no longer qualify under the size of family criteria for the purpose of Service Family Accommodation (SFA) allocations, they can continue to live with you as non-dependant adult children.

You’ll never be expected to ask a child to leave home just because they have turned 18 and are not in higher education, nor will you be expected to move to a smaller quarter during a posting.

Although you’re no longer eligible for the same size SFA when you move, the allocations team will try to house you in a similar size SFA, but only if it’s available. Reassuringly, the age limits don’t apply to a son or daughter who is physically or mentally incapable of contributing to their own support.

The future of housing

Army life does move you around and as a result, you may be likely to move once your child has turned 18. There’s always the option – if no similar sized SFA is available at the new duty station – to request surplus SFA slightly out of the area.

Under the Future Accommodation Model (FAM), it’s anticipated that within the available options, you could choose to rent privately and receive an allowance towards the costs. Once your child is 18, their element of the allowance will stop on your next assignment so do bear in mind that your personal contribution may end up being more.

Going abroad

Issues can arise if you’re posted overseas as housing tends to be very limited, so it’s likely that you’ll be allocated SFA at your new entitlement. Living overseas, even more so post-Brexit, also throws up other issues regarding the dependant status of NEETs, such as access to medical care or their ability to work in that location.

Allowances

Alongside housing entitlement, there’s also an impact on allowances, such as subsistence costs, when moving. But allowance policy does state that your child can be classed as immediate family – with the approval of the Pay & Allowance Casework and Complaints Cell (PACCC), for a dependant son or daughter who is over 18 and under 21 not in education. Your soldier can speak to their unit admin team to clarify eligibility for allowances and discuss how to put in casework to PACCC.

So if you’re considering an overseas posting with a NEET, ensure that you’ve asked about the possible associated issues which might affect your family.

If you’d like to read more, see JSP 464, or contact me at housingsupport@aff.org.uk

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