Has your soldier ever tried to claim an allowance and been told they need to put in casework to the PACCC? You might be wondering what it is and what it does. AFF’s money & allowances specialist, Claire Hallam, spoke to Lt Col Richard Sanders to find out more…
The Pay & Allowance Casework and Complaints Cell (PACCC) is located in Glasgow, and processes tri-service pay and allowance casework, appeals and JPA service delivery complaints. It also delivers the Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) process, which is what many of you may be familiar with.
The PACCC is made up of four teams covering casework, appeals, assurance and complaints.
“All team members are vastly experienced and completely focused on supporting our service personnel and their families,” says Lt Col Sanders. “Communication with our customer base (you) is my number one priority and such an important area that I’m very keen to explore and develop.”
Did you know?
Currently in 2020/2021, the PACCC has authorised 71 per cent of the 3,415 casework/applications it has received. It doesn’t own and can’t change policy, but, like AFF, it’s in a position to provide evidenced trends to help influence future changes.
“The PACCC is not here to say ‘yes’ to everything and we not here to say ‘no’ to everything, or catch people out,” adds Lt Col Sanders. “We are here to authorise everything you are entitled to, especially if exceptional circumstances are evidenced.
“For all things CEA, we understand there are children at the end of these requests. We remain entirely objective, but if there is something which raises a ‘red flag’, we are duty bound to investigate. Please be reassured that the PACCC is here to assist and support you and ensure you remain on the correct side of the rules.”
Applying for CEA
The process of applying or amending eligibility for CEA can be somewhat daunting. If you’re asked to submit an Eligibility Certificate (EC) application or casework to seek authorisation, the PACCC has some top tips below to help. “Transparency is key,” explains Lt Col Sanders, “when we’re presented with suitable evidence to support your casework/applications, it will, I guarantee, make the process a much smoother journey.”
- Plan ahead – read the policy and make use of the JPA Self-Service User Guide.
- Contact the Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) – register your child and read the information pack.
- Check the school – ensure the school is included on the Accredited Schools Database (ASD). CEA is only applicable to schools listed on the ASD.
- Official information – ensure you have secured a written offer from the ASD school. This letter and your CEAS child registration number are required for your application.
- Ensure your JPA records are up-to-date – particularly in terms of your family (both spouse and children’s addresses). This is a basic assurance check conducted by PACCC to ensure you are serving accompanied.
- Submit your application in good time – we encourage you submit your request in a timely manner.
- Claiming – JPA claim windows are usually open for around two months, therefore there’s plenty of time to get your EC approved before school starts.
- Claiming CEA for more than one child – ensure the details of all children are included on the same application, irrespective of whether you already have CEA approved for a different child.
- Exceptional circumstances – if there’s any relevant information which you believe will assist the CO and PACCC in making their determination, include it in the address explanation tab on the JPA CEA EC. The more information you can give, the better.
- No access to JPA – you may exceptionally be allowed to submit a paper EC, which you can get from JSP 752. Applications of this type are usually only accepted where personnel are serving overseas.
- Be patient – please have confidence that we will process your application as soon as we possibly can.
Do liaise with your unit HR, they are your local experts and are able to speak directly with the PACCC if required.