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Division 1: Disturbance allowance

6.1.3 Purpose

A member may be compensated for some of the costs involved in a Commonwealth removal to a new dwelling within Australia. This Division outlines the kinds of costs covered, the conditions of eligibility and the amount payable.

6.1.4 Members eligible

A member is eligible for disturbance allowance if they are in either of the following situations.

  1. The member meets both the following conditions.

    1. They are granted a removal to a new home.

    2. They are on continuous full-time service or cease continuous full-time service.

    3. Note: In the total workforce model, a member on continuous full-time service may be described as a member in Service category 6 or 7. A member who is in Service category 3, 4 or 5 and Service option C is also on continuous full-time service.

  2. The member meets all the following conditions.

    1. They are a member without dependants or a member with dependants (unaccompanied).

    2. They have been deployed for six months or longer.

    3. The member chose under any of sections 7.4.23, 7.6.38, 7.7.11 or 7.8.31 to leave their accommodation.

      See: Chapter 7
      Part 4 Division 3 subsection 7.4.23, Living-in accommodation on deployment – six months or longer
      Part 6 Division 7 subsection 7.6.38, Service residence for member on deployment
      Part 7 Division 1 section 7.7.11, Effect on accommodation when a member is deployed
      Part 8 Division 5 subsection 7.8.31, Rent allowance on deployment

Note: Section 1.6.1 deals with situations where a member's adult dependant is also a member, and they would both be eligible for disturbance allowance. Only one of the members is eligible.

See: Chapter 1 Part 6 section 1.6.1, Dual entitlement – member's adult dependant is also a member

6.1.5 Members not eligible

A member is not eligible for disturbance allowance in these cases.

  1. They are moving from living-in accommodation in an establishment, unit or base to different living-in accommodation in the same establishment, unit or base.

  2. They are moving overseas from Australia. These members get transfer allowance. However, they also get disturbance allowance for the removal within Australia on return from overseas.

    See: Chapter 14 Part 3 Division 3, Transfer allowance

  3. They are moving between two seagoing ships that have the same home port.

  4. They are moving to another home because the number of their dependants has changed.

    Example 1: A member has married and is moving to a larger home.

    Example 2: The member's marriage or partnership has broken down and they are moving to a smaller home.

6.1.6 Amount of allowance

  1. In this section, temporary accommodation includes commercial or living-in accommodation that the member occupies for less than six weeks.

  2. The amount of disturbance allowance is the amount specified in column C of the following table which coincides with both of the following.

    1. The circumstances of the member described in column A.
    2. The number of the current removal, as defined in section 6.1.7, specified in column B.
    Disturbance allowance

    Column A

    Circumstances of member

    Column B

    Number of the current removal

    Column C

    Amount $
    1. Member with dependants
    Removal to a new location 1st or 2nd removal 1,256
    3rd or 4th removal 1,674
    5th or 6th removal 2,094
    7th or subsequent removal 2,512
    Removal within the same location each time 629
    Removal from overseas 1st or 2nd removal 251
    3rd or 4th removal 502
    5th or subsequent removal 754
    2. Member without dependants or member with dependants (unaccompanied)
    Removal to a new location:
    from living out to living out 1st or 2nd removal 629
    3rd or 4th removal 838
    5th or 6th removal 1,046
    7th or subsequent removal 1,256

    from living out to living in, or from living in to living out

    1st or 2nd removal 314
    3rd or 4th removal 418
    5th or 6th removal 524
    7th or subsequent removal 629
    from living in to living in 1st or 2nd removal 157
    3rd or 4th removal 210
    5th or 6th removal 261
    7th or subsequent removal 314
    Removal within the same location:
    from living in to living in, between different establishments, units or bases each time 157

    from living out to living in, or from living in to living out

    each time 157
    from living out to living out each time 314
    Removal from overseas 1st or 2nd removal 126
    3rd or 4th removal 251
    5th or subsequent removal 377
    Removal from storage to living-in accommodation, after deployment of more than 6 months. each time 157
    Removal from storage to living-out accommodation, after deployment of more than 6 months. each time 314
  3. Note: The list of deployments approved by the Minister is available in Annex 17.1.A.

  4. A removal to or from living out is taken to be a single removal under subsection 2, regardless of whether temporary accommodation is used during the removal.

    Example: A member without dependants living out is posted from Sydney to Brisbane. The member occupies temporary living in accommodation for a period less than six weeks while they secure live out accommodation in the new posting location. The member is to be paid at the relevant living out to living out rate in the table in subsection 2.

6.1.7 Number of current removal

  1. The number of the current removal is defined as follows.

    The number of removals for which a member has been eligible for disturbance allowance since they last began continuous full-time service. This number includes the current removal.

    Note: When a member re-enters the ADF after a break in service, the number of removals re-starts at one. Their first removal is not added to the number of removals in their previous period of service.

  2. The member may have a spouse or partner who is also a member and they move together. In this case, the number of the current removal is the greater of the number of removals that one or the other undertook since they began continuous full-time service. This number includes the current removal.

  3. Separate removals to a new location by a member and their dependants are treated as one removal.

6.1.8 Removal with dependants following later

  1. A member who is removed without their dependants is eligible for the relevant amount for a member without dependants in subsection

  2. If the member's dependants are removed to the same place at a later date, the total amount payable for both removals must not be more than if they had all been moved together.

6.1.9 Removal on enlistment

When a member without dependants is granted a removal on enlistment, they are eligible for the relevant amount for moving from living-out accommodation under subsection

6.1.10 Removals to and from overseas – number of removals

A removal related to an overseas posting counts as only one move, even when both the following happen.

  1. The member's furniture is stored at Commonwealth expense in Australia.

  2. Their furniture and effects are moved from storage to their posting when they return to Australia. This is whether they are accompanied on their return or not.

6.1.11 Death of a member

If a member dies and their dependants are granted a removal, the dependants are eligible for an amount of disturbance allowance. The amount is what the member would have been paid if the removal had been granted on ceasing continuous full-time service.

6.1.12 A child changing school – additional payment

  1. If a member's child must change schools because of a removal, the member is eligible for $239 for each child. This applies only to full-time students at primary and secondary schools. It does not include a child at a pre-school.

  2. If a member's spouse or partner is also a member, they are together only eligible for one payment for each child.

  3. If the child's change of school is put off to a later date, no payment is made until they actually change school.

6.1.13 Telephone installation or reconnection costs

  1. A member eligible for disturbance allowance for a removal may be eligible for assistance with costs of installing or reconnecting a private telephone in the dwelling they move to. They qualify if either of these conditions are met.

    1. They had a private telephone disconnected from their former dwelling when they were removed from it.

    2. They had a private telephone disconnected from another earlier dwelling when they were removed from it. Since that earlier removal, they continuously occupied a dwelling where:

      1. a telephone was provided at Commonwealth expense, or

      2. they were on long-term posting overseas.

  2. The member may be reimbursed the cost of the installation or reconnection service, up to a maximum of $299.

    Note: The amount is based on what Telstra charges for connecting a telephone in a normal suburban environment where cabling is already available in the street the member intends to live in, or in living-in accommodation on a base. The amount is reviewed each year.

    See: Telstra Home Phone Services

6.1.14 Private vehicle transfer costs

  1. A member is eligible for assistance with the costs of transferring a private vehicle registration to another State or Territory. The vehicle may belong to the member or a dependant.

  2. The benefit is an amount up to $63 for each removal. It is for one private vehicle only. It is to assist with fees and costs for registration plates, roadworthiness inspection, administration fees and ownership tests. It is not to assist with the registration fee for the vehicle.

  3. Note: Drivers' licence transfer fees
    A separate payment for drivers' licence transfer fees is no longer necessary. This is because states that impose a fee for transfer allow members to use their current licence until it expires. However, a member is expected to hold a Form AB135, Defence Driving Identification. Victoria and the Northern Territory require Service personnel to transfer their licence but they charge no fee for the transfer.

6.1.15 Payment in special circumstances

  1. A member may qualify for an allowance or reimbursement under this Part even if they do not meet one or more of the criteria for qualification.

  2. The CDF may approve payment if the following conditions are satisfied.

    1. The member does not qualify for reasons beyond their control.

    2. Paying an amount is consistent with the purpose of the allowance.

  3. The CDF cannot approve an amount greater than the member would have received if they had been eligible for an allowance or reimbursement.

Persons who can make decision under subsection on behalf of the CDF
Director Relocations and Housing
Assistant Director Relocations Services

Application to Reservists: Yes, on continuous full-time service.


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