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29/1994 Introduction of Widows-ers Benefits Table
Central Office Instruction
amending General Orders (1993 edition)
Instruction No. 29
Date of Effect: 1 August 1994
INTRODUCTION OF WIDOWS'/ WIDOWERS' BENEFITS TABLE
The purpose of this Instruction is to introduce a table of benefits available to widows/widowers for inclusion as Appendix A to the Entitlement General Orders.
In view of the complex nature of the legislation covering benefits available to widows/widowers, it was decided at a meeting of Subsidy Managers in 1993 that an appropriate ready reference table should be developed for incorporation into the General Orders.
It was acknowledged that staff had difficulty in applying the legislation and this in turn could have been causing some confusion for clients. A ready reference table was seen as the possible answer, in that it would provide staff with clear guidance on interpretation of the legislation and the application of uniform policies for all clients.
The complexities encountered in this task have caused considerable delay in finalising the table, and even now we are aware that not all widows'/widowers' circumstances are covered.
Policy to be applied
When dealing with potential applications or inquiries from widows/widowers, staff are to refer to the table of benefits at Appendix A to the Entitlement General Orders. The table is designed to assist staff in advising the options available. It is essential that all the options in each category are explained when advising the widow/widower, although it is recognised that some options may not be all that practical, dependent upon the circumstances. It is important that once the options are explained, the final decision on what benefit to apply for is left to the widow/widower.
In the table, references to a widow of an eligible person should be read to include references to a widower of an eligible person and similarly, references to a husband should also include a wife. The benefits available in the Additional Advance and the Widow/Essential Repair Advances columns are dependent upon the benefit in the Loan column being taken up. The table format, although comprehensive may not cover all widows'/widowers' circumstances. Any case in circumstances not covered by the table should be referred to Central Office by telephone for advice in the first instance, particularly where the widow has completed her own military service.
Where the applicant's circumstances indicate a Further Advance option, staff must check that the portability provisions are satisfied, e.g. previous loan current at, or funded after, 9/12/87, and that previous terms have not exceeded 25 years. Care also needs to be exercised in relation to the effective dates of legislative changes which bestow the benefits, i.e. de-facto widows are eligible as widows if the person with qualifying service died after 10/11/78. De-facto widowers of female veterans are eligible if the person with qualifying service died after 18 December 1988.
Staff should be fully conversant with the legislation and other parts of the General Orders before using the table. Relevant GOs related to widows'/widowers' benefits are located in Eligibility Chapter 10 and GO 12.2.1 and Entitlement GO 3.6.4, Chapters 4, 5, 6 and 7, and GOs 10.13 and 10.14. It is emphasised that the complexities of some of the legislative provisions mean that they are open to some debate and variance in interpretation. Where this is so, the table applies a policy consistent with a beneficial interpretation of the legislation and sets down uniform guidelines to follow for the majority of cases. However, there may be cases where widows have received or acted upon previous DSH advice given under earlier views of the same legislation. It is not intended that the guidelines in the table would disadvantage those clients who have received or acted upon previous contrary advice. Delegates are encouraged to consider the merits of cases in accordance with the provisions of the legislation and to satisfy themselves that such widows are not disadvantaged.
Advice to widows/widowers should include reference to Insurance - both property and contents.
Attached is an amended page 49 of the Entitlement General Orders introducing Chapter 11 and Appendix A - the Widows'/Widowers' Benefits Table. Please replace the existing page 49 with the amended version and insert Appendix A as the immediately following pages and before Appendix B.
Also attached is a replacement page 59 of the Eligibility General Orders, reflecting the new address of the Soldier Career Management Agency.
Amended GO Index
An amended Index page 3 for the Entitlement GOs is also attached.
Effect on previously issued COIs
This Instruction has no effect on any previously issued operative COI, but is related to COI 11 of 1 March 1991, COI 13 effective from 25 June 1991, COI 14 of 29 August 1991, and COI 18 of 1 October 1992.
25 July 1994