How to Claim
The Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme (ELC) is an initiative to promote lifelong learning amongst members of the armed forces. This means it can be used both during your time in the forces, and also for a considerable amount of time after leaving.
However, as with most things in life, this is dependent on a few certain conditions:
• To be eligible for lower tier ELC funding (£1000), you must have been serving in the armed forces for at least 4 years.
• To be eligible for higher tier ELC funding (£2000), you must have been serving in the armed forces for at least 8 years.
• If you are a service leaver, you can still claim for ELC funding, up to 10 years after leaving the forces.
• Each Eligible claimant may make a total of 3 claims.
• Only 1 claim may be made for learning activities commencing in any one financial year.
• Courses must be NVQ Level 3 or above for both lower and higher tier claimants in order to receive funding.
The aim for the ELC funding is to give service leavers a real advantage when preparing for resettlement. Therefore, ELC funding is only available for pursuit of higher level learning i.e for courses that result in a nationally recognised qualification at Level 3 or above on National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
If you are leaving the armed forces, preparing for resettlement and looking to claim Enhanced Learning Credits, you may be wondering where to start. If so, please see our quick, easy to understand, guide below.
How to claim
1. In order to claim, you will first of all need to pick up an ELC claims form from your base Learning Centre (or download a copy from www.enhancedlearningcredits.com).
2. Before registering for any learning activity, you must get authorisation from your line manager and education staff. In order to do this, you may need to consider the following:
Fully research both the provider that you choose and the course that you wish to study.
Along with the fully completed form, you will also need to provide the following:
• proof of last day of service
• information about the course, including proof of level of qualification
• photocopy of a utility bill, showing home address
• photocopy of driving licence or passport (showing photo)
• telephone number (daytime).
3. If your claim is eligible, it will then be forwarded onto ELCAS. They will then check that you are registered for the ELC scheme and that you are eligible. From this ELCAS will return a Claim Authorisation Note (CAN) to your learning advisor, with an evaluation form. They will in turn forward them to your home address – this process takes around 2 weeks.
4. If successful, You should then have a copy of the CAN form, which will allow you to proceed with payment. This can be done by sending the CAN form, along with your own 20% contribution to the training provider of your choice. The CAN is useful to us as a training provider as we can then invoice the Defence Bills Agency for the rest of the fees (either £1000/£2000, depending on your own entitlement).
NOTE: After completing your course, you MUST ensure that the evaluation form is complete and returned to ELCAS. If you do not do this it could affect the success rate of your next claim.
If you have any questions about this claims procedure, then get in touch with your learning advisor. Failing that, our own resettlement advisors have significant experience of the claims process and will be more than willing to help you out.
Known as the Individual Resettlement Training Costs (IRTC) grant, people serving who intend to leave within 2 years are now entitled to a grant of £500. This can be used in conjunction with ELC to pay towards a training course. When using IRTC with ELC during resettlement, the individual may use the IRTC element to pay for, in part or in full, the 20% minimum personal contribution required. Unlike ELC funding, any unspent IRTC may also be directed towards another training activity! However this funding will need to be used up before you leave the armed forces – if you don’t use it, you will lose it!
The Standard Learning Credits (SLC) scheme is another way in which personnel can obtain financial assistance for learning costs. This allows you to claim up to £175 per financial year. It is essential that you enrol on the SLC scheme before applying for your chosen course of study in order to claim this benefit. However one drawback to the SLC is that it cannot be used in conjunction with both the ELC and IRTC.
• IRTC + ELC = YES
• IRTC + SLC = YES
• IRTC + SLC + ELC = NO
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