How the RAF FF can help: TV License rebates

Image of a screenshot of the TV Licence website

The RAF FF can help service personnel either as Regulars or Reserves, single or married – together with your families. Here’s an example of how we helped a serviceman obtain a rebate on his TV licence as a result of a posting.

The issue

A service person was posted from his unit and moved into Substitute Single Living Accommodation (SSLA) in Central London.

He paid for a TV licence whilst living in the Officers’ Mess by monthly direct debit and continued to do so for the new flat in London. 10 months later he realised that the housing management company, who look after the SSLA tenancy, pay for the TV licence as part of the contract.

He wrote to the TV licensing authority, explaining the mistake, and requested a rebate, providing them with written evidence. However, they refused a rebate until they received a letter from his employer to prove he had physically left his previous unit.

They had received copies of the JPA showing a posting date to confirm this element of the process.

How we helped

RAF FF Evidence Assistant, Ken Wood (pictured above) contacted the TV licensing authority and explained the role of the Families Federation. He explained the military use of JPA as an electronic administration tool for military personnel, and the different definitions that we use such as March out, March in and posting procedures, which seemed to cause a level of confusion. He summarised that this Officer had in fact already supplied them with all of this information to prove his circumstances and movements – it was just in a military format that they were having difficulty to decipher.

The outcome

Ken received an email from the Officer to inform us that he had just received a full rebate:

“Thank you so much to you and the Families Federation for unblocking this problem for me.  It was fairly straight-forward request for a TV Licence rebate but it was turning into something quite irksome due to the idiosyncrasies of being in the Forces. The FF dealt with this swiftly and very effectively and I will definitely turn to you again if I have any other issues of a similar nature in future.  I will also make sure that I recommend you to my colleagues if I ever hear them having any issues, or wanting advice, that I know you are perfectly placed to deal with.”

This case highlights the impact that the RAF FF can have when dealing with outside agencies and this did make a difference as a full rebate was achieved, and the licensing authority now has some level of a better understanding of service life.

Not every case ends up with success, but we are always able to explain the reason a decision has not been made in favour of the service person, and their family members – and if an emerging theme of disadvantage can be seen we are in a position to lobby for change.

Contact the team

You can contact the RAF Families Federation on +44 (0)1780 781650 or you can report your own issue online.


The team at the RAF Families Federation provides confidential help and support to both personnel and families in many different ways, and wherever they are in the world. As well as offering advice, ensuring clients are talking to the right people and asking the right questions, all the evidence gathered (stored on an encrypted database) is used to show up potential ‘themes’ of emerging issues in the Armed Forces.  The Families Federation use that anonymised evidence to lobby government for policy changes – all aimed at making life better for the serving community.

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