ELC: Avoiding queries or rejection
Almost 20% of claims fail to comply with the correct procedures, here's how to help things to run smoothly.
ELCAS deals with many claims that have to be queried or rejected: almost 20% of claims received fail to comply with the correct procedures. Some of the main reasons for rejection include:
- applicants enrolling on a course – and sometimes paying a fee – without first obtaining the necessary claims authorisation note (CAN) from ELCAS
- learners failing to allow sufficient time between submitting a claim and starting a course – this takes at least five weeks, so any claim submitted within 25 working days of the start of the course will automatically be rejected as there isn’t time to process it
- a second or third ELC claim being submitted before the course evaluation form for the previous claim has been completed – such claims are also automatically rejected
- the course does not meet the necessary minimum criteria (level 3 or above on the NQF or RQF) or the learning provider is not on the ELCAS approved providers list
- failure to follow the correct procedure for signing, authorising and dating the claim form
- the course not commencing in the qualifying financial year
- applicants with fewer than four years’ service, who are therefore not eligible to claim
- incorrect financial data, such as the learner’s contribution being less than 20% or the MoD’s contribution calculated as exceeding the £1,000 or £2,000 limit
- incomplete or illegible forms (these account for 25% of all rejected/queried claims)
- applicants not registered on the ELCAS system
- more than one active claim being processed for an individual in the same financial year.
To help avoid rejection on grounds such as those listed above, you should plan ahead, and research and discuss your learning with your line manager and Service education or learning adviser. This also applies if you are a qualifying ex-Service person using your ELC. The 25-working-day margin is in place for good reason. If you don’t plan far ahead enough you could find yourself significantly out of pocket as retrospective claims are not allowed under any circumstances.
Also, do not assume that all courses offered by an approved provider are automatically admissible under the ELC scheme. This is a common mistake: one provider may supply many courses, but only those approved courses at NQF/RQF level 3 or above (and equivalent) listed on the ELCAS website may be considered for ELC purposes. So:
- plan ahead and get it right first time
- don’t buck the system or pay upfront
- complete your claim form with care!
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