In general, individual scheme members must have completed at least six years eligible service to claim the lower tier of financial support, which is up to £1,000 per claim instalment. In some cases, this can be claimed after 4 years qualifying service if you left the Armed Forces before the 1st of April 2017.
The higher tier is available after eight years service and is up to £2,000 per claim instalment.
You're entitled to use one enhanced learning credit per financial year (1st April - 31st March) towards any NVQ Level 3 or higher qualification. However, according to the ELC website, "if you have served between 6 and 8 years you may be eligible to aggregate all three lower tier claims together subject to meeting the qualifying criteria in JSP 822."
There are also stipulations on how long you have to use your credits (last updated July 2023):
- If you left the Armed Forces before the 1st of April 2016, your credits are available to use up to 10 years after discharge.
- If you left the Armed Forces on or after 1st of April 2016, you only have 5 years to use your credits from the date of discharge.
The rules around the use of ELCAS credits can change from time to time so we would always advise speaking to your resettlement officer first to check your eligibility.