There are several general types of allowances and benefits governed by DSSR; only those routinely applicable to Yokosuka and Sasebo are discussed here.
- Foreign Travel Per Diem Allowances: The foreign travel per diem allowances provide for lodging, meals, and incidental expenses when an employee is on temporary duty overseas. While the Office of Allowances is responsible for setting foreign per diem rates, per diem travel policy, both foreign and domestic, is governed by each agency (FTR) and not by the DSSR. Per Diem allowances are used to establish Temporary Quarters Subsistence Allowances (TQSA) rates.
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- Cost-of-Living Allowances: The cost-of-living allowances are those allowances that are designed to reimburse employees for certain excess costs that they incur as a result of their employment overseas. This group includes the Post Allowance (often referred to as the COLA), Foreign Transfer Allowance, Home Service Transfer Allowance, Separate Maintenance Allowance, and Educational Travel. Cost-of-living allowances are not considered a part of taxable income.
- Quarters Allowances: Quarters Allowances, which include the Living Quarters Allowance and Temporary Quarters Subsistence Allowance, are intended to reimburse employees for substantially all housing costs, either temporary or permanent, at overseas posts where government housing is not provided. These allowances are not included in taxable income.
U.S. Department of State - Summary of Allowances and Benefits
- Other Pay and Allowances: Advance of Pay is authorized for employees moving overseas (to a foreign area), and when taken, is typically used to assist with move-in expenses. Advance pay is like an “interest free” loan.