COLA is authorized to assist a member in maintaining the purchasing power of the discretionary portion of spendable income while assigned to an OCONUS PDS.
COLA is derived by comparing the OCONUS cost of living to the CONUS cost of living.
COLA is calculated at a daily rate. It is computed by using the mbr’s annual income to identify the mbr’s annual spendable income which when multiplied by the authorized COLA index determines the annual COLA.
START- COLA generally starts when a mbr reports to a PDS or the day a dependent arrives prior to the sponsor. COLA starts the day after reporting if on the reporting day, the mbr is authorized MALT-plus per diem.
STOP- The day before the mbr departs (PCS) or the day before the homeport change eff date (from OCONUS) of the ship or unit the mbr is assigned.
An extension is authorized
COLA is authorized during PCS between PDS in close proximity.
COLA is authorized for mbr without dependent undergoing homeport change, provided the homeport change is delayed and QTRS on board ship are not available.
REDUCED COLA- is paid to a mbr when both GOV’T QTRS and GOV’T dining facility/mess are available.
A mbr who routinely eat 2 or more meals a day in the dining facility/mess whether or not receiving BAS, should be receiving reduced COLA.
If the CO expected the mbr to cook and consume meals in GOV’T QTRS the COLA with no dependents is authorized.
GOV’T dining facility/mess availability- Decision on COLA authorization for a mbr with no dependents vs reduced COLA rate is predicated based on whether or not the dining facility/mess is actually available for the mbr and whether the mbr is expected to purchase food for preparation in GOV’T QTRS based on the meal preparation facilities in the GOV’T QTRS.
Home Port change- if a mbr assigned to a ship or other fleet unit with an announced homeport change and is in receipts of PCS orders and the dependent is authorized to travel to new homeport, the new homeport is the mbrs PDS for COLA purposes.
Home Port change amendment- The mbr is authorized COLA extension through secretarial process beyond 60 days after the amended authorization/orders effective date.
Geographical Location- The PDS location governs the COLA index payable unless otherwise specified.
TLA is provided to partially reimburse a mbr for the more than normal expenses incurred while occupying temporary lodgings.
Upon reporting at an OCONUS PDS (includes TDY within the new OCONUS PDS limits) and waiting GOV’T QTRS assignment or while completing arrangements for private housing when GOV’T QTRS are not available.
When the appropriate official determines that for reasons beyond the mbrs control, it is necessary for the mbr.
When seeking permanent GOV’T QTRS/private housing following TDY of more than 90 days.
While house-hunting after the mbr arrives at the new PDS and reports for duty IAW a PCS.
During a mbrs hospitalization period while en-route between PDS when dependents are required to use OCONUS temporary lodging during the hospitalization period.
Leave or Permissive travel in the PDS vicinity- TLA may be paid for any day a mbr is on leave of permissive travel in the PDS vicinity after reporting for duty, while seeking private housing or waiting GOVT QTRS assign.
Leave or Permissive travel away from the PDS vicinity- TLA is not payable for any day a mbr is on leave or permissive travel away from PDS, unless one or more dependents remains on PDS vicinity to continue seeking private housing or waiting GOVT QTRS assignment.
New PDS within commuting distance- TLA not authorized unless the CO approves temporary lodging due for reasons out of mbrs control.