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Programs & Services > Allowances > Frequently Asked Questions > Dual Allowances

Dual Allowances
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated: 01 October 2014

Allowances must not be used for the personal enrichment of a traveler or for other than the purposes intended. A traveler is subject to disciplinary review for inappropriate use of allowances, IAW JTR, par. 1035.

Uniformed Member Married to Uniformed Member

  1. Are travel and transportation allowances affected when a uniformed member marries another uniformed member?
  2. Are PCS travel and transportation allowances affected?
  3. What about other allowances?
  4. Is DLA affected?
  5. Is TLE affected?
  6. Is Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA), including the rent, utilities and Move-in Housing Allowance (MIHA) affected?
  7. Is OCONUS station allowances (i.e., COLA or TLA) affected?
  8. How about CONUS COLA?

Civilian Employee Married to Civilian Employee
  1. Are travel and transportation allowances affected when a government civilian employee is married to another government civilian employee?
  2. Are the individual renewal agreements for each employee affected by the marital status?
  3. Are both employees authorized Miscellaneous Expense Allowances (MEA) in the same household?
  4. Are HHG or POV transportation and POC allowances affected?
  5. Is LQA affected?
  6. Is Civilian Employee COLA (Post Allowance) affected?

Government Civilian Employee Married to Uniformed Member
  1. What is the travel and transportation allowances impact when a DoD civilian employee is married to a uniformed member?
  2. Are any of the Temporary Quarters Allowances (TQSA/TQSE/FTA (SE)/TLA/TLE) affected?
  3. How about HHG transportation?
  4. What about POV transportation?
  5. If the government transports my POV and it's delayed, is a rental car authorized at the government expense while waiting for my POV to arrive?
  6. What about the Miscellaneous Expense Allowances (MEA) and Dislocation Allowance?
  7. How is the Living Quarters Allowance (LQA) and Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) affected?
  8. How is COLA (Post Allowance) affected?

Uniformed Member Married to Uniformed Member

1.  Are travel and transportation allowances affected when a uniformed member marries another uniformed member?

Yes, there may be an impact in some instances.  There are some allowances that may duplicate reimbursements and are not authorized IAW the JTR .

2.  Are PCS travel and transportation allowances affected?

Yes.  See J TR, Chapter 5, Part A and Table 5A-1 for overview of member married- to-member PCS allowances.

3.  What about other allowances?

Yes.  Other allowances that may be affected when a member is married to another member include HHG transportation, POV transportation, Housing Allowances (BAH, OHA, FSH), DLA, TLA, TLE, and COLA (CONUS & OCONUS).

4.  Is DLA affected?

When both members (who have no other dependents than each other) move substantially at the same time, from the same quarters at the old PDS to the same quarters at the new PDS, only one member is authorized DLA.  See JTR, Ch 5, Part A10 and Table 5G-3 for more information regarding member-married-to-member DLA payments.

5.  Is TLE affected?

Yes.  A member-to-member couple occupying temporary quarters for more than 5 or 10 days (see JTR, par. 5434-D ) can maximize their reimbursement by claiming TLE for different days.   The following limitations apply when both spouses are members ( see JTR, par. 5434-G for more information):

a.  Each may be reimbursed up to $290 per day, and

b.  Both may not claim the same (other) dependent(s) for TLE on the same days, and

c.  One member may not claim the other member for TLE payment, and

d.  The statutory maximum limit is 5 or 10 days depending on the new PDS assignment (see JTR, par. 5434-D ). OCONUS = 5 days; CONUS = 10 days.

6.  Is Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA), including the rent, utilities and Move-in Housing Allowance (MIHA) affected?

Yes.  Each member is authorized OHA based on the grade and dependency status, but a member-married-to-member couple is treated as sharers.  For information on determining a sharer's monthly rent, see JTR, par. 10022 and App K, Part 1 (example 3) for OHA computation examples.  For information about utilities and sharers see JTR, par. 10024 .

7.  Are OCONUS station allowances (i.e., COLA or TLA) affected?

Yes, for additional general information on station allowances when both husband and wife are members, see JTR, par. 9210 .

8.  How about CONUS COLA?

Yes.  When both husband and wife are members each is authorized a CONUS COLA.   In no case can a spouse, who is also a member on active duty entitled to basic pay, be a dependent for the purpose of increasing an allowance.  See JTR, par. 8004-B .


Civilian Employee Married to Civilian Employee, Both Transferred in the Government's Interest to the Same PDS

9.  Are travel and transportation allowances affected when a government civilian employee is married to another government civilian employee?

Yes, contingent on whether each elects to travel as an employee or one as an employee and the other as a family member (dependent).

If each elects to travel as an employee, each is eligible for PCS allowances as an employee.  In this case, duplicate payments must not be made for other dependents/family members or for the same expenses (e.g., not paid twice for transportation for a dependent or for transporting the same POV /HHG, etc.).

If the couple elects to have only one travel as an employee, that employee is eligible for PCS allowances while the other employee travels as a family member.  An election for each to travel as an employee under a separate order must be made, in writing, must specify which employee is paid allowances for dependents, and must be signed by both employees.

PDT allowances are in JTR, Ch 5, Part B.  For an overview of PDT allowances, see  Eligibility Table 1, JTR, par. 5504-C.

10.  Are the individual renewal agreements for each employee affected by the marital status?

Each employee is required to make an election similar to the one addressed in Q1.  An employee can elect to sign an individual renewal agreement with separate travel and transportation allowances or elect to have one sign a renewal agreement while the other travels as a family member/dependent.  For additional information about renewal agreements when there are two employees in the same household, see JTR, par. 58 38-B .

11.  Are both employees authorized Miscellaneous Expense Allowances (MEA) in the same household?

W hen two employees without dependents discontinue the same residence at the old PDS and establish one residence at the new PDS, MEA is paid, provided (see GSBCA 16608-RELO, 3 August 2005):

a.  Both employees without dependents have separate relocation expenses exclusive of common expenses such as discontinuance or establishment of utility; and,

b.  Separate expenses are applicable to that employee.  Examples of separate employee expenses are identification document changes such as driver’s license or medical.

If the employees do not have separate relocation expenses, only one MEA is paid (73 COMP. GEN. 164 (1994)).

12.  Are HHG or POV transportation and POC allowances affected?

If both elect to travel as employees under individual agreement, each is eligible to transport up to 18,000 pounds of HHG.  See JTR, Ch 5, Parts B5 and B6 .  Each also is eligible to either drive or have a POV shipped to the new PDS as authorized in the travel order IAW Agency/ Service regulations.

13.  Is LQA affected?

Married couple LQA rates, under special circumstances, are in DSSR Section 134.13.  Ordinarily one employee, at the employee's option, may receive the basic 'with family' allowance rate plus increments for additional family members.  The other employee may receive the 'without family' rate.  If there are no additional family members, each employee may receive the 'without family' rate.  Contact OSD CPP for policy applicable to civilian employees.  LQA is applicable for foreign locations only.

14.  Is Civilian Employee COLA (Post Allowance) affected?

COLA (Post Allowance) rates are in DSSR Section 226.  If each spouse of a married couple (without other family members)  is eligible for the allowance, each may be granted COLA at the rate for one person.  If there are other family members, one employee may receive COLA for family members while the other employee is paid COLA for one person only.


Government Civilian Employee Married to Uniformed Member, Both Transferred to the Same PDS

15.  What is the travel and transportation allowances impact when a DoD civilian employee is married to a uniformed member?

A civilian employee is eligible for PCS allowances as an employee while their uniformed member spouse is eligible for PCS allowances as a uniformed member.  Duplicate payments must not be made for other family members or for the same expenses (i.e., not paid twice for transportation for a dependent or for shipping the same POV/HHG, etc.).  See JTR, par. 5500-C .

16.  Are any of the Temporary Quarters Allowances (TQSA/TQSE/FTA (SE)/TLA/TLE) affected?

The following temporary quarter allowances below may be authorized associated with a PCS/PDT depending on the PDS location.  The PCS/PDT order must indicate which relocation allowances are authorized ICW the PCS/PDT.

a.  As an employee, TQSA may be authorized by the employer for temporary quarters occupied in a foreign area by eligible family members and the employee.  TQSA (see DSSR Section 123) may be allowed for a uniformed member as a family member of the employee if the uniformed member is not authorized TLA .

b.  An employee may be authorized TQSE by the employer for temporary quarters occupied at a CONUS PDS, but the uniformed member (spouse) is not authorized TQSE.

c.  An employee may be authorized FTA(SE) by the employer (DSSR Section 242.3) while the employee and family members occupy temporary quarters for 10 days before departing a PDS in the U.S. (or in a non-foreign OCONUS area) for a PDS in a foreign area.

d.  T he uniformed member spouse may be authorized TLA while the member and dependents occupy temporary quarters at a PDS outside CONUS.  See JTR, pars. 9150 and 9155-E .

e.  The uniformed member spouse may be authorized TLE while the member and dependents occupy temporary quarters within CONUS incident to a PCS within CONUS or a PCS to an OCONUS PDS.  See JTR, par. 5434 .

17.  How about HHG transportation?

An employee married to a member is authorized HHG transportation and storage when both spouses are relocated between the same old and new PDSs so long as the same HHG are not shipped by the employee or the uniformed member.

18.  What about POV transportation?

An employee may ship a POV to a PDS outside CONUS or between PDSs in CONUS if authorized by the Agency/Service.  The uniformed member spouse may be authorized to ship a POV to a PDS outside CONUS or possibly within CONUS.  POV transportation for a civilian employee must be in the Gov’t’s interest pertinent to the mission while the uniformed member POV shipment may be for personal use.

19.  If the government transports my POV, and it's delayed, is a rental car authorized at the Gov’t expense while waiting for my POV to arrive?

No, but the uniformed member spouse may be allowed to rent a car at Gov’t expense for up to seven days, if arrival of a POV transported under the member's PCS order is delayed (JTR, par. 5358 ).  The employee might also check to see if the shipping company provides any "inconvenience" claim for delayed delivery of the employee's POV.

20.  What about the Miscellaneous Expense Allowances (MEA) and Dislocation Allowance?

An employee is authorized a MEA while the uniformed member spouse may be paid a DLA.

21.  How is the Living Quarters Allowance (LQA) and Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) affected?

Married couple LQA rates under special circumstances are in DSSR Section 134.13.  An employee eligible for LQA, who is married to and residing with a uniformed member, may be granted the 'without family' rate if the uniformed member spouse is authorized OHA.  If the uniformed member spouse is not authorized OHA the employee may be paid the 'with family' rate plus increments for additional members of the family.  LQA is not authorized if the employee resides with the uniformed member in Gov’t-owned or leased quarters.  LQA is applicable for foreign locations only.

22.  How is COLA (Post Allowance) affected?

COLA (Post Allowance) rates are found in DSSR Section 226.  An employee eligible for a Post Allowance, who is married to and residing with a uniformed member, may be granted the 'without family' rate if the uniformed member spouse is authorized COLA at the with-dependent rate.  If the uniformed member spouse is not authorized COLA at the with-dependent rate the employee may be paid the 'with family' rate plus increments for additional members of the family.

     
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