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Allowances > CONUS COLA
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CONUS COLA is a taxable supplemental allowance designed to help offset higher prices in the highest cost locations in CONUS that exceed the costs in an average CONUS location by 8 percent or more. The program affects approximately 15,000 Service members in 16 Military Housing Areas (MHAs) and 4 other counties in CONUS.

  • Housing and housing-related costs are considered part of Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and are excluded from CONUS COLA

  • Members must absorb the first 8 percent of expenses above the national average

  • An average E-6, with dependents and 10 years of service, receives $38 per month for each COLA index point. Index points currently range from one to eight.

  • Qualification for CONUS COLA is based on geographic duty location, i.e., the zip code of duty station.

  • CONUS COLA indices are computed for all MHAs, which represent major metropolitan areas and installations throughout CONUS. MHAs are defined by the BAH program. Areas outside of the MHAs have unique indices using the same methodology as the MHA areas, but do not follow the BAH format.




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