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Allowances > Frequently Asked Questions > Overseas Cost of Living Allowances (COLA)

Overseas Cost of Living Allowances (COLA)
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated: 28 February 2022

1. What is Overseas COLA?

2. Does everyone assigned overseas receive Overseas COLA?

4. How does the Department of Defense (DoD) know whether it costs more to live at my overseas duty station than in CONUS?

5. So if the cost of living is 30% higher at my duty station, will my paycheck be 30% larger?

6. How does DoD know what my spendable income really is?

7. Why does the Spendable Income table list only up to five dependents?

8. Does the type of housing I occupy affect my Overseas COLA?

9. I have heard there also is an overseas housing allowance, or OHA. Does the amount of COLA I receive affect my OHA?

10. Is Overseas COLA affected by changes in the foreign exchange rates?

11. How often is Overseas COLA adjusted?

12. I know the value of the dollar has dropped a lot over the past several months, but my COLA hasn't gone up an equal amount to compensate for the drop. Why not?

13. My dollar buys less foreign currency than ever, but I still don't receive COLA. How come?

14. Who should take the Overseas Cost of Living Allowance Living Pattern Survey?


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