Defense Travel Management Office - The DoD Center for Travel Excellenceimage of a map with lines representing travel routes
 Login to DTS

Allowances > Frequently Asked Questions > CONUS Cost of Living Allowance (CONUS COLA)

CONUS Cost of Living Allowance (CONUS COLA)
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated: 22 December 2021

Note: The CONUS COLA program covers non-housing expenditures. Housing expenses are covered under the Basic Allowance for Housing program.

1. What is the intent of CONUS COLA?
2. What is the "threshold" and how is it determined?
3. How much does a 1% CONUS COLA put in the average member's paycheck monthly?
4. How does Allowances obtain the data used to determine which locations qualify for CONUS COLA?
5. Why did you contract out the data collection?
6. What is included in the data collection?
7. What are the geographical units for CONUS COLA?
8. How does availability of military facilities affect the indexes?
9. How are the indexes calculated?
10. Where will CONUS COLA be paid in calendar year 2021?
11. Were we considered in the CONUS COLA survey?
12. How did you compute the CONUS COLA to determine payable locations? Is this something we can compute locally?
13. Can we provide you with local cost data or do anything to be considered for a survey in our area?
14. Does residing on or off base play a factor in the CONUS COLA formula?
15. Do transportation costs consider insurance or taxes on a private vehicle?
16. If public transportation is available, is it considered in determining transportation costs?
18. How does the contractor adjust for significant local changes such as a significant rise in taxes or base closures?
19. How often will CONUS COLA be updated?
21. Why is CONUS COLA paid to members without dependents living in barracks/aboard ship at 100%, while at 63% overseas?
22. Why is the CONUS COLA taxed while overseas COLA is not?
23. Do taxes include state, sales, local or property taxes?
25. Is CONUS COLA deducted from authorized periods of temporary lodging expenses (TLE)?
26. Why might a location’s rate for 2022 be lower than it was in 2021?
27. Does the cost of CONUS COLA come at the expense of other programs?
28. By law, a member with a reserve component is not entitled to CONUS COLA for the first 139 days of a call or order to active duty. Does this also apply to reserve members serving on active duty?
29. Why isn't the actual number of dependents of the member used instead of "with" and "without dependent" when paying CONUS COLA rates?
30. Will CONUS COLA be paid when the member and the family are in different locations (e.g., Exceptional Family Member, arduous sea duty)?
31. What do you mean by "primary" dependent?
32. Is CONUS COLA payable based on the location of the primary dependents who go away to college or to a boarding school?
33. Is CONUS COLA applicable for secondary dependents?
34. When the member is stationed outside of CONUS and the family remains in the CONUS, is the member authorized CONUS COLA for the dependents in addition to any COLA the member may be authorized at the overseas PDS?
35. If a member is assigned to a PDS located in a high cost area and the family resides in a non-high cost area, does this affect the member's CONUS COLA entitlement?
36. Does CONUS COLA remain in effect during periods of field duty?




  Connect: Defense Travel Dispatch Newsletter RSS Feeds RSS Feeds YouTube Joint Travel Regulation JTR    BAH Calculator BAH    Calculator Per Diem COLA    OHA Calculator OHA Training Training Travel Assistance Center