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Human Resources and Organizational Management

 

Human Resources and Organizational Management

Headquarters Marine Corps

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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Q. How do I request LQA?

A. LQA is requested by submitting an SF1190, Signed Lease, and DSSR 130 worksheet to smb_hqmc_hrom_overseas@usmc.mil. (Post allowance may also be requested simultaneously with LQA.)

 

Q. How is LQA payment received?

A. Once received by HR, LQA generally takes up to two pay periods to process and begin payment. LQA is based on the annual cost of living quarters and is paid biweekly. The annual LQA rate is divided by the number of days in the calendar year to obtain a daily rate and then multiplied by 14 to obtain a biweekly rate. It reflects on the Leave and Earning Statement (LES) as nontaxable income.

 

Q. What expenses are eligible for LQA reimbursement?

A. Generally, LQA eligible expenses include costs for rent, heat, light, fuel, gas, electricity, water, taxes levied by the local government and required by law or custom to be paid by the lessee, insurance required by local law to be paid by the lessee, and agent’s fee required by law or custom to be paid by lessee. See DSSR 131.2 for complete regulations.

 

Q. How is LQA Calculated?

A. The authorized annual LQA rate is divided by the number of days in the calendar year (365 or 366 for leap years) to obtain a daily rate and then multiplied by 14 to obtain a biweekly rate. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) uses the authorized foreign currency expenses and converts them into U.S. dollars using their established exchange rate. DFAS will automatically adjust LQA payments each pay period when there are changes in DoS maximum rates or foreign currency conversion rates.

 

Q. Is LQA taxable?

No, LQA is not taxable.

 

Q. How are maximum LQA rates determined?

A. LQA maximum rates are set by the DoS for government civilians assigned to overseas locations. These rates are calculated based on actual reported cost data. To calculate a specific maximum rate, first note the employee’s grade, duty location, and the number of family members residing with the employee (not including employee). Based on the charts below, determine the LQA quarters group and additional percentage of LQA (if applicable). With this information, go to https://aoprals.state.gov/web920/lqa_all.asp?menuhide=1 , select the date, find the proper location and the correct ‘with family’ or ‘without family’ column. If the employee is with more than 1 additional family member, add the correct additional percentage of LQA. This is the maximum annual LQA rate. Please note that rates can and will fluctuate throughout the year which can have an effect on LQA payments. LQA payments received are either the maximum or actual eligible expenses, whichever is less.

LQA QUARTERS GROUPS

Group 2

GS 14 – GS 15

Group 3

GS 10 – GS 13

Group 4

GS 1 – GS 9

 

RATES FOR EMPLOYEES

WITH MORE THAN ONE FAMILY MEMBER

(EXCLUDING EMPLOYEE)

Members of Family

Additional % of LQA

2 – 3

10%

4 – 5

20%

6 or more

30%

 

 

 

Q. When should I report a change in family status/size?

A. Any changes that may affect LQA payment must be reported to the assigned Human Resources (HR) Specialist at the servicing Human Resources Office in Arlington, VA.  This includes any changes in employee status, or family member status (i.e. marriage, divorce, addition to family, or child leaving for college/reaching maximum age), etc.

Q. How often do I need to submit a LQA Reconciliation?

A. Consistent with the Department of Defense (DoD) memorandum “Living Quarters Allowances Reconciliation” dtd 12 May 00, reconciliations are required and are to be submitted within 45 days after the 12 month anniversary date of initial occupancy of quarters (extensions may be granted for circumstances beyond the employee’s control); when an employee moves into different quarters; when requested by the employee; or when determined by management. No further reconciliation will normally be needed for the same residence. However, an employee may request a voluntary reconciliation if he/she believes that the expenses changed significantly.

 

Q. I received an additional bill/receipt for an allowable expense after I submitted my LQA Reconciliation. How can I receive reimbursement?

A. Additional bills/receipts must be forwarded to the servicing HR Specialist within 60 days of receipt. The HR Specialist will update the LQA authorization accordingly.

 

Q. I received a DFAS letter of indebtedness. What now?

A. DFAS will include information on repayment options or how to apply for a debt waiver or hearing (if desired/applicable). The employee has the option of paying the debt in full, submitting a voluntary repayment agreement to set up a payment plan, or automatic deductions will begin on the date indicated in the letter.

 

Q. How is LQA Reconciled?

A. LQA is based on the annual cost of living quarters and is paid biweekly. The annual LQA rate is divided by the number of days in the calendar year to obtain a daily rate and then multiplied by 14 to obtain a biweekly rate. The LQA Reconciliation is sent based on actual annual amounts and recalculated to compare estimated amounts paid versus actual amounts that should have been paid.

Q. How do I determine my post allowance rate?
A.  To calculate your post allowance authorization first check your post allowance percentage here. Once you have identified your percentage, you can calculate your post allowance rate per pay period with the DSSR Calculator. Please contact your HR Specialist for assistance in obtaining your rate. 
 

Q. When do I become eligible for post allowance?  Can I receive post allowance and TQSA at the same time?
A. Post allowance commences the date the employee arrives at a new post or the date the family arrives at the new post when the employee's arrival is delayed, except that no post allowance can be paid during any period when an employee or family member is receiving payment of TQSA.

Q. Is post allowance taxable?
A. No post allowance is not taxable.

Q
. When should I report a change in family status/size?
A. Any changes that may affect post allowance payment must be reported to the assigned Human Resources (HR) Specialist at the servicing Human Resources Office in Arlington, VA.  This includes any changes in employee status, or family member status (i.e. marriage, divorce, addition to family, or child leaving for college/reaching maximum age), etc.

Q. What if I am married to a military service member?

A.Civilian employees who are spouses of military members receiving a cost of living allowance (COLA) at the “with family” rate will be granted the post allowance for the “without family” rate for one person only.

 

Q. What if I am married to a civilian employee who is receiving post allowance?

A. If you are married to a civilian employee who is currently claiming you for post allowance, then your civilian spouse must concurrently make an adjustment to his/her post allowance authorization to delete you as a family member as there can be no duplication of benefits.  When married couple employees without family members are both eligible for the post allowance, each may be granted the post allowance for one person.  When married couple employees with family members are both eligible for the post allowance, one employee spouse, as his/her option, may receive the post allowance for family members. The other employee may be granted the post allowance for one person only.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A.  To calculate your post allowance authorization first check your post allowance percentage here. Once you have identified your percentage, you can calculate your post allowance rate per pay period with the DSSR Calculator. Please contact your HR Specialist for assistance in obtaining your rate.

 

Q. When do I become eligible for post allowance?  Can I receive post allowance and TQSA at the same time?

A. Post allowance commences the date the employee arrives at a new post or the date the family arrives at the new post when the employee's arrival is delayed, except that no post allowance can be paid during any period when an employee or family member is receiving payment of TQSA.

 

Q. Is post allowance taxable?

A. No post allowance is not taxable.

 


Q
. When should I report a change in family status/size?

A. Any changes that may affect post allowance payment must be reported to the assigned Human Resources (HR) Specialist at the servicing Human Resources Office in Arlington, VA.  This includes any changes in employee status, or family member status (i.e. marriage, divorce, addition to family, or child leaving for college/reaching maximum age), etc.

 

Q. What if I am married to a military service member?

Civilian employees who are spouses of military members receiving a cost of living allowance (COLA) at the “with family” rate will be granted the post allowance for the “without family” rate for one person only.

 

Q. What if I am married to a civilian employee who is receiving post allowance?

If you are married to a civilian employee who is currently claiming you for post allowance, then your civilian spouse must concurrently make an adjustment to his/her post allowance authorization to delete you as a family member as there can be no duplication of benefits.  When married couple employees without family members are both eligible for the post allowance, each may be granted the post allowance for one person.  When married couple employees with family members are both eligible for the post allowance, one employee spouse, as his/her option, may receive the post allowance for family members. The other employee may be granted the post allowance for one person only.

Q. How do I request TQSA?

A. There are two ways to process a TQSA request:

1. Request an advance on just the actual lodging portion of the [1st, 2nd, or 3rd ] 30 day expenses.  Requests are made with SF1190, TQSA worksheet (DSSR 120), and lodging confirmation reservation (showing nightly rate) to: SMB_HQMC_HROM_OVERSEAS@USMC.MIL.  After the stay, the employee then requests the remaining eligible expenses through another request (for all eligible expenses but lodging).  Requests are made with SF1190, TQSA worksheet (DSSR 120), HROM TQSA Addendum, lodging receipt to confirm employee spent the advance, receipts for meals over $75, and all laundry receipts (except for coin laundry).

-or-

2. The employee may request reimbursement upon completion of the pre-departure stay (and not request an advance).  Requests are made with SF1190, TQSA worksheet (DSSR 120), lodging receipt, receipts for meals over $75, and all laundry receipts (except for coin laundry). 

 

Q. Is TQSA taxable?

A. No, TQSA is not taxable income.

 

Q. Will I receive the maximum per diem rate or flat rate for TQSA?

A. No the maximum or a flat rate is not paid.  The amount paid is based on your actual expenses. Employees are required to maintain and certify a daily meal log that is submitted with the TQSA claim.

 

Q. Are receipts required?  If so, which ones?

A. Yes, certain receipts are required.  Employees must submit a copy of paid lodging receipts.  Employees are also required to submit receipts for any claimed meal over $75.00 as well as any dry cleaning expenses.

Q. When am I eligible to request an advance of pay?

A. An employee may request an advance of pay three weeks before the estimated departure date or up to two months after arrival at post.

 

Q. How do I request an advance of pay?

A. An advance of pay is requested by submitting a completed SF1190 to the servicing HROM Specialist or smb_hqmc_hrom_overseas@usmc.mil.

 

Q. How is the advance of pay repaid?

A. The advance of pay is reimbursed back to the government through payroll deductions over a maximum of 26 pay periods (1 year).  Deduction begin the first pay period after receipt of the advance or following arrival at the foreign post, whichever is later.  Partial or lump-sum repayments are also accepted.

Q. How do I request FTA?

A. FTA is requested by submitting a completed SF1190, FTA Worksheet (DSSR 240), and any required receipts to the servicing HROM Specialist or smb_hqmc_hrom_overseas@usmc.mil.

 

Q. Who can receive FTA?

A. DOD civilian employees transferring from CONUS to OCONUS permanent duty station change.

 

 

Q. What is the maximum FTA MISC an employee can receive?

A. Employee’s with no dependents receive a $650 flat amount or, if expenses are itemized, an amount up to 1 week’s basic compensation. Employees with dependent(s) receive a $1300 flat amount or, if expenses are itemized, an amount up to 2 weeks’ basic compensation.

 

Q. How is FTA paid?

A. FTA is a lump sum payment paid by DFAS and will reflect on your biweekly LES.

 

Q. Is FTA taxable?

A. No.  FTA is not taxable.

 

Q. For FTA Subsistence, do the ten days of pre-departure have to be exactly the last ten days I am in the United States?

A. The ten days of pre-departure from a U.S. post of assignment do not need to be the last ten days, however, you must commence your pre-departure no more than 30 days after vacating permanent quarters.

Q.  How is TQSA calculated? Will I receive the maximum per diem rate for TQSA?

A.  No.  TQSA is paid based upon actual expenses, not to exceed the daily maximum amount.  To calculate the daily maximum, first identify the maximum per diem rate authorized for the specific overseas duty location. 

  • For the first 30 days calculate the total of:

    • Employee: 1 x 75% of the per diem rate

    • Family Members 12 and Over:  # of members x 50% of the per diem rate

    • Family Members Under 12:  # of members x 40% of the per diem rate

  • For the second 30 days calculate the total of:

    • Employee: 1 x 65% of the per diem rate

    • Family Members 12 and Over:  # of members x 45% of the per diem rate

    • Family Members Under 12:  # of members x 35% of the per diem rate

  • For the third 30 days calculate the total of:

    • Employee: 1 x 55% of the per diem rate

    • Family Members 12 and Over:  # of members x 40% of the per diem rate

    • Family Members Under 12:  # of members x 30% of the per diem rate

Q. Are receipts required?
A. Yes.  An employee should retain all copies of paid receipts for all lodging and any meals, laundry, and dry cleaning expenses.  Receipts are required to be submitted for all lodging and any meals or incidentals over $75.  Additionally, receipts may be required for any meals which appear to be extravagant.

Q. What expenses are eligible under TQSA?

A. Expense of transportation and other expenses not directly related to lodging, meals and laundry/dry cleaning of clothes are not reimbursable under this allowance. Parking fees are not an eligible expense under TQSA.
 

Q. What if my spouse and I are both government civilian employees stationed at the same post and eligible for TQSA?

A. Each married couple employee or domestic partnership employee may be granted the "initial occupant" rate under Sections 123 and 124, but only one employee may be granted applicable amounts for any additional family members.  Alternatively, the couple may agree to consider one spouse or domestic partner as a family member only.

Q.  How is SMA Calculated?

A.  Voluntary and Involuntary SMA is calculated and paid at annual rates, divided by the number of calendar days to obtain a daily rate; multiplying the daily rate by 14 to obtain a biweekly rate.  Transitional SMA is calculated by multiplying the daily rate by 14 to obtain a biweekly rate; and multiplying the daily rate by the number of days involved to obtain the rate for any other period.

Q. At what age must voluntary SMA terminate for a dependent child?
A. Voluntary SMA must be terminated on the child’s 18th birthday unless the child is attending secondary school (grades 9-12) or is determined to be incapable of self-support (due to physical or mental impairment).  

Q. At what age must involuntary SMA terminate for a dependent child?

A. Involuntary SMA must be terminated on a child’s 21st birthday, unless (1) the child is attending secondary school (grades 9-12); or (2) the child is determined to be incapable of self-support (due to physical or mental impairment).  A child who is in post-secondary school/college and not currently working is not considered to be incapable of self-support.

 

Q. My family is currently on SMA and is scheduled to visit my post.  Will my SMA payments terminate while they are visiting?

A. SMA payments may continue during the family members’ visit to post when the visit is expected to be for thirty consecutive days or less AND the number of days each of your family members stayed at the post has not exceeded 90 days during one 12 month period.  (Each family member on SMA is treated individually for the 90 day stay at post maximum.) 

Q. My family member(s) stayed behind and I was not aware that I was eligible for SMA until after the fact.  Can I still receive SMA?
A. There is no authority to retroactively pay a discretionary allowance.  SMA is discretionary and is authorized prospectively (“may be granted”) and therefore cannot be paid retroactively.

Q.  How is home leave calculated?

A.  Home leave is accrued in multiples of one day and credited on a monthly basis on the LES. The leave will be credited to an employee’s leave account as it is earned.  For example, employees earning 5 days of home leave per year, one day of home leave will be credited on the third, fifth, eighth, tenth, and twelfth month of service abroad. 

Q. How many home leave days per year am I eligible to accrue? 

  • An employee is eligible to accrue 15 days of home leave when the employee:

1. accepts an appointment or occupies a position requiring the employee to accept assignments anywhere in the world as needed by the agency (e.g., mobility agreement);

2. is serving with a U.S. mission to a public international organization; or

3. is serving at a post for which payment of post differential of 20% or more is authorized by law or regulation.

  • An employee is eligible to accrue 10 days of home leave when the employee does not meet the requirements for accrual of 15 days but is serving at a post for which payment of post differential of 10% but less than 20% is authorized by law or regulation.

  • An employee is eligible to accrue 5 days when they do not meet the specific requirements for the 15 or 10 days above. 

Q. Will I still accrue home leave if my civilian overseas assignment is interrupted by a tour of duty in the U.S. Armed Forces?

A. No.  Home leave will not be accrued by an employee who would normally meet the requirement for the accrual of home leave, when the period of service abroad is interrupted by a tour of duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.  However, time spent in the Armed Forces will still be counted towards continuous creditable service.
 

Q. What if I do not use all my home leave while I am overseas?

A. Home leave earned during assignments abroad, but not used, will remain in the employee’s home leave account and may be used for future assignments abroad, if the employee has completed at least the initial tour of duty prescribed for that location.  Accrued home leave is transferred with an employee between federal agencies.

OVERSEAS CONTACT INFORMATION

HROM Overseas Specialist 

EMail:  SMB HQMC HROM OVERSEAS