What You Should Know About Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA)
Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) for when you PCS OCONUS
If you have orders to PCS to an OCONUS location, you may be wondering about what types of entitlements you will receive. OCONUS includes any overseas location as well as Alaska and Hawaii. One of the most common OCONUS entitlements is TLA or Temporary Lodging Allowance.
What is TLA?
TLA is money you will receive as a reimbursement to partially offset temporary lodging expenses at overseas duty locations. TLA is for when a service member and their family are waiting for their housing after they arrive OCONUS or when they are awaiting their departure after leaving their quarters. You also must be actively looking for housing once you arrive at your PDS (Permanent Duty Station).
Who is TLA for?
TLA is only for service members and their command sponsored dependents moving to or from an OCONUS location. TLE or Temporary Lodging Expense is for CONUS moves. You will not receive TLA for your dependents if they are not command sponsored.
What is TLA Special?
TLA Special can be authorized under special or unusual circumstances where the costs might be higher than usual at that certain location.
How is TLA calculated?
TLA calculations are based on Per Diem and your family composition. Per Diem is a daily rate that is based on your location. It is to partially reimburse lodging, meals, and incidental expenses. Family Compensation takes the service member’s number of dependents into account as well as their ages. Certain percentages are applied to the TLA calculation based on the family. You can see a few examples on the Defense Travel website.
Can you use TLA for leave?
The official answer to this question is, “it depends”. According to the Defense Accounting and Finance official site, “If the member is on leave in the PDS area while looking for housing, TLA is payable.”
But TLA is not allowed “for any day a member is away from the PDS vicinity on leave or permissive travel, except when one or more dependents remain in the PDS vicinity.”
Can you ever get an extension on TLA?
There could be reasons why you would be approved for a TLA extension. The normal amount of authorized days is 60. Beyond that, you would need to apply for an extension. Some examples would be non-arrival of your Household Goods (HHG), delay in availability of government quarters because of service requirements, fire, flood, earthquake, or other issues that make you temporarily or permanently unavailable to find housing, a withdrawal of housing from the market by a landlord, or a hospitalization.
What else do I need to know about TLA?
- The lodging position of the TLA can’t go over the actual cost of the lodging that the service member and family paid.
- The TLA Special Rate needs to be requested before the TLA dates.
- TLA may start upon arrival at your OCONUS duty station.
- When it comes to departure, you may be authorized for up to 10 days. That can be extended for things such as transportation delays, hospitalization, or movement of household goods.
- Advanced payment of TLA may be authorized but is not automatic.
- International Transaction Fees or currency conversion fees that are changed by the Government Travel Charge Card can be reimbursed, however, those on a personal credit card may not.
About the author
Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.