Temporary Lodging Allowance. This is paid in 10-day increments while awaiting the assignment to permanent housing. It generally covers the cost of lodging plus meals and incidental expenses. The maximum number of days is 60, starting on the day the sponsor reports for duty or date first family member arrives (if approved by BUPERS to travel prior to the sponsor).
All members on accompanied and unaccompanied tours are eligible until permanent housing is secured. TLA can be terminated if adequate permanent housing is declined. Normally E4 and below are directly assigned to barracks and would only receive TLA if barrack space was not available. TLA is completed at the Housing Office, then processed by PSD for payment. To be eligible for the full payment of TLA, accompanied personnel must make arrangements for lodging/hotel accommodation at the NGIS or a hotel on the economy. Unaccompanied military personnel must make arrangements at the NGIS. A Certificate of Non-Availability (CNA) should be obtained before making arrangements for economy hotel accommodations.
Overseas Housing Allowance is authorized to assist a member in defraying the excess housing costs incurred when assigned to an overseas duty station. All members authorized to live in private rental housing are entitled to OHA. OHA helps you pay for your housing costs, including rent, utilities, and recurring maintenance expenses. OHA consists of two parts, the rent portion and the utility and recurring maintenance portion. The rent portion of OHA is computed on your actual rent up to a maximum based on your rank and whether you are accompanied or unaccompanied. You are not limited by the rental ceilings: if your rent is above the ceiling, you pay the difference out of your base pay; if your rent is less than the ceiling, your allowance will only include the amount you actually pay. The utility portion of OHA is added to the rent portion to help pay for utilities and recurring maintenance costs. The amount of OHA you receive fluctuates with the dollar/euro exchange rate. The utility and recurring maintenance portion of your OHA is also adjusted as a result of the annual OHA Utility Survey. It is important to maintain complete records of your rent and utility payments. Keep a file with all of your receipts and a notebook to record all your expenses for repairing and maintaining your house or apartment. If you do, you will have accurate figures to report when it is time for the annual OHA Survey. To obtain up-to-date information on your rental ceiling and OHA entitlement go to Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO), the NSA Souda Bay code is GR001. OHA documentation (DD Form 2367) is completed at the Housing Office, once a lease has been signed, then processed at CSD/PSD for payment.
Because many of these allowances fluctuate as the dollar/euro exchange rate fluctuates, your paychecks will vary quite often. You should keep track of all these things and watch your leave and earnings statements carefully for errors. Also, when planning your budget, do not count on a particular dollar figure each paycheck. It is more prudent to plan on needing a certain amount of euro each month and buying that amount; that way, the number of dollars left over after buying the euro should be roughly the same. Also, keep a notebook and enter every purchase you make for your home and all purchases you make on the economy. That way, when it is time for the annual allowance surveys, you have accurate figures.
Moving In Housing Allowance. This is a one-time payment to defray the costs to offset for items that are sometimes not provided in economy housing. Because of many additions to permanent loaner furniture (i.e., washers, dryers, stoves, power transformers), MIHA has been reduced by almost half. Please double-check the amount that you are authorized so you do not depend on money that you will not be receiving.
What about allowances for civilians?
U.S. Civil Service employees recruited in the United States to work abroad for the U.S. Government are generally eligible to receive several overseas allowances. Temporary Quarters Subsistence Allowance (TQSA) is authorized for the reasonable cost of temporary quarters incurred by the employee and his/her family for a period up to three months after first arriving at your new post of assignment in a foreign area, or a period ending the occupation of residence quarters, whichever is shorter. A Living Quarters Allowance (LQA) is authorized to substantially cover the cost of privately rented housing. LQA payment is intended to cover the average cost of rent, electricity, gas, fuel, and water up to the applicable maximum rate. Maximum rates vary by costs, by employee grade level, and by family size. A Post Allowance is authorized when the cost of living in the foreign area is significantly higher than in Washington, D.C. Contact your Human Resources Office or personnel office for further information.