The value of Living Quarters Allowance

by FLC FURNITURE GMBH & CO. KG
FLC FURNITURE GMBH & CO. KG

As a civilian working with the US armed forces overseas, you qualify for the LQA which entails house, rent and utilities although other benefits such as hotel, furniture, food, and appliances may be directly tied to LQA. The LQA was put in place to keep the civilian workers out of the oversea US military bases in order to eliminate the likelihood congestion. Those who miss the LQA receive the Post Allowance on all costs of living. One can as well earn home leave if s/he extends beyond three years. The eligibility of an individual to LQA is decided for the locally hired employees by considering two factors: (1) the position held by the applicant because some positions are qualified for the program and others are not (2) the person selected for the LQA I.e. several conditions outlined in DSSR 031.12 must be put into considerations before the selectee even accepts the offered position. A person is considered to be eligible for LQA is s/he meets an array of requirements outlined by IAW DSSR 031.2.

Firstly, the selectee for LQA must have been initially recruited via CONUS, its territories or properties by: a foreign government; an international organization with shared interest with America; a US organization, firm, or interest; or the US government including the Armed forces. Secondly, the selectee must’ve had substantial continued employment by the specific employer under the same conditions.

What’s the dollar value of LQA and to whom? Government personnel eligible for LQA is grouped in classes and categories. Rates obtained for the living quarters allowance tend to be maximum and the worker either receives the maximum rate or the gross amount of the allowance expenses, it depends on which among the two is lower. Here is the DSSR TL: SR920 Living Quarters Allowance Group table depicting the value in dollars per group:  

GROUP

  GRADE/NSPS PAY BAND

# OF DEPENDENTS

25-Jun-17

9-Jul-17

2

YA-3, YC-3

W/0

US$    58,100.00

US$     57,000.00

 

YD-3, YF-3

W/1

US$    58,100.00

US$     57,000.00

 

YK-3, YN-3

W/2-3

US$    63,910.00

US $    62,700.00

 

YG-2, YG-3

W/4-5

US$    69,720.00

US$     68,400.00

 

YH-3, YJ-3, YJ-4

W/6+

US$    75,530.00

US$     74,100.00

 

GS-14 - GS-15

 

 

 

3

WS-11 - WS-19, WD-9 - WD-11,

W/0

US$    54,500.00

US$     53,500.00

 

WG-14 - WG-15, WL-12 - WL-15,

W/1

US$    58,100.00

US$     57,000.00

 

WN-05 - WN-09

W/2-3

US$    63,910.00

US$     62,700.00

 

YA-2, YB-3, YC-2, YD-2, YE-3

W/4-5

US$    69,720.00

US$     68,400.00

 

YE-4, YF-2, YK-2, YL-03, YL-4

W/6+

US$    75,530.00

US$     74,100.00

 

YN-2, YH-2, YI-3, YJ-2

 

 

 

 

GS-10 - GS-13

 

 

 

4

WS-01 - WS-10, WD-01 - WD-08

W/0

US$    47,400.00

US$     46,500.00

 

WL-01 - WL-11, WG-01 - WG-13

W/1

US$    54,500.00

US$     53,500.00

 

WN-01- WN-04

W/2-3

US$    59,950.00

US$    58,850.00

 

YA-1, YB-1, (YB-2*) (YC-1*)

W/4-5

US$    65,400.00

US$     64,200.00

 

YP-1, YD-1, YE-1, (YE-2*) (YF-1*)

W/6+

US$    70,850.00

US$     69,550.00

 

YK-1, YL-1, (YL-2*), YM-1, (YM-2*)

     
 

(YN-1*), YH-1, YI-1, (YI-2*), (YJ-1*)

     
 

GS-1 - GS-9

     

 

*WL-10/11, WN-1/4, WD-1/8, WS-1/10, and WG-12/13 levels 15 years or more civilian service at the federal level can be placed in quarter group 3.

Recent changes to LQA

The benefits scheme costs the US government US$500 million annually. In an effort to cut the spending on the program, the Department of Defense starting to think of making changes to the program. They include:

  • Restricting the duration government service employees spends overseas to just 5 years
  • Workers with intention to stay beyond the five-year limit must receive extension approval from the relevant command
  • LQA would not be guaranteed even after the extension of the tour. The individual would require the approval from a higher level to extend the tour
  • Adding few years, say 2 years, on the expired and recommended 5-year limit would need an approval from the Head of Department of Defense.
  • There will be limitations on when LQA would be used to settle mortgage payment on the property personally owned by the employee.
  • The LQA can only be applicable on personally owned property if the home is purchased on the first year of a staff oversees assignment.
  • An employee would have to live in the states for at least 2 years before returning overseas for another service

How can LQA and other benefits be applied to furniture rental?

It is a breach of contract to use your LQA to finance other items not listed in the contract. Furniture purchase and financing is cannot be financed by LQA.

However, you can rent furniture if it does not exceed 25% the of maximum Living Quarters Allowance. This will be a window to ensure you furniture your house without breaking your bank account. In addition, it is a plus instead of purchasing the furniture and you may stay only for 5 years unless you receive a command approval to extend your stay.

It is advisable to learn what you can purchase using LQA and what is not in the list. This will keep you safe from troubles and utilize your income economically.

This article has been co-written by FLC Furniture Leasing, Europe's premier furniture rental provider serving military and expatriate families in Germany and many other locations.

Visit their website at furniture-leasing.net to learn more about their products and services. 

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