The Foreign Service Assignment Notebook: What Do I Do Now?
Foreign Service employees and family members should read Chapter 3, ALLOWANCES and BENEFITS, from the helpful publication Foreign Service Assignment Notebook: What Do I Do Now? This chapter explains explanations of the following allowances:

  • Before Departure from the United States (Advance of Pay Allowance, Foreign Transfer Allowance, Miscellaneous Expenses, Pre-departure Subsistence Expenses, Wardrobe Expenses, Lease Penalty Expenses, Separate Maintenance Allowance, Travel Per Diem Allowance),
  • While in a Foreign Area (Temporary Quarters Subsistence Allowance, Living Quarters Allowance, Extraordinary Quarters Allowance, Post (Cost of Living) Allowance, Post (Hardship) Differential, Difficult to Staff Incentive Differential, Danger Pay Allowance, Education Allowance, Educational Travel, Representation Allowance, Official Residence Expenses),
  • When Returning to the United States (Home Service Transfer Allowance and Evacuation Payments).

Office of Allowances

The Department of State Office of Allowances develops and coordinates policies, regulations, standards, and procedures to administer the government-wide allowances and benefits program abroad under the Department of State Standardized Regulations (DSSR). Employees and family members should review their website for the most up-to-date information, including:

Allowances to consider when bidding or assigned to a new post overseas include:

If you are traveling overseas on official assignment for the first time, consider the following allowances:

If returning from an overseas assignment to the United States, consider the following allowance:

For evacuation allowances, review the guidance from the Office of Allowances: