Chapter 302—Relocation Allowances
Subchapter C—Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Allowances for Subsistence and Transportation Expenses
Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5738; 20 U.S.C. 905(a); E.O. 11609, as amended, 3 CFR, 1971-1975 Comp., p. 586.
Subpart A—General Rules
Note to Subpart A: Use of pronouns “I”, “you”, and their variants throughout this subpart refers to the employee, unless otherwise noted.
§302-6.1 What are “temporary quarters?”
The term “temporary quarters” refers to lodging obtained for the purpose of temporary occupancy from a private or commercial source.
§302-6.2 What are “temporary quarters subsistence expenses (TQSE)”?
“Temporary quarters subsistence expenses” or “TQSE” are subsistence expenses incurred by an employee and/or his/her immediate family while occupying temporary quarters. TQSE does not include transportation expenses incurred during occupancy of temporary quarters (see §302-6.18 for details).
§302-6.3 What is the purpose of the TQSE allowance?
The TQSE allowance is intended to reimburse an employee reasonably and equitably for subsistence expenses incurred when it is necessary to occupy temporary quarters.
§302-6.4 Am I eligible for a TQSE allowance?
You are eligible for a TQSE allowance if you are an employee who is authorized to transfer; and
(a) Your new official station is located within the United States; and
(b) Your old and new official stations are 50 miles or more apart (as measured by map distance) via a usually traveled surface route.
§302-6.5 Who is not eligible for a TQSE allowance?
New appointees, employees assigned under the Government Employees Training Act (5 U.S.C. 4109), and employees returning from an overseas assignment for the purpose of separation are not eligible for a TQSE allowance.
§302-6.6 Must my agency authorize payment of a TQSE allowance?
No, your agency determines whether it is in the Government’s interest to pay TQSE.
§302-6.7 Under what circumstances will I receive a TQSE allowance?
You will receive a TQSE allowance if:
(a) Your agency authorizes it before you occupy the temporary quarters (the agency authorization must specify the period of time allowed for you to occupy temporary quarters);
(b) You have signed a service agreement; and
(c) You meet any additional conditions your agency has established.
§302-6.8 Who may occupy temporary quarters at Government expense?
Only you and/or your immediate family may occupy temporary quarters at Government expense.
§302-6.9 Where may I/we occupy temporary quarters at Government expense?
You and/or your immediate family may occupy temporary quarters at Government expense within reasonable proximity of your old and/or new official stations. Neither you nor your immediate family may be reimbursed for occupying temporary quarters at any other location, unless justified by special circumstances that are reasonably related to your transfer.
§302-6.10 May my immediate family and I occupy temporary quarters at different locations?
Yes. For example, if you must vacate your home at the old official station and report to the new official station and your family remains behind until the end of the school year, you may need to occupy temporary quarters at the new official station while your family occupies temporary quarters at the old official station.
§302-6.11 What methods may my agency use to reimburse me for TQSE?
Your agency will reimburse you for TQSE under the actual expense method unless it permits the “lump sum” reimbursement method as an alternative. If your agency makes both methods available to you, you may select the one you prefer.
§302-6.12 Must I document my TQSE to receive reimbursement?
For lump sum TQSE reimbursement, you do not document your TQSE. For actual TQSE reimbursement, you must document your TQSE by itemizing each expense and providing receipts as required by §§301-11.25, 301-11.306 and 301-52.4(b) of this title.
§302-6.13 How soon may I/we begin occupying temporary quarters at Government expense?
As soon as your agency has authorized you to receive a TQSE allowance and you have signed a service agreement.
§302-6.14 How is my TQSE allowance affected if my temporary quarters become my permanent residence quarters?
If your temporary quarters become your permanent residence quarters, you may receive a TQSE allowance only if you show in a manner satisfactory to your agency that you initially intended to occupy the quarters temporarily.
§302-6.15 May I receive an advance of funds for TQSE?
Yes, if authorized in accordance with §§302-2.23, 302-2.24, and 302-2.25 of this chapter, your agency may advance the amount of funds necessary to cover your estimated TQSE expenses for up to 30 days. Your agency subsequently may advance additional funds for periods up to 30 days.
§302-6.16 May I receive a TQSE allowance if I am receiving another subsistence expenses allowance?
No, with one exception. You may receive a cost-of-living allowance payable under 5 U.S.C. 5941 in addition to a TQSE allowance.
§302-6.17 Am I eligible for a TQSE allowance if I transfer to a foreign area?
No, you may not receive a TQSE allowance under this part when you transfer to an area outside the United States. However, you may qualify for a comparable allowance under the Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas) prescribed by the Department of State.
§302-6.18 May I be reimbursed for transportation expenses incurred while I am occupying temporary quarters?
Transportation expenses incurred in the vicinity of the temporary quarters are not TQSE, and therefore, there is no authority to pay such expenses under TQSE.
Subpart B—Actual TQSE Method of Reimbursement
§302-6.100 What am I paid under the actual TQSE reimbursement method?
Your agency will pay your actual TQSE incurred, provided the expenses are reasonable and do not exceed the maximum allowable amount. The “maximum allowable amount” is the “maximum daily amount” multiplied by the number of days you actually incur TQSE not to exceed the number of days authorized, taking into account that the rates change after 30 days in temporary quarters. The “maximum daily amount” is determined by adding the rates in the following table for you and each member of your immediate family authorized to occupy temporary quarters:
The “maximum daily amount” of TQSE under the actual expense method that
You and/or your unaccompanied spouse or domestic partner1 may receive is
Your accompanied spouse, domestic partner or a member of your immediate family who is age 12 or older may receive is
A member of your immediate family who is under age 12 may receive is
The first 30 days of temporary quarters.
The applicable per diem rate.
.75 times the applicable per diem rate.
.5 times the applicable per diem rate.
Any additional days of temporary quarters.
.75 times the applicable per diem rate.
.5 times the applicable per diem rate.
.4 times the applicable per diem rate.
1 That is, when the spouse or domestic partner necessarily occupies temporary quarters in lieu of the employee or in a location separate from the employee.
§302-6.101 May my agency reduce my TQSE allowance below the “maximum allowable amount”?
Yes, if the estimated daily amount of your TQSE is determined in advance to be lower than the maximum daily amount, your agency may reduce the maximum allowable amount to your expected expenses.
§302-6.102 What is the “applicable per diem rate” under the actual TQSE reimbursement method?
The “applicable per diem rate” under the actual TQSE reimbursement method is as follows:
For temporary quarters located in
The applicable per diem rate is
The continental United States (CONUS).
The standard CONUS rate.
Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS)
The locality rate established by the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of State under §301-11.6 of this title.
§302-6.103 What is the latest period for which actual TQSE reimbursement may begin?
The period must begin before the maximum time for beginning allowable travel and transportation under §302-2.9.
§302-6.104 How long may I be authorized to claim actual TQSE reimbursement?
Your agency may authorize you to claim actual TQSE in increments of 30-days or less, not to exceed 60 consecutive days. However, if your agency determines that there is a compelling reason for you to continue occupying temporary quarters after 60 consecutive days, it may authorize an extension of up to 60 additional consecutive days. Under no circumstances may you be authorized reimbursement for actual TQSE for more than a total of 120 consecutive days.
§302-6.105 What is a “compelling reason” warranting extension of my authorized period for claiming an actual TQSE reimbursement?
A “compelling reason” is an event that is beyond your control and is acceptable to your agency. Examples include, but are not limited to when:
(a) Delivery of your household goods to your new residence is delayed due to strikes, customs clearance, hazardous weather, fires, floods or other acts of God, or similar events.
(b) You cannot occupy your new permanent residence because of unanticipated problems (e.g., delay in settlement on the new residence, or short-term delay in construction of the residence).
(c) You are unable to locate a permanent residence which is adequate for your family’s needs because of housing conditions at your new official station.
(d) Sudden illness, injury, your death or the death of your immediate family member; or
(e) Similar reasons.
§302-6.106 May I interrupt occupancy of temporary quarters?
Yes, your authorized period for claiming actual TQSE reimbursement is measured on consecutive days, and once begun, normally continues to run whether or not you occupy temporary quarters. You may, however, interrupt your authorized period for claiming actual TQSE reimbursement in the following instances:
(a) For the time allowed for en route travel between the old and new official stations;
(b) For circumstances attributable to official necessity such as an intervening temporary duty assignment or military duty; or
(c) For a non-official necessary interruption such as hospitalization, approved sick leave, or other reason beyond your control and acceptable to your agency.
§302-6.107 What effect do partial days of temporary quarters occupancy have on my authorized period for claiming actual TQSE reimbursement?
Occupancy of temporary quarters for less than a whole day constitutes one full day of your authorized period. (However, see §302-6.110 regarding en route travel.)
§302-6.108 When does my authorized period for claiming actual TQSE reimbursement end?
The period ends at midnight on the earlier of:
(a) The day preceding the day you and/or any member of your immediate family occupies permanent residence quarters.
(b) The day your authorized period for claiming actual TQSE reimbursement expires.
§302-6.109 May the period for which I am authorized to claim actual TQSE reimbursement for myself be different from that of my immediate family?
No, the eligibility period for which you are authorized to claim actual TQSE reimbursement for yourself and for each member of your immediate family must run concurrently.
§302-6.110 What effect do partial days have on my actual TQSE reimbursement?
You may not receive reimbursement under both the actual TQSE allowance and another subsistence expenses allowance within the same day, with one exception. If you claim TQSE reimbursement on the same day that en route travel per diem ends, your en route travel per diem will be computed under applicable partial day rules and you also may be reimbursed for actual TQSE you incur after 6:00 p.m. of that day.
§302-6.111 May I and/or my immediate family occupy temporary quarters longer than the period for which I am authorized to claim actual TQSE reimbursement?
Yes, but you will not be reimbursed for any of the expenses you incur during the unauthorized period.
Subpart C—Lump Sum Payment
§302-6.200 What am I paid under the TQSE lump sum payment method?
If your agency offers, and you select the lump sum TQSE payment, you are paid a lump sum for each day authorized up to 30 days. The maximum number of days that may be used for the TQSE lump sum calculation is 30; no extensions are allowed under the lump sum payment method.
§302-6.201 How do I determine the amount of my TQSE lump sum payment?
(a) For yourself, multiply the number of days your agency authorizes TQSE by .75 times the maximum per diem rate (that is, lodging plus meals and incidental expenses) prescribed by §301-11.6 of this subtitle for the locality at the old or new official station or combination thereof, wherever TQ will be occupied. Please note that for non-foreign OCONUS, the Department of Defense Per Diem, Travel and Transportation Allowances Committee establishes the per diem rate, and for foreign OCONUS, the Department of State establishes the per diem rates.
(b) For each member of your immediate family, multiply the same number of days by .25 times the same per diem rate, as described in paragraph (a) of this section.
(c) Your lump sum payment will be the sum of the calculations in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section.
§302-6.202 Will I receive additional TQSE reimbursement if my TQSE lump sum payment is not adequate to cover my actual TQSE?
No, you will not receive additional TQSE reimbursement if the lump sum payment is not adequate to cover your actual TQSE.
§302-6.203 May I retain any balance left over from my TQSE lump sum payment if such payment is more than adequate?
Yes, if your lump sum TQSE payment is more than adequate to cover your actual TQSE expenses, any balance belongs to you. (E.g., if your agency authorizes and you accept a lump sum payment for 15 days of TQSE and you vacate TQ after 10 days for any reason, you would retain the remaining balance for the 5 days of TQSE not incurred).
§302-6.204 Am I required to file a voucher after occupying temporary quarters if I selected the TQSE lump sum payment?
No, you are not required to file a voucher after occupying temporary quarters if you have selected the lump sum payment. The intent of the lump sum payment is to simplify the process and eliminate the need for filing a voucher. However, your agency may require that you sign a voucher or other document before they pay your lump sum TQSE to you, and your agency may at any time request proof that you actually occupied TQ, even if not for the full length of time on which the lump sum calculation was based. In the absence of sufficient proof of TQSE occupancy, your agency may demand repayment of the TQSE lump sum payment in accordance with §302-6.305.
Subpart D—Agency Responsibilities
Note to Subpart D: Use of pronouns “we”, “you”, and their variants throughout this subpart refers to the agency.
§302-6.300 How should we administer the TQSE allowance?
Temporary quarters should be used only if, and only for as long as, necessary until the employee and/or his/her immediate family can move into permanent residence quarters. You must administer the TQSE allowance to minimize or avoid other relocation expenses.
§302-6.301 What governing policies must we establish for the TQSE allowance?
You must establish policies and procedures governing:
(a) When you will authorize temporary quarters for employees;
(b) Who will determine if temporary quarters is appropriate in each situation;
(c) If and when you will authorize the lump sum option for TQSE reimbursement;
(d) Who will determine the appropriate period of time for which TQSE reimbursement will be authorized, including approval of extensions and interruptions of temporary quarters occupancy; and
(e) Who will determine whether quarters were indeed temporary, if there is any doubt.
§302-6.302 Under what circumstances may we authorize the TQSE allowance?
You may authorize a TQSE allowance on an individual-case basis when use of temporary quarters is justified in connection with an employee’s transfer to a new official station. You may not authorize a TQSE allowance for vacation purposes or other reasons unrelated to the transfer.
§302-6.303 What factors should we consider in determining whether the TQSE allowance is actually necessary?
The factors you should consider include:
(a) The length of time the employee should reasonably be expected to occupy his/her residence at the old official station prior to reporting for duty at the new official station. An employee and his/her immediate family should continue to occupy the residence at the old official station for as long as practicable to avoid the necessity for temporary quarters.
(b) The existence of less expensive alternatives. If a less expensive alternative to the TQSE allowance exists that will enable the employee to find permanent quarters at the new official station, you should consider such an alternative. For example, authorize a househunting trip instead of temporary quarters if it would cost less overall.
(c) The existence of other opportunities to arrange for permanent quarters. Consider whether the employee had other adequate opportunity to arrange for permanent quarters. For example, you should not authorize temporary quarters if the employee had adequate opportunity during an extended temporary duty assignment to arrange for permanent quarters.
§302-6.304 What factors should we consider in determining whether to offer an employee a lump sum payment option for TQSE?
When determining whether to offer an employee the lump sum payment option for TQSE the following factors should be considered:
(a) Ease of administration. A lump sum for TQSE is paid to the employee prior to the occupancy of TQ, and the after the fact voucher process is eliminated under this method. Actual TQSE reimbursement requires an agency to review claims for the validity, accuracy, and reasonableness of each expense amount.
(b) Cost consideration. You should weigh the cost of each alternative. Actual TQSE reimbursement may extend up to 120 days, while the lump sum payment is limited to a maximum of 30 days.
(c) Treatment of employee. The employee is allowed to choose between actual TQSE reimbursement and the lump sum TQSE payment when you offer the lump sum payment method. You therefore should weigh employee morale and productivity considerations against actual cost considerations in determining which method to offer.
§302-6.305 Must we require transferees to sign a statement that TQSE will be incurred?
Yes, transferees electing the TQSE lump sum payment option must sign a statement, which should be included as part of the service agreement, asserting that they will occupy TQ and will incur TQSE. If no TQSE are incurred, the transferee must return all monies advanced for the lump sum TQSE payment to the agency.
§302-6.306 When must we make the lump sum TQSE payment to the transferee?
You must pay the transferee the lump sum TQSE payment prior to the occupancy of TQ. You should make the lump sum TQSE payment as close as is reasonably possible to the time that the transferee will begin occupancy of TQ.
§302-6.307 What factors should we consider in determining whether quarters are temporary?
In determining whether quarters are “temporary”, you should consider factors such as the duration of the lease, movement of household effects into the quarters, the type of quarters, the employee’s expressions of intent, attempts to secure a permanent dwelling, and the length of time the employee occupies the quarters.