The military per diem is given to military service members to cover the cost of lodging and meals when traveling temporarily for work. Generally, per diem is received by military service members when occupying temporary lodging due to PCS – permanent change of station.
However, this isn’t the only reason why you may get per diem. You can also get per diem while on temporary duty.
The per diem can be looked up by searching by zip code at the Defense Travel Management Office. The per diem rates are adjusted for every fiscal year. The rates will be updated for the first day of October and will run through the last day of September, the following year.
One thing to keep in mind about military per diem is that if you’re traveling outside of the continental United States which refers to the 48 states, you will receive Temporary Lodging Expense – TLE. If traveling to a location within the continental United States, you will get Temporary Lodging Allowance or shortly known as TLA.
Per Diem Rates With Dependents
The per diem is increased if you have dependents that travel with or without you.
So how do you calculate military per diem with dependents? Whether or not the dependent(s) travel with your or not and their age is what determines the per diem for them. Here is how military per diem is calculated for military service members with dependents.
|The dependent is traveling with you||12 or older||75% of your per diem rate|
|The dependent is traveling with you||under 12||50% of your per diem rate|
|One dependent is traveling separately||—||100% of your per diem rate|
For two or more dependents traveling together but separate from you, the per diem rate is:
- 100% for one dependent older than 12; and
- 75% for each of the other dependents traveling with the dependent that is over the age of 12; and
- 50% for each dependent under the age of 12 traveling with the above dependent(s).
Under the Defense Finance and Accounting Service guidelines, if the dependents are not traveling with you and they are performing an en route at an earlier or later date, mark unaccompanied in Block 12 of the DD Form 1531-2 and complete a separate 1531-2 for their travel dates.
Regardless of where you travel, you are qualified for per diem. If the destination doesn’t have a specific location, the daily per diem rate will be effective. At the time of writing, for 2021, the daily per diem rate is $151. This is only for travel locations without a designated destination.