Danger Pay and Post Differentials for Federal Employees

Under 5 U.S.C. 5928, the Department of State may establish a danger pay allowance for all federal employees stationed in a foreign area on the basis of civil insurrection, civil war, terrorism, or wartime conditions in that area which threaten physical harm or imminent danger to the health or well-being of an employee.

Danger pay is authorized from 5 to 35 percent in 5 point increments. The allowance is payable as a percentage of pay, including applicable locality rates, to individuals officially assigned to a post (including temporary duty) for periods of at least four hours in one day (including while on detail or in a temporary duty travel status).

“Extraordinarily difficult” living conditions

Similarly, the State Department authorizes a foreign post differential when it determines that an overseas location involves extraordinarily difficult living conditions, excessive physical hardship, or notably unhealthful conditions affecting the majority of U.S. government employees assigned to the location. Living costs are not considered in the differential determination.

Foreign post (hardship) differentials are authorized at rates up to 35 percent in 5 point increments. The differential is payable as a percentage of pay, including applicable locality rates, to individuals officially assigned to a post who are also eligible for a living quarters allowance. Additionally, the differential is payable to employees on detail to such posts after 42 consecutive days at the post.

A list of current allowances and differentials is at http://aoprals.state.gov.

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