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Department of State Standardized Regulations - (last updated interim 04/05/2013 and final 06/02/2013)
 

630 SPECIAL ALLOWANCES (interim effective 10/21/2012 with TL:SR-797; final 6/2/2013 with TL:SR-813)

 

*To help offset direct added expenses which are incurred by the evacuee as a result of an evacuation order, special allowances are provided for certain travel, subsistence, and special education expenses.  The allowances are not intended to fully reimburse the employee for the direct added expense incurred.  The employee continues to be responsible for normal family living expenses.  Only one departure is permitted an evacuee during any one evacuation period, except for certain employees in unusual circumstances as determined by the Secretary of State.  In determining the direct added expenses which may be payable as special allowances under these regulations, an agency determination shall be made for the evacuation considering the following items as the maximum amounts allowable:

 

631 Travel Expense Allowances (Interim eff. 4/5/2013; final eff. 6/2/2013 with TL:SR 813)

 

The travel reimbursement for evacuees shall be determined in accordance with the rates of per diem for travel in foreign areas contained in the Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas), the Federal Travel Regulation or other pertinent agency travel regulations.  Travel per diem is authorized for dependents of an employee ordered/authorized to depart at a rate which is equal to the rate payable to the employee (except that the rate for dependents under 12 years of age shall be one-half this rate).  Travel per diem for the employee and dependents will be payable from the date of departure from the evacuated post through the date of arrival at the safehaven, including any periods of delay en route beyond the evacuee’s control which may result from travel arrangements.

 

a. Special Safehaven Travel Considerations

 

(1) From Post to Family Safehaven Locations

 

*When the United States (040a) is an officially designated safehaven, ordered/authorized departure travel of all evacuated dependents may be permitted to any place in the United States even though the employee is authorized travel only to Washington, D.C. or other U.S. duty station.  Dependents earlier ordered or authorized to depart to the United States or to an alternate safehaven (see Sections 610l and 614) at Government expense, may be permitted to rejoin an employee subsequently ordered or authorized to depart to a duty station in the United States.  However, expenses of travel to and from an approved alternate safehaven outside the U.S. may be reimbursed only on a cost-constructive basis calculated from the evacuated post to the U.S. duty station.

 

 

(2) From Outside Point to Safehaven

 

When an evacuee is away from a post on official travel (home leave orders, R&R, family visitation travel, emergency visitation travel, temporary duty) at the time of an evacuation order, travel expenses may be paid to the safehaven location from the employee/dependent’s location.

 

*When an employee and/or dependents are away from a post on personal travel when an evacuation order is issued, travel to the safehaven location is on a cost-constructive basis, not to exceed cost of travel from the evacuated post to the safehaven location. (Interim eff. 4/5/2013; final eff. 6/2/2013 with TL:SR 813)

 

Upon arrival at the safehaven location, SEA payments under Section 632 are applicable.

 

 

*(3) Air Freight Allowance and Air Freight Replacement Allowance (Interim eff. 4/5/2013; final eff. 6/2/2013 with TL:SR 813)

 

*An air freight allowance for unaccompanied air baggage (UAB) may be authorized for both ordered/authorized departure from and return to post trips (in accordance with pertinent agency travel regulations).  In lieu of an air freight allowance from post, an air freight replacement allowance may be granted to help defray costs of items normally part of the authorized air freight shipment which must be purchased.  The flat amounts are as follow:  First evacuee without family:  $250; First evacuee with one family member: $450; or First evacuee with two or more family members: $600.  No receipts are required for this allowance.  Note: Even when the air freight replacement allowance is granted from post, evacuees will still be eligible for an air freight allowance when/if they return to post. If evacuees are at two safehavens (U.S.; foreign; or approved alternate), there can be a first evacuee at two safehavens when calculating the air freight replacement allowance.

 

     *Example 1:  Employee is at the foreign safehaven and three family members are at the U.S. safehaven.  The allowable amount would be $250 for the employee at the foreign safehaven and $600 for the three family members at the U.S. safehaven.

 

     *Example 2:  Employee is at the U.S. safehaven and three family members are at an authorized alternate safehaven.  The allowable amount would be $250 for the employee at the U.S. safehaven and $600 for the three family members at the authorized alternate safehaven.

 

     *Example 3:  Employee is at the U.S. safehaven (and physically located in Washington, D.C.) and three family members are at the U.S. safehaven (and physically located in Iowa).  The allowable amount would be $600 because the employee and family members are all at the U.S. safehaven even though they are in separate U.S. locations.

 

 

(4) Third Country Nationals

 

On a case by case basis, as determined by the head of agency, third country national employees and/or their dependents may be considered for evacuation travel to their country of origin or point of hire rather than to other designated foreign or U.S. safehavens, if this is in the interest of the U.S. Government and approved by the Secretary of State.

 

b. Household Effects, Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) and Transportation Allowance (Interim eff. 4/5/2013; final eff. 6/2/2013 with TL:SR 813)

 

*Access to, delivery and return to storage of household effects for evacuees is at personal expense, not Government expense.  Shipment of POV is not authorized at U.S. Government expense.  In the absence of a POV at a safehaven, a transportation allowance to assist with unexpected local transportation costs may be paid in the amount of $25 per day, regardless of family size.  The transportation allowance may be paid from the first day following arrival at the safehaven.  LIMITATION:  The transportation allowance may not exceed $25 per day per family and may be paid at only one safehaven even if evacuees from the same family are at two different safehavens.  Receipts are not required.

 

632 Subsistence Expense Allowance (SEA) (Interim eff. 4/5/2013; final eff. 6/2/2013 with TL:SR 813)

 

*Unless otherwise directed by the Secretary of State, a subsistence expense allowance for an evacuee shall be determined and paid in accordance with the provisions herein.  Payment shall commence as of the date following arrival of the evacuee at a safehaven (see 610l and 614a. and c.), and may continue for not more than 180 days or when terminated under these regulations, whichever occurs first.  Authorization to make payments ceases on the 181st day after the evacuation order is issued.  Any subsequent order issued after the 180th day will constitute a separate order, will start a separate 180-day period, and will apply only to evacuees departing under that order. (See Section 631 for Air Freight Replacement Allowance and Transportation Allowance.  See Section 960 for the Evacuation Payments Worksheet.)

 

*632.1 Daily Amounts at U.S. Safehaven

 

*(a) From the day following arrival at the safehaven location the first evacuee and additional family members will be reimbursed according to either a commercial or non-commercial rate.  The commercial rate requires a receipt for lodging in a hotel, motel, commercially leased house or apartment, or other transient-type commercial establishment.  The non-commercial rate will apply to days for which a receipt for a commercial establishment is not received.  On the 31st day at the safehaven location the rate of reimbursement will be reduced to the 31st through 180th day calculation listed for the rate (commercial or non-commercial) the family chooses for each of the remaining days in evacuation status.  The employee may always be treated as the “first evacuee” if evacuated, even if evacuated subsequently to the other family member(s).  There can only be one “first evacuee” per family at an official safehaven at any given time, except as provided under Section 632.4(b) (“Tandem Couples”).

 

Per diem rates may be accessed on the internet at the following locations:

 

*For the Conterminous/Continental U.S. (CONUS):  48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/category/21287

 

*For non-foreign areas (Alaska, Hawaii, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and territories and possessions of the United States): http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/perdiem.cfm

 

              For foreign areas: http://aoprals.state.gov/web920/per_diem.asp

 

 

 

(b) Commercial rate

 

(1) The per-day amounts allowed for days 1 through 30 following arrival at the safehaven location are:

 

For the first evacuee:

 

*Up to 100 percent (or up to 150 percent for special family compositions listed below) of the lodging portion of the safehaven per diem rate (receipt required) plus a flat amount (no receipts required) equal to 100 percent of the meal and incidental expense (M&IE) portion of the safehaven per diem rate.  If the first evacuee cannot get an exemption from paying the tax on commercial lodging in the continental U.S. or non-foreign area (see non-foreign-area list at 632.1a), he/she may be reimbursed for the tax in addition to the amount allowed for the lodging portion.

 

Special Family Compositions

 

(a) First Evacuee plus one (non-spouse or non-domestic partner family member, age 18 and older)

(b) First Evacuee plus one (non-spouse/non-domestic partner family member of opposite gender, age 12 and over)

(c) First Evacuee plus two (one non-spouse/non-domestic partner family member, age 18 and older; or one non-spouse/non-domestic partner family member, opposite gender, age 12 and over)

(d) First Evacuee plus three (one non-spouse/non-domestic partner family member, age 12 and over)

(e)First Evacuee plus four or more family members

 

Note:  The Director of the Office of Allowances may consider requests for consideration of special family compositions not addressed by (a) through (e) above. Please submit such requests through appropriate agency channels to the Director, Office of Allowances (A/OPR/ALS), U. S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.  20522-0103.

 

For each additional evacuee age 18 and over: 

A flat amount equal to 100 percent of the meal and incidental expense (M&IE) portion of the safehaven per diem rate.

 

For each additional evacuee under age 18: 

A flat amount equal to 50 percent of the meal and incidental expense (M&IE) portion of the safehaven per diem rate.

 

      Example 1:  Commercial Rate

 

*Per-day amounts for days 1 through 30 commencing from the day following arrival at safehaven. 

 

Safehaven Per Diem = $ 200 (Lodging Portion $150; M&IE $50).  Family consists of Employee, Spouse or Domestic Partner, Children ages 6, 12 and 18.  Note:  Special Family Composition (e) applies.

 

First Evacuee:  Lodging up to $225; M&IE $50

Spouse or Domestic Partner:  $50

Children 6 & 12:  $25; $25

Child 18:  $50

 

*Lodging reimbursed for actual expenses up to maximum of $225.  Commercial lodging receipt required.  M&IE portions are flat amounts and receipts are not required.  Lodging taxes may be reimbursed in addition to these amounts for a U.S. or non-foreign safehaven; however, they may not be reimbursed in addition to these amounts for a foreign safehaven.

 

*(2) The per-day amounts allowed from the 31st day following arrival at the safehaven location through the end of the evacuation are:

 

For the first evacuee: 

 

*Up to 100 percent (or up to 150 percent for special family compositions listed above) of the lodging portion of the safehaven per diem rate (receipt required) plus a flat amount (no receipts required) equal to 80 percent of the meal and incidental expense (M&IE) portion of the safehaven per diem rate.  If the first evacuee cannot get an exemption from paying the tax on commercial lodging in the continental U.S. or non-foreign area (see non-foreign-area list at 632.1a), he/she may be reimbursed for the tax in addition to the amount allowed for the lodging portion.

 

For each additional evacuee age 18 and over: 

 

A flat amount equal to 80 percent of the meal and incidental expense (M&IE) portion of the safehaven per diem rate.

 

For each additional evacuee under age 18:

 

A flat amount equal to 40 percent of the meal and incidental expense (M&IE) portion of the safehaven per diem rate.

 

      Example 2:  Commercial Rate

 

*Per-day amounts for days 31 through end of evacuation.

 

Safehaven Per Diem = $ 200 (Lodging Portion $150; M&IE $50).  Family consists of Employee, Spouse or Domestic Partner, Children ages 6, 12 and 18.  Note:  Special Family Composition (e) applies.

 

First Evacuee:  Lodging up to $225; M&IE $40.00

Spouse or Domestic Partner:  $40.00

Children 6 & 12:  $20.00; $20.00

Child 18:  $40.00

 

*Lodging reimbursed for actual expenses up to maximum of $225 per day.  Commercial lodging receipt required.  M&IE portions are flat amounts and receipts are not required.  Lodging taxes may be reimbursed in addition to these amounts for a U.S. or non-foreign safehaven; however, they may not be reimbursed in addition to these amounts for a foreign safehaven.

 

(3) For lease coverage see Section 632.4(c).

 

(c) Non-Commercial Rate

 

*(1) The per-day amounts allowed for days 1 through 30 commencing from the day following arrival at the safehaven location are:

 

For the first evacuee: 

 

A flat amount of 10 percent of the lodging portion of the safehaven per diem rate (no receipts required) plus a flat amount (no receipts required) equal to 100 percent of the meal and incidental expense (M&IE) portion of the safehaven per diem rate.

 

For each additional evacuee age 18 and over: 

 

A flat amount equal to 100 percent of the meal and incidental expense (M&IE) portion of the safehaven per diem rate.

 

For each additional evacuee under age 18: 

 

A flat amount equal to 50 percent of the meal and incidental expense (M&IE) portion of the safehaven per diem rate.

 

       Example 1:  Non-Commercial Rate

 

*Per-day amounts for days 1 through 30 commencing from the day following arrival at safehaven. 

 

Safehaven Per Diem = $200 (Lodging Portion $150; M&IE $50).  Family consists of married couple employees or domestic partnership employees (both employees eligible for “first evacuee” rates) with two children ages 3 and 13.

 

First Evacuee:  Flat amount $15; M&IE $50

First Evacuee:  Flat amount $15; M&IE $50

Children 3 and 13:  $25; $25

Receipts are not required for any of these amounts.

 

*(2) The per-day amounts allowed from the 31st day following arrival at the safehaven location through the end of the evacuation are:

 

For the first evacuee: 

 

A flat amount (no receipts required) equal to 80 percent of the meal and incidental expense (M&IE) portion of the safehaven per diem rate.

 

For each additional evacuee age 18 and over: 

 

A flat amount equal to 80 percent of the meal and incidental expense (M&IE) portion of the safehaven per diem rate.

 

For each additional evacuee under age 18: 

 

A flat amount equal to 40 percent of the meal and incidental expense (M&IE) portion of the safehaven per diem rate.

 

Example 2:  Non-Commercial Rate

 

*Per-day amounts for days 31 through end of evacuation. 

 

Safehaven Per Diem = $200 (Lodging Portion $150; M&IE $50).  Family consists of married couple employees or domestic partnership employees (both employees eligible for “first evacuee” rates) with two children ages 3 and 13.

 

First evacuee:  M&IE $40.00

First evacuee:  M&IE $40.00

Children 3 and 13:  $20.00; $20.00

Receipts are not required for any of these amounts.

 

*632.2 Foreign or Alternate Safehaven (Interim eff. 4/5/2013; final eff. 6/2/2013 with TL:SR 813)

 

*(a) For a foreign safehaven, the subsistence expense allowance will be based on the per diem rate of the designated foreign area under the payment guidelines of Section 632.1.

 

*(b) When an evacuee goes to an approved alternate safehaven the subsistence expense allowance will be based on the lowest of the following per diem rates using the payment guidelines in Section 632.1:  (1) the locality to which evacuated, (2) the rate applicable to the official safehaven (whether U.S. or foreign) or (3) the standard CONUS rate. Restriction:  If there is a first evacuee at either a U.S. or foreign safehaven there cannot also be a first evacuee at the alternate safehaven.  The subsistence expense allowance in this case would be based on the guidelines in Section 632.1 and calculated using the formula for “each additional evacuee” using the lowest of the above per diem rates.

 

632.3 Actual Payment

 

The daily rate of the subsistence expense allowance actually paid shall be either the maximum rate as determined above, or a lower rate if, in the judgment of the authorizing officer, such lower rate would be more in keeping with necessary living expenses.

 

632.4 Special Rules for Subsistence Expense Allowance (Interim eff. 4/5/2013; final eff. 6/2/2013 with TL:SR 813)

 

(a) During Annual Leave, Sick Leave, Home Leave, Leave Without Pay

 

*Upon completion of authorized leave, an employee who is away from post on annual leave (including R&R) or home leave when an evacuation is approved should immediately notify post of an intention to return to work status in order to become eligible for the SEA at the designated U.S. or foreign safehaven.  The employee then returns to post immediately or receives authorization to report to the U.S. or foreign safehaven or to a temporary duty station.  Dependents become eligible for SEA upon their arrival at their authorized U.S., foreign, or alternate safehaven following the employee's commencement of official travel to the duty station.  SEA is not paid to any evacuee authorized travel per diem (see Section 634).

 

Neither an employee nor dependent in R&R or home leave status is eligible for SEA.  SEA payments continue for dependents previously ordered/authorized to depart who are joined by an employee on R&R or home leave, but no additional travel for the dependents is authorized at U.S. Government expense.

 

SEA shall continue to evacuees otherwise eligible while an employee in ordered/authorized departure status takes annual or sick leave.

 

An employee in leave without pay (LWOP) status is not eligible for SEA unless evacuated as a dependent.

 

(b) Married Couple Employees or Domestic Partnership Employees

 

Married couple employees or domestic partnership employees should each receive up to the first evacuee rate of subsistence expense.  (See Section 610e(1).)

 

(c) Lease Coverage

 

*If an employee or designee signs a lease for lodging at the safehaven and is ordered to return to post, a waiver of the refund due the Government on an advance or reimbursement of expenses incurred should be authorized for the unexpired period of the lease up to 30 days at not to exceed the lodging portion of the safehaven per diem rate [plus applicable tax if an exemption cannot be obtained on commercial lodging in the continental U.S. or non-foreign area (see non-foreign-area list at 632.1a)].

 

633 Special Education Allowance (Interim eff. 4/5/2013; final eff. 6/2/2013 with TL:SR 813)

 

*Unless otherwise directed by the Secretary of State, a special education allowance may be paid on behalf of children evacuated to the U.S. or foreign safehaven as follows:

 

*633.1 Foreign Safehaven

 

*(a) at the annual rate of the "school at post" education allowance indicated for the foreign safehaven post;

 

*(b) at the "school away from post" rate either of the evacuated post or of the foreign safehaven post, at the discretion of the authorizing officer, if children are sent away from the foreign safehaven post to schools necessitating boarding.  In this case the subsistence expense allowance ceases for that child until the end of the grant year. Subsistence expense is payable for such students only during the school break between grant years.  The foreign safehaven location displaces the evacuated post as the travel destination.

 

*633.2 U.S. Safehaven

 

*Normally education allowances are not payable on behalf of children evacuated from a post in a foreign area to a U.S. safehaven if accompanied by a parent, as public schools are available to all residents in the United States.  However, if prior to evacuation, a child was attending school in the United States under the “at post” or "away from post" education allowance, the rate authorized for the evacuated post may continue for the remainder of the school year.  Children under an “at post” education allowance are entitled to subsistence expense allowance if the “Exception” at Section 621.1(d)(1) and 621.2(d)(1) applies.  There is no entitlement to subsistence expense allowance for children at school under an "away from post" education allowance.  Subsistence expense is payable for such students only during the school break between grant years.  See Section 621.1(d)(1) and 621.2(d)(1) for reimbursement under "school at post" education allowance for internet classroom expenses associated with school at post incurred at the safehaven.

 

*633.3 Alternate Approved Safehaven

 

*No special education allowance is authorized for dependents at an alternate safehaven.

 

633.4 Child Eligible for Educational Travel at the Time of Evacuation

 

*Educational travel eligibility rules continue to apply as provided in Section 280, except that the official safehaven displaces the post as the travel destination from school.  While the child is temporarily at the safehaven location, SEA payments may be made consistent with Section 632.  While the child is at the school there are no SEA payments.

 

*633.5 Child Eligible for Special Needs Education Allowance at the Time of Evacuation

 

*If a child already qualifies for and is receiving the special needs education allowance at the foreign post of assignment and that child has no valid, legal Individual Education Plan (IEP) acceptable to U.S. public schools at the U.S. safehaven location for receipt of special education services, then the special needs education allowance may continue to be paid during the evacuation until such time as the U.S. public school begins to provide special services.  See 271m, 276.2, and 276.8.  These expenses may be reimbursed under the current year “school at post” and “special needs” education allowance maximum and may include those items listed in 276.8c.

 

 

634 Suspension of SEA Payments

 

Payment of the subsistence expense allowance provided under Section 632 shall be suspended in the applicable per-person amount for any period during which the employee or dependents are authorized the travel expense allowance under Section 631, travel per diem, or educational travel under Section 280.  If SEA payments are temporarily suspended for the first evacuee, one family member also receiving SEA becomes the first evacuee and thus receives the higher SEA payment.

 

635 Termination

 

Entitlement to special allowance payments during an evacuation shall cease as of the earliest of the following dates (an appropriate grace period necessary to arrange return to post may be authorized, normally not to exceed ten days, provided it is justified on the employee's travel voucher and provided the 180 day limit is not exceeded):

 

(a) the date the evacuated employee commences travel under an assignment order to another duty station outside the evacuation area;

 

(b) the effective date of transfer when the employee is already at the post to which transferred;

 

(c) the date of separation;

 

(d) the date specified by the head of agency;

 

(e) the date specified by the Secretary of State;

 

(f) 180 days after the evacuation order is issued; or

 

(g) the date the evacuee commences return travel to post.

 

636 Return to Assignment

 

Not later than 180 days after the evacuation order is issued, an employee must be returned to the regular post of assignment, or appropriate action must be taken to reassign the employee to another post.  This action must be taken in accordance with prescribed agency regulations.

 

638 Review - Employee Accounts (See also Section 618.)

 

638.1  The payroll office having jurisdiction over the employee's accounts shall review his/her account at the earliest possible date after the evacuation is terminated, or earlier if the circumstances justify, or after the employee returns to his/her assigned post of duty, or when the employee is officially reassigned to another post.

 

638.2 For the period or periods covered by any payments under these regulations, the employee shall be considered as though active Federal service had been rendered in a regular position without a break in service.  Compensation shall be adjusted on the basis of the rates of compensation including any allowances or post differentials to which the employee would otherwise be entitled under all applicable statutes other than this act (P.L. 87-304, 75 Stat. 662), as codified in 5 U.S.C. 5521-5527, as reflected in Sections 621.1 and 621.2.  Any adjustments shall also reflect payments made to the employee as authorized by Sections 617 through 618 of these regulations.

 

639 Employees/Dependents Assigned But Not Arrived at Post

 

Employees/dependents who have not yet arrived at the post at the time of the evacuation/departure order are not covered by Chapter 600.  However, under the limited circumstances outlined in Section 245, employees and dependents precluded from proceeding to post may be eligible for payments equivalent to those provided under Chapter 600 of the Standardized Regulations.  Otherwise, when the criteria of Section 245 are not met, dependents who normally would accompany an employee to post will be eligible for involuntary separate maintenance allowance (Section 260) effective the date the employee begins official travel under assignment orders.