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Office of Allowances

Frequently Asked Questions
Danger Pay


QUESTIONS:

1. Q: What is Danger Pay?

2. Q: Can you explain what detail means?

3. Q: How is Danger Pay calculated?

4. Q:  If a post or area is currently designated for Danger Pay, is it possible for the Danger Pay designation to be removed at any time?

5. Q: Can Locally Employed Staff (LES) earn Danger Pay?

6. Q: I recently returned from a two-week TDY but was unable to get my SF-1190 for Danger Pay processed before I left. Now that I've returned to the U.S., how do I go about getting this processed and to whom do I turn it in?

7. Q: Where can I find a list of Danger Pay posts and rates of Danger Pay?

8. Q: I will be on TDY at a Danger Pay post on Memorial Day. Am I eligible for Danger Pay on a holiday if I don't work?

9. Q: Danger pay is available to employees on temporary detail for four cumulative hours or longer in a day. Is it payable for all hours worked over four or retroactive to the 1st hour worked? For example, of eight hours are only four subject to Danger Pay on the first day of temporary detail or are all eight?

10. Q: Is Danger Pay taxable?

11. Q: What is Imminent Danger Pay and how does it differ from Danger Pay?

12. Q: Can I receive Post Hardship Differential and Danger Pay at the same time?

13. Q: If Danger Pay under DSSR 652(f) and DSSR 652(g) are both authorized, can I pick which one I want to receive?

14. Q: I am a Department of Defense (DoD) civilian employee. I noticed that Danger Pay under DSSR 652(f) and DSSR 652(g) are both in place for my post. Can I receive both since I am working with the military?

QUESTIONS:

1. Q: What is Danger Pay? 

A:  Danger Pay is additional compensation above basic compensation for service at designated Danger Pay posts where civil insurrection, terrorism, or war conditions threaten physical harm or imminent danger to all U.S. Government civilian employees.

2. Q: Can you explain what detail means?

A: Detail (defined at DSSR 040p) in conjunction with Danger Pay means a temporary assignment or temporary duty (TDY) to an area designated for danger pay for a minimum of four cumulative hours in one day. Any leave taken while present at such place of detail may be included to meet the four hour requirement but days of absence away from the designated post or country/area may not be included. Employees transiting a post who are inadvertently detained there for four hours or more can be considered to be on detail for Danger Pay purposes.

3. Q: How is Danger Pay calculated?

A: Employees receive Danger Pay as a percentage of their basic compensation. Neither overtime and other premium pay nor other allowances are factored into the calculation of Danger Pay. Danger Pay is paid only for hours for which basic compensation is paid (DSSR 655).

4. Q: If a post or area is currently designated for Danger Pay, is it possible for the Danger Pay designation to be removed at any time?

A: Yes, since conditions at Danger Pay posts are reviewed periodically to ensure that the Danger Pay continues only during the existence of conditions justifying such payment, it is possible for the Danger Pay designation to be removed or modified at any time.

5. Q: Can Locally Employed Staff (LES) earn Danger Pay?

A: Danger Pay authorized under the DSSR is limited to U.S. citizens. DSSR 032 "Non-Citizen Employees," states, "The allowances, post differential, danger pay, compensatory time off, advances of pay and difficult to staff incentive differential, may be paid to non-citizen employees to the extent that the payment of such allowances and differential to the non-citizen employee is authorized by any provision of law other than 5 U.S.C. 5921-5928." This means no payment of those allowances, including Danger Pay, may be made to LES or other non-U.S. citizens absent separate legislation. For example, under a different set of laws/regulations, an agency can make a determination that "unique conditions of work" justify payment to LES of a benefit similar to Danger Pay.

6. Q: I recently returned from a two-week TDY but was unable to get my SF-1190 for Danger Pay processed before I left. Now that I've returned to the U.S., how do I go about getting this processed and to whom do I turn it in?

A: Each agency is responsible for establishing its own policies/procedures for processing payments. Since Danger Pay is paid as a percentage of basic compensation, most agencies require that the SF-1190 be forwarded to the payroll office. Check with your agency human resources or payroll office on approval/processing procedures. For Department of State employees, form SF-1190, "Foreign Allowances Grant, Application and Report (Rev. 07/2009)," should be approved by the Bureau Executive Office that authorized the TDY and forwarded to FSC Charleston with a copy of the travel voucher to substantiate the dates you were at the Danger Pay location.

7. Q: Where can I find a list of Danger Pay posts and rates of Danger Pay?

A: The Office of Allowances lists Danger Pay posts and rates -- as well as rates for other allowances -- on its web sites. Click on either Allowances by Location or Allowance by Type/Danger Pay to find the most current rates.

8. Q: I will be on TDY at a Danger Pay post on Memorial Day. Am I eligible for Danger Pay on a holiday if I don't work?

A: Yes. Danger Pay is not paid based on the number of hours an individual is actually working. Rather, Danger Pay is paid for those hours for which the employee receives basic compensation (DSSR 040k). USG employees receive basic compensation for holidays. In the case of an employee TDY at a Danger Pay post but not working on Memorial Day, s/he would be paid eight hours of Danger Pay for the holiday. The Danger Pay would be based on the employee's regular basic compensation rate, not including any additional "holiday pay" which might be received if an employee actually is required to work on the holiday.

9. Q: Danger pay is available to employees on temporary detail for four cumulative hours or longer in a day. Is it payable for all hours worked over four or retroactive to the 1st hour worked? For example, of eight hours are only four subject to Danger Pay on the first day of temporary detail or are all eight?

A: In order to be eligible for Danger Pay, an employee on TDY status must spend four cumulative hours at the Danger Pay location. Once eligibility has been established, Danger Pay can be paid for the full day (DSSR 651d), assuming that the first day is one for which the employee receives basic compensation.

For example, if the employee's regular work schedule is Monday through Friday and s/he arrives at the Danger Pay post on Sunday morning, no Danger Pay can be paid for Sunday even though the employee has established eligibility because Sunday is not a day for which the employee receives basic compensation. The Office of Personnel Management has indicated that while on TDY status, an employee on an alternative work schedule reverts to his/her agency's normal work days for pay purposes.

10. Q: Is Danger Pay taxable?

A: Yes, all Danger Pay is considered an "incentive" rather than a "reimbursement" and therefore is taxable (DSSR 054.2).

11. Q: What is Imminent Danger Pay and how does it differ from Danger Pay?

A: Danger Pay authorized under DSSR 652(g), unofficially referred to as "hazardous duty" or "imminent danger pay," is paid at a flat monthly rate (currently $225). Employees cannot receive Post Hardship Differential and Danger Pay under DSSR 652(g) for the same periods of time, nor can employees receive Danger Pay under DSSR 652(f) and 652(g) at the same time. Imminent Danger Pay under DSSR 652(g) is established for designated areas for U.S.G. civilian employees accompanying uniformed military for whom the Secretary of Defense has established a similar benefit. No review of the Post Hardship Differential is conducted when establishing Imminent Danger Pay under DSSR 652(g) so employees cannot receive both allowances since they are being provided for duplicate conditions.

12. Q: Can I receive Post Hardship Differential and Danger Pay at the same time?

A: It depends. When the Office of Allowances makes a determination to establish Danger Pay under DSSR 652(f) we also review and remove any credit awarded under Post Hardship Differential for Political Violence to ensure there is no duplication of benefits for the same living condition. Therefore, employees could receive both Post Hardship Differential and Danger Pay authorized under DSSR 652(f) for service for the same period of time.

13. Q: If Danger Pay under DSSR 652(f) and DSSR 652(g) are both authorized, can I pick which one I want to receive?

A: Allowances and Differentials paid under the DSSR are not considered entitlements. If an employee is eligible to receive Danger Pay, and both types have been established for the employee's assigned post (or TDY location), the employee could only receive Danger Pay only under DSSR 652(f), which would provide the greater monetary benefit.

14. Q: I am a Department of Defense (DoD) civilian employee. I noticed that Danger Pay under DSSR 652(f) and DSSR 652(g) are both in place for my post. Can I receive both since I am working with the military?

A: No. An employee cannot receive allowances which provide benefits for the same condition. A civilian employee receiving Danger Pay under DSSR 652(f) cannot also be paid for Danger Pay authorized under DSSR 652(g)