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Department of State Standardized Regulations - (Last updated 03/05/2006)





511 Definitions


For the purpose of this chapter:


a. "Post hardship differential" means the additional compensation of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, or 35 percent over basic compensation granted pursuant to Title II, Part D of the Overseas Differentials and Allowances Act (P.L. 86-707) and provisions of this chapter to employees (Sections 031.3 and 040i) at differential posts. (eff. 03/05/06, TL:SR 661)


b. "Differential post" means:


(1) a place listed individually in Section 920 for which a hardship differential rate other than zero is shown in column 6; or


(2) a place which is not listed individually in Section 920, but which is located in a country or area for which a hardship differential rate other than zero is    shown in column 6 of Section 920.


c. "Detail" means detail as defined in Section 040p for a minimum of 24 consecutive hours, counted from the time of arrival at a place other than the employee’s post (Section 040h) including also all periods of leave while serving at the place of detail.


d. "Day" means each midnight, including the midnight of the 24-hour period required by "c" above, occurring while the employee is on detail at a differential post.


512 Scope


Hardship differential is designed to provide additional compensation to employees for service at places in foreign areas where conditions of environment differ substantially from conditions of environment in the continental United States and warrant additional compensation as a recruitment and retention incentive.


513 Basis for Hardship Differential


513.1 Classification


A hardship differential is established for any place when, and only when, the place involves extraordinarily difficult living conditions, excessive physical hardship, or notably unhealthful conditions affecting the majority of employees officially stationed or detailed at that place.  Living costs are not considered in differential determination.


513.2 Periodic Review


Conditions at differential posts are reviewed periodically, but at least biennially, to insure that the payment of hardship differential shall continue only during the continuance of conditions justifying such payment.  As periodic reviews indicate changes in living conditions, rates of differential may increase or decrease.  Gradual improvements at a post which are noted during these reviews may be insufficient to justify an immediate decrease but may accumulate to form the basis for a decrease at a later time.  Such a decrease may take effect while an employee is en route to his/her post or shortly after his/her arrival.  Conversely, worsening conditions at a post may result in an increase in hardship differential which would benefit an employee even though he/she had just arrived.