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Temporary Quarters Subsistence Expense

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Temporary Quarters Subsistence Expenses (TQSE)
Joint Travel Regulation (JTR), Chapter 5, paras. C5350-C5392

TQSE is a discretionary allowance that is intended to reimburse employees for some costs for lodging, food, and other necessities when occupying temporary quarters. TQSE must be authorized in advance of occupancy, and may not be approved after the fact. It may be offered by the agency in the following forms:

1. TQSE (AE) Actual expense reimbursement
2. TQSE (LS) Lump Sum payment

Instead of TQSE and depending on your circumstances, your agency may determine one the following allowances will be offered:


1.  Temporary Quarters Subsistence Allowance, TQSA - is an overseas subsistence allowance governed by the State Department.  It is claimed on an Standard Form 1190, submitted through the agency authorizing it, and paid by your servicing payroll activity.  Additional information about TQSA can be located in the Department of State Standardized Regulation (DSSR) Section 120 .


2. Foreign Transfer Allowance, FTA - is a pre-departure subsistence expense paid in relation to a move to a foreign post.  It is also governed by the State Department.  FTA is made up of several elements. Among them is a pre-departure subsistence expense granted to an employee for expenses incurred prior to departing a post in the United States for a post overseas.  Contact the agency authorizing FTA for instructions on how and where to properly claim it.   Additional information about FTA can be located in the Department of State Standardized Regulation (DSSR) Section 240.

NOTE:  FTA and TQSA claims are not processed by DFAS Rome Travel Operations.  Contact your agency's travel order issuing official for additional details on these allowances.


Actual Temporary Quarters Subsistence Expenses - TQSE (AE)

(JTR, Chapter 5, pars. C5360-C5372)

In every CONUS location, TQSE (AE) is based on the CONUS Standard per diem rate ($123/day as of 10/1/2010). When it is necessary to occupy temporary quarters incident to an employee's transfer to a new duty station, subsistence expense allowances may be authorized for you and your dependents for a period not to exceed 60 consecutive days initially. Subsistence expenses include the cost of temporary lodgings, meals and/or groceries, tips and fees incident to meals and lodgings, laundry, cleaning and pressing of clothing, and other expenses detailed in JTR, par. C5370-B while the employee is looking for a permanent residence at the new duty station. Reimbursement for groceries is limited to those food and laundry items consumed or used while occupying temporary quarters. Expense of local transportation is not reimbursable. The location of the temporary quarters must be within reasonable proximity of the old or new official station.

Extensions of up to 60 days may be authorized only in situations where there is a demonstrated need, due to circumstances that occur during the initial 60-day period of temporary quarters, and which are determined to be beyond your control and acceptable to the DoD component concerned. You must provide the authorizing/order-issuing official a written justification to support approval for an additional period of TQSE allowance. Total time in temporary quarters shall not exceed 120 days.

Note: The period of TQSE (AE) allowance must be reduced or avoided if a round trip to seek permanent residence quarters has been made. The number of days paid or reimbursed for HHT is subtracted from the first 30 day period of TQSE (AE) only if greater than 30 days of TQSE (AE) has been authorized and used. The MAXIMUM DAILY allowance for the FIRST 30 days in CONUS (unless reduced by paid/used HHT) is:

Employee $123.00 or unaccompanied Spouse (100% of daily max per diem rate)
Spouse $92.25  (75% of daily max per diem rate)
Dependent 12 and over $92.25   (75% of daily max per diem rate)
Dependent under 12 $61.50 (50% of daily max per diem rate)
(Max per diem rate is the current standard CONUS rate)  

The MAXIMUM DAILY allowance for day 31 through day 120 in CONUS (if authorized additional days) is:

Employee $92.25 or unaccompanied spouse (75% of daily max per diem rate)
Spouse $61.50 (50% of daily max per diem rate)
Dependent 12 and over $61.50 (50% of daily max per diem rate)
Dependent under 12 $49.20 (40% of daily max per diem rate)
(Max per diem rate is the current standard CONUS rate)  

The actual subsistence expenses incurred must be itemized daily on DD Form 2912 (or similar form, i.e., form in Joint Travel Regulations, Chapter 5, but not a DD Form 1351-3 Statement of Actual Expenses), and submitted with the reimbursement voucher. Please note that the DD Form 2912 is a two-page form and is to be completed in its entirety. You are reimbursed for the allowable "actual" expenses incurred by yourself and your dependents, NOT TO EXCEED the maximum rates, provided the expenses are reasonable as to amount and can be substantiated. Example: If your daily cost for breakfast is $3.76, that amount must be shown on the form, not a rounded figure such as $4. Our office does not reimburse meals on claims submitted where exact dollar amounts are shown for each day. Such claims are only reimbursed the payable portion until proper correction is received. When meals are prepared from groceries purchased, the amount consumed during the 30-day period should be divided by the number of meals prepared, to get the average cost of a home meal (show this computation at the bottom of the form). This amount should appear in each meal block that a home cooked meal was eaten, and should be annotated with an "H" for home prepared on the TQSE worksheet. (Do not include non-food items, alcohol, and snacks when averaging grocery expenses; they are not reimbursable expenses.) Note: Receipts are required for meals of $75 or more (Includes any meal expense for one or more individuals). Lodging receipts also must be provided regardless of cost. TQSE must begin within one year after the employee reports for duty at the new PDS. The period of time allowed for TQSE begins for you and all dependents when any one person enters quarters for which a claim is made. The time period runs concurrently for you and all dependents. (Day one of TQSE for any one person starts day one for all; however, for anyone who is not utilizing temporary quarters there is no authorization for reimbursement.) TQSE (AE) may not be claimed for yourself or any dependents that have not permanently vacated the former residence at the old PDS. You may occupy temporary quarters at one location while your dependents occupy temporary quarters at another location, as long as the quarters reasonably relate to the old or new duty station. In this situation, separate DD Form 2912 must be completed for each location specifically identifying persons occupying at each location. The period of eligibility for TQSE terminates when you occupy or any dependent occupies permanent residence quarters or when the authorized period of time expires, whichever occurs first. The use of TQSE may begin as soon as your transfer has been authorized and a written transportation agreement has been signed. However, reimbursement may only be made after issuance of an official travel authorization. The period of consecutive temporary quarters' days may be interrupted for the following reasons:

1. Travel between old and new duty stations
2. Temporary Duty (TDY) or Military Duty
3. Hospitalization, approved sick leave
4. Other reasons beyond the employee's control and approved by the DoD component concerned

Note: When lodging is obtained from friends or relatives (including members of the immediate family) with or without charge, the cost of lodging, for the purpose of computing per diem, is zero. Also, entering into a lease agreement for a year or more does not qualify the quarters as "temporary" quarters; no lodging costs are reimbursed. Exceptions to this can be reviewed and approved under certain circumstances by the Authorized Approving Official.

Where to submit your TQSE (AE) claim
To file a TQSE (AE) voucher submit the following by fax to one of these numbers:
Commercial: 216-367-3422
DSN: 580-7833

Voucher Submission:
1. DD Form 1351-2: Include appropriate signatures and dates
2. DD Form 1614, Travel Authorization including any amendments
3. DD Form 2912 (This is a two-sided TQSE worksheet and is to be completed in its entirety), totaled, signed and dated.
4. Paid lodging receipt and lease, if applicable
5. Receipt for any single expense of $75 or more
6. Receipt for any meal expense of $75 or more for one or more individuals
7. Annotate advances received in block 9 on the DD Form 1351-2 or provide advance payment paperwork.

Lump Sum Temporary Quarters Subsistence Expenses - TQSE (LS)
(JTR, Chapter 5, pars. C5380-C5392)
The authorizing/order-issuing official has the option to offer you a lump sum TQSE amount in lieu of actual expense TQSE. (The JTR contains guidelines for offering lump sum TQSE.) Lump Sum TQSE is based on either the old or the new duty station locality rate in effect when the TQSE (LS) offer is accepted by the employee, and is paid in a lump sum. TQSE (LS) may be authorized for the number of days determined necessary, up to 30 days with no extensions under any circumstances. If offered, you must choose between TQSE (LS) and TQSE (AE), but you are under no obligation to accept the lump sum option. Once you select a TQSE method, it may not be changed. Payment of TQSE (LS) is based on the total number of individuals actually moving to the new PDS, not the number occupying temporary quarters. For example, an employee, spouse, and 2 children moving to Columbus would be paid as follows (when authorized 30 days): Based on Columbus, Ohio per diem (p/d) rate in effect 10/01/2011 $94/$56=$150
Employee: (75% of max p/d rate) $150 x .75 = $112.50 x 30 days = $3,375.00
3 Dependents: (25% of max p/d rate) 3 x ($150 x .25) = $112.50 x 30 = $3,375.00
Total Lump Sum TQSE = $6,750.00

Note: There is no deduction from TQSE (LS) for HHT days taken.

Where to submit your TQSE (LS) claim
To file a TQSE (LS) voucher submit the following documents by fax to 216-367-3422 or email dro-216-367-3422@dfas.mil.

Voucher Submission:
1. DD Form 1351-2 requesting payment of this allowance in Block 18. Be sure to include appropriate signatures and dates.
2. DD Form 1614, Travel Authorization including any amendments.
3. Annotate advances received in block 9 of the DD Form 1351-2 or provide advance payment paperwork.
4. Including the following statement signed and dated by the travelers:

  • "I have agreed to accept the offer of the TQSE Lump Sum entitlement and I certify that TQSE will be occupied and if not occupied, I am required to return the TQSE Lump Sum payment amount in full.  I certify that I have accepted the terms of this entitlement effective mm/dd/yyyy." (This effective date is the date the traveler accepted the offer from his/her agency and should fall between date the transporation agreement was signed and the issue date of orders.)
Employee's name and/or signature

Note: For Lump Sum TQSE to be paid Temporary Quarters must be occupied (See JTR Vol. 2, Chapter 5, par. C5384-A).

Note: For Lump Sum TQSE a payment is issued to you in the form of a settlement, not an advance; there is no requirement to follow-up with a settlement voucher and receipts on TQSE (LS). Taxes are withheld, and a RIT allowance may be filed on this payment in the following year.

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How to complete a DD Form 1351-2 for Temporary Quarters Subsistence Expense (TQSE)

Block 1:
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) is mandatory absent a waiver
from your agency. You may submit a DD 2762, or other
documentation as long as it contains the following to ensure payment
is properly transferred to your account:
a. The Traveler's name
b. The Traveler's SSN
c. The Traveler's address
d. The routing number
e. The account number
f. Whether the account is Checking or Savings
SPLIT DISBURSMENT when available requires an "x" in the block requesting it and the dollar amount to be sent to the Government Travel Card. If reimbursement is less than the amount requested, then the whole reimbursement would be sent to the Government Travel Card.
Block 2: Last name, first name, and middle initial of employee.
Block 3: Grade of the employee.
Block 4: Social Security Number of employee.
Block 5: Indicate "PCS" and "Member/Employee" - for employee only.
Indicate "PCS," "Member/Employee," Dependent(s) - for employee and dependents.
Indicate "PCS" and "TDY' - for TDY enroute.
Indicate "PCS," "Dependent(s)" - for dependent(s) travel only.
Blocks 6a-6d: Valid mailing address for receipt of advice of payment.
Block 6e: Valid e-mail address.
Block 7: Daytime telephone number in the event DFAS Rome should need to make contact.
Block 8: Order number listed on the orders or amendments, See DD Form 1614 Block 25), provided to the employee.
Block 9: List any and all previous payments paid from any finance office pertaining to the travel period being claimed. List "0.00" if you have not received any payments and "?" if you are not certain.
Block 10: Do Not Use - Leave Blank.
Block 11: Employee's new duty station address where employee is being assigned. (See DD Form 1614 Block 8).
Blocks 12: X Accompanied or Unaccompanied and list the dependents claimed for TQSE.
Blocks 13 through 17: Do not require completion with the Temporary Quarters Subsistence Expense
Block 18: Reimbursable Expenses:
a: List the date TQSE period being claimed began and / or ended
b: List "TQSE"
c: List the amount being claimed for TQSE.
Block 19: Does not apply to this Civilian Permanent Change of Station claim.
Block 20: Claimant Signature and Date: (a & b): Physical signature of traveler and date the voucher was signed. Both must be complete. The member signs all PCS claims.
Block 20: Supervisor/Reviewer and Date: All parts (20c, 20d, 20e, & 20f) must be completed. Check with your order issuing agency in case your claim is to be forwarded for review before submission to DFAS Rome.
Block 21: (If applicable) Handwritten name and signature of approving officer if authorizing expenses not listed on original order.
Note: Approving officer must list additional expenses authorized in block 29 and must include date signed in Block 21d.
Block 22: Leave Blank - Finance Office use only.
Blocks 23-28: Leave Blank - Finance Office use only.
Block 29: Used to clarify anything out of the ordinary, such as:
a. Indicate any and all leave periods during TDY.
b. Clarify any additional travel-related issues.
c. Reflect exchange rates when working with foreign currency.
d. List/explain any additional expense authorized after the Fact by the AO.

View the Sample Form, below then download the DD Form 1351-2 to get started!

Sample DD Form 2912 (Claim for Temporary Quarters Subsistence Expense (TQSE) (Sub-Voucher)


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Frequently Asked Questions:

Am I eligible for a TQSE allowance?
You are eligible for a TQSE allowance if you are an employee who is authorized to transfer; and
(a) Your new official station is located within the United States; and
(b) Your old and new official stations are 50 miles or more apart (as measured by map distance) via a usually traveled surface route.

Who is not eligible for a TQSE allowance?
New appointees, employees assigned under the Government Employees Training Act (5 U.S.C. 4109), and employees returning from an overseas assignment for the purpose of separation are not eligible for a TQSE allowance.

Must my agency authorize payment of a TQSE allowance?
No, your agency determines whether it is in the government's interest to pay TQSE.

May my immediate family and I occupy temporary quarters at different locations?
Yes. For example, if you must vacate your home at the old official station and report to the new official station and your family remains behind until the end of the school year, you may need to occupy temporary quarters at the new official station while your family occupies temporary quarters at the old official station.

Am I eligible for a TQSE allowance if I transfer to a foreign area?
No, you may not receive a TQSE allowance under this part when you transfer to an area outside the United States. However, you may qualify for a comparable allowance under the Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas) prescribed by the Department of State.

May the period for which I am authorized to claim actual TQSE reimbursement for myself be different from that of my immediate family?
No, the eligibility period for which you are authorized to claim actual TQSE reimbursement for yourself and for each member of your immediate family must run concurrently.

Will I receive additional TQSE reimbursement if my lump sum amount is not adequate to cover my TQSE?
No, you will not receive additional TQSE reimbursement if the lump sum amount is not adequate to cover your TQSE.

May I retain any balance left over from my TQSE reimbursement if my lump sum amount is more than adequate?
Yes, if your lump sum TQSE amount is more than adequate to cover your TQSE expenses any balance belongs to you.

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Regulatory Links

Defense Travel Management Office 
Travel Regulation
Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) 
Joint Travel Regulation (JTR) 
Financial Management Regulation, Volume 9: Travel Policy and Procedures
Government Sponsored Travel Card
Page updated September 30, 2011