Per diem is a daily payment to reimburse service members for the out-of-pocket cost of food, lodging, and incidental expenses that occur while on military business or temporary duty (TDY or TAD) away from their home station. Per diem sets the limit to how much a service member can be reimbursed for meals and lodging. The following is a summary of how per diem works:
The DoD Per Diem Allowance
Each year the DoD Per Diem, Travel and Transportation Committee sets the per diem allowance. Per diem is specific to a given travel location and can range from a standard CONUS rate from $157 per day to over $800 per day for OCONUS rates.
2023 Per Diem Rates
Per diem is broken down into three categories:
- Incidental Expenses
The per diem rate you will receive is based on a combination of the maximum lodging and the Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) rates as well as an incidental expense.
When you travel, you get reimbursed the meal and incidentals portion of per diem automatically. To be reimbursed for your lodging, you must submit receipts showing the lodging's actual cost, or you can use your government charge card to have your receipts automatically entered to your travel account in some cases.
For travel to most locations in the continental United States, you are reimbursed based on the standard per diem rates. For 2023 those rates are $98 for lodging and $54 for meals. There is also a $5 daily incidental allowance.
If your lodging costs less than the maximum amount of $98, you will be reimbursed only the actual cost; if it costs more, you have to pay the difference out-of-pocket.
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule: It's nearly impossible to find a hotel in any major city for $98, so there are several "high-cost" areas that have higher limits for lodging. These areas may have higher reimbursement for meals as well. Also, some areas have higher per diem rates during tourist season, when prices go up. However, for most of the U.S., standard per diem rates apply.
To find the specific per diem rate for a given location visit the DoD Travel and Per Diem website.
Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) Mileage Reimbursement Rates
|If no Government-Owned Vehicle is available (TDY)||$0.625|
|Mileage Allowance in-lieu of Transportation (MALT) Rate (PCS)||$0.22|
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