DOD has released the 2018 CONUS COLA rates and approximately 7,000 less military members will be eligible for the pay in the coming year.
CONUS COLA is paid to military members stationed in hi-cost areas in the US. It is a taxable pay that is paid in addition to regular pay and station allowances. The rate varies by geographic location, rank, years of service, and dependency status. CONUS COLA differs from BAH because it takes all the associated costs of living into consideration when computing the amount. CONUS COLA can also be paid to servicemembers living in base housing, in barracks, or onboard ships.
Changes for 2018
In 2018 there will be 2 new military housing areas eligible for CONUS COLA: Nantucket & Martha's Vinyard, MA, while 16 military housing areas will no longer receive CONUS COLA. This brings the total number of locations eligible for CONUS COLA to 59. The biggest percentage change was Staten Island, NY which saw a 7 percent decrease and Atlantic City, NJ which saw a 6 percent increase.