Find the CONUS COLA calculator or see the CONUS COLA locations. The 2020 Continental United States (CONUS) Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) rates take effect on January 1, 2020. The total amount of CONUS COLA a service member receives varies based on geographic duty location, rank, years of service and dependency status.
CONUS COLA Calculator
2020 CONUS COLA By The Numbers
- Approximately $20.2 million will be paid to approximately 12,300 service members stationed CONUS in 2020.
- $1.9 million less than last year.
- $60 a month is the highest possible CONUS COLA that a service member can receive.
- Payments range from $32 to $60 per month for members with dependents, and $22 to $45 per month for members without dependents.
- Service Members
- 12,300 service members will receive CONUS COLA (6,400 member decrease from the previous year)
- 3,300 will see an increase in their CONUS COLA payments
- 4,100 members will see a decrease
- 1,100 will see no change
- Approximately 3,800 service members will now receive CONUS COLA
- 45 areas dropped from the COLA list
- MHAs with the Highest CONUS COLA rates:
- Oakland, Calif. 6%
- San Francisco, Calif. 6%
- Staten Island, N.Y. 6%
- MHA with the Largest Increase in CONUS COLA:
- Saint Joseph, MO 0% to 2%
- MHA with the Largest Decrease in CONUS COLA:
- Detriot, MI 3% to 0%
- Willow Grove, PA 3% to 0%
- 7 MHAs will now receive an index
- 3 will receive a CONUS COLA index increase
- 3 will receive a decrease
- 7 will no longer receive CONUS COLA
- 10 MHAs will remain unchanged
- For non-MHA areas (non-metropolitan counties):
- 30 counties will now receive an index
- 0 will have an increase in their index
- 3 will lose CONUS COLA
Conus Cola Locations
|Santa Clara County||4%|
|New Haven / Fairfield||1%|
|New York City||5%|
|Philadelphia, PA / Camden, NJ||2%|
|El Dorado County||1%|
|New Madrid County||1%|
What is CONUS COLA?
CONUS COLA is a taxable supplemental allowance designed to help offset higher prices in the highest cost locations in CONUS that exceed the costs in an average CONUS location. Rates can increase, decrease, or remain the same depending on the non-housing prices in a duty location as compared to non-housing prices in an average CONUS location.
How CONUS COLA is Determined
By law, a contractor provides cost data from each military housing area (MHA) for the following categories: transportation, goods and services, federal income taxes, sales taxes, and miscellaneous expenses. Data is adjusted to account for the amount of Basic Allowance for Subsistence, an allowance meant to offset the costs for a member’s meals, and for cost savings gained from shopping at commissaries and exchanges. This information is compared to the same cost data for an average CONUS location (standard city), which serves as a benchmark. The resulting ratio is called an index. By law, a CONUS COLA rate is only prescribed when the index meets a threshold of 108 percent, meaning the costs for non-housing types of goods and services in a particular location are at least 8 percent more expensive than the standard city. An index in excess of 108 percent would qualify for CONUS COLA (e.g., a location that is 10 percent more expensive would qualify for a 2 percent COLA index).