Living Quarters Allowance

Definition for Living Quarters Allowance (LQA)

Living Quarters Allowance is granted for the annual cost of suitable adequate housing for an employee and his/her family at the overseas duty station.   Actual expenses for rent and utilities may be paid up to the maximum authorized by regulations.  The maximum rates are set on an annual basis by the Department of State and are reviewed every two weeks and adjusted according to foreign currency fluctuations and interim reports. Examples of reimbursable expenses include rent, electricity, gas, water, and realtor fees, if customary, reasonable, and legal under local law. Living quarters allowance rates are categorized by "quarters groups" based on the employee's grade level and his/her family size. Additional amounts of up to 10%, 20%, or 30% above the LQA rates may be allowed for larger families.

Government owned quarters, in lieu of Living Quarters Allowance, will be assigned to employees recruited for positions in certain countries and may be made available at other duty locations depending on availability.  Employees in these countries should not expect to receive payment for quarters.

To Request Living Quarters Allowance (LQA)

To request and receive your initial Living Quarters Allowance, you must submit a completed SF-1190, a completed LQA Annual/Interim Expenditures Worksheet (DSSR 130), a copy of your rental agreement showing rental costs, and estimated annual utility costs. Provide completed documents to

How Long It Will Take to Receive LQA

It will take approximately four weeks to receive your initial payment of LQA after receipt of your completed documentation.  Payment will be received in your normal biweekly check.