WASHINGTON (Feb. 2, 2012) – Service members now will receive imminent danger pay only for days they actually spend in hazardous areas, Pentagon officials said here today.
The change, which took effect yesterday, was included in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law Dec. 31.
“Members will see the prorated amount in their Feb. 15 pay records,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. John Kirby said.
The act called for DOD to pay service members imminent danger pay only for the time they spend in areas that qualify for the pay. In the past, service members received $225 per month if they spent any time that month in an area where the pay was authorized.
“This is a more targeted way of handling that pay,” Kirby said.
Now, service members will receive $7.50 a day for days spent in these areas. Personnel who travel to the designated areas for periods less than 30 days should keep track of the number of days they are in the area to verify that they are paid for the correct number of days, officials said.
The military services are working to waive or remit debts for members who may have been overpaid for January, officials said. The services can waive this “when there is no indication of fraud, fault, misrepresentation, or when members were unaware they were overpaid,” Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said.
Proration is based on a 30-day month, which translates into a rate of $7.50 per day. It does not matter if the month is 28 or 31 days long, officials explained; if service members serve in affected areas for the complete month, they will receive the full rate of $225 per month.
The Defense Department defines imminent danger pay areas as places where members are subject to the threat of physical harm or imminent danger because of civil insurrection, civil war, terrorism or wartime conditions.
Service members who come under fire, regardless of location, will receive the full monthly hostile-fire pay amount of $225.
Service members will receive notification of the change via emails, on the MyPay system, on social media sites and via the chain of command.