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OPM Contact: Jo-Ann Chabot
The claimant, a civilian employee of the [agency] who works overseas, has submitted a claim for a living quarters allowance (LQA). The claim is denied for the reasons stated below.
The claimant separated from military service with the [agency] on January 31, 1995, while he was stationed overseas. On June 29, 1998, the [agency] appointed him to an overseas position under a Veterans' Readjustment Appointment. Between January 1995 and June 1998, the claimant remained overseas, applying for and receiving veterans' disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). The claimant reports that the DVA found that he had a service-connected disability and was qualified to receive vocational rehabilitation. He also reports that he participated in the overseas study programs of two American universities and, as a full-time student, received a subsistence allowance from the DVA. The claimant completed his university studies in May 1998 and received a Bachelor of Science degree. On April 29, 1999, the [agency] denied the claimant's request for an LQA because his circumstances did not fulfill the requirements in Department of Defense (DoD) regulation, 1400.25-M, subchapter 1250, paragraph E 1a (2)(a).
Under section 031.12 of the Department of State's Standardized Regulations (DSSR), LQAs may be granted to an employee who is recruited outside the United States to fill overseas positions when: (1) the employee's residence overseas is attributable to his employment by the United States Government; and (2) prior to the current appointment, the employee previously had been continuously employed by the United States Government or other specified organizations under conditions providing for the employee's return transportation to the United States. DoD regulation, 1400.25-M, subchapter 1250, paragraph E 1a (2)(a), specifies that, under DSSR section 031.12(b), service members and civilian employees shall be considered to have substantially continuous employment for up to one year from the date of separation or when transportation entitlement is lost, or until the retired or separated member uses any portion of the entitlement for government transportation back to the United States, whichever occurs first.
The claimant's separation from military service occurred on January 31, 1995 and he was not appointed to a civilian position with the United States Government until June 29, 1998. Under the DoD regulation, his period of "substantially continuous service" expired on January 31, 1996. In view of this, the claimant is not entitled to an LQA. Therefore, the [agency's] decision of April 29, 1999 regarding the claimant's entitlement to an LQA is affirmed and the claim for an LQA is denied.
This settlement is final. No further administrative review is available within the Office of Personnel Management. Nothing in this settlement limits the claimant's right to bring an action in an appropriate United States Court.