Imminent Danger Pay Changes

A change to the way that Imminent Danger Pay (IDP)  is calculated has created a small uproar amongst affected troops and their family members.  IDP is authorized for military members who are serving in areas specifically designated to receive this allowance.  The change will affect very few people, but there seems to be much misunderstanding.

Previously, IDP was paid for the entire month, even if the service member was only in a qualifying area for one day of the month.  Under the new rules, IDP will be paid on a daily basis at the rate of $7.50 per day.  If the service member is in a qualifying area for the entire month, they will receive the full month’s allowance of $225.00.  This change went into effect on 1 February 2012.

In addition, IDP will be paid at the full monthly rate for any service member who meets any of these criteria:

  • Subject to hostile fire or explosion of hostile mines;
  • On duty in an area in which he was in imminent danger of being exposed to hostile fire or explosion of hostile mines and in which, during the period he was on duty in that area, other members of the uniformed services were subject to hostile fire or explosion of hostile mines;
  • Killed, injured, or wounded by hostile fire, explosion of a hostile mine, or any other hostile action; or
  • On duty in a foreign area in which he was subject to the threat of physical harm or imminent danger on the basis of civil insurrection, civil war, terrorism, or wartime conditions.

As you can see, the change will only impact people who are traveling in or out of a designated Imminent Danger Pay area in a given month.  Service members who are serving in a designated area for the entire month will not see any change to their total allowance paid.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • mama2aidan

    “There seems to be much misunderstanding”

    That could be the motto for the military in general. Or at least the spouses who don’t bother to research before asking.

  • Jerry Reed

    What is a “qualifying area”? For example, is it the entire country of Afghanistan or a particular region within Afghanistan?

    Jerry Reed
    Tomball, Texas

    • Nellie Torres

      The entire Afghanistan is combat zone this change was very fair. Many officers and Senior NCO’s would go there for one or two days and were drawing the full month CP Allowance.

  • Wayne

    What if I am stationed at Incirlik, AFB in Turkey? Does that qualify?

    So now it’s almost as though members are being paid by the day, rather than by the month. Did I also understand correctly that my entire salary is tax exempt while serving in these areas?