Updated: December 23, 2022
In this Article

    Find the CONUS COLA calculator or see the CONUS COLA locations. The 2023 Continental United States (CONUS) Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) rates take effect on Jan. 1, 2023. 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


    2023 CONUS COLA By The Numbers

    • $59 a month is the highest possible CONUS COLA that a service member can receive.
    • Payments range from $33 to $59 per month for members with dependents, and $22 to $45 per month for members without dependents.
    • 6 MHAs received a decrease and 15 MHAs no longer receive CONUS COLA. 21 Non-MHA areas have been dropped from the COLA list.
    • MHAs with the Highest CONUS COLA rates
      • New York City, NY 6%
      • Long Island, NY 3%
      • San Francisco, CA 3%
      • Nantucket, MA 2%
    • MHA with the Largest Decrease in CONUS COLA:
      • Boston, MA 4% to 0%
      • Worcester, MA 4% to 0%

    Conus Cola Locations

    Military Housing Areas
    San Francisco3%
    Long Island3%
    New York City6%
    Staten Island1%
    Non-MHA Areas
    Crook County1%
    Gilliam County1%
    Jefferson County1%
    Tillamook County1%
    Union County1%
    Buchanan County1%
    Charlotte County1%
    Halifax County1%
    Henry County1%
    Lee County1%
    Martinsville County1%
    Norton County1%
    Russell County1%
    Scott County1%
    Washington County1%
    Wise County1%
    Wythe County1%
    Doddridge County1%
    Hardy County1%
    Upshur County1%

    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).

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    Written by Veteran.com Team