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Relocating

Are you considering relocating your federal career - either by your choice or by Uncle Sam? There are practical issues and concerns to think about when deciding whether or not to relocate. Others have done it while still others have not. This forum will allow for all to offer their insight, post their questions, and help each other out.

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Decadence  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, March 28, 2017 11:15:37 PM(UTC)
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So basically, I was given a TO. After that, they did the LQA/Transportation Agreement determination. I am currently a DoD contractor in Afghanistan. As such, they determined I was entitled to LQA/Relocation because I fall into the category of people who were employed immediately preceding this GS position in a combat zone in support of the DoD...and I have a return clause in my contract with my company that says they will pay for my airfare back to my HOR.

Now, the weird part. I just got contacted today by my HR specialist giving me an EOD, but I was concerned about the date, so I called her. Found out, they were under the impression that my family would be flying from the US and I would be flying straight there from the combat zone. What? How would that even work? There are specific guidelines on how you have to leave theater. How would I be able to do all the things I need to do if I didn't go home first? It just doesn't make sense to me.

While I wait for them to figure out what to do, I'm just wondering if anyone has heard of this and if there is a way to still be entitled to LQA but be able to go home to handle your business prior to flying to your work destination.

Edited by user Friday, March 31, 2017 6:04:36 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

DaVinci95  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, March 29, 2017 6:20:57 AM(UTC)
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I was in a similar situation a few years ago. I requested that they push back the EOD so that I would have 4 weeks back in the States to pack up and put the house on the market. You shouldn't have to pay anything out of pocket since your HOR is not Afghanistan. I was able to take care of the paperwork (except the medical exam) and passport applications from Afghanistan.
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Decadence on 3/30/2017(UTC)
mudpie  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, March 29, 2017 8:46:22 AM(UTC)

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Good luck with that. Research DoDI 1400.25 Sect 1250. Applicants must have CONUS residency for at least 1 year, between the point of job application and the "Final Offer" letter. Pretty straight forward. Some agency sub regulations also apply.
Decadence  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, March 29, 2017 8:59:44 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: mudpie Go to Quoted Post
Good luck with that. Research DoDI 1400.25 Sect 1250. Applicants must have CONUS residency for at least 1 year, between the point of job application and the "Final Offer" letter. Pretty straight forward. Some agency sub regulations also apply.


I think your verbiage is a little off there. For one, most job applications don't take an entire year to develop from application to "Firm Job Offer", so how could they require applicants to have 1 year of CONUS residency "between" the point of application and FJO? I'm guessing you mean that you have to have at least 1 year of CONUS residency accruing up to, and including the entire time "between" the application and FJO. However, even that would be wrong. There are provisions in place for people in my situation who are employed overseas to a combat zone.

Per DSSR 031.15 - As far as meeting the 1 year in CONUS requirement currently, I meet that due to being out of the US for the sole purpose of working for a contracting company supporting DoD mission in a combat zone as determined by the state department. And prior to taking this job, I was in the US for 18 consecutive months. I am also authorized to return to the US during "recruitment" without jeopardizing my LQA.

Now to wait and see if there are any more hurdles to jump through just to take a job...haha.

Edited by user Thursday, March 30, 2017 10:12:21 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Decadence  
#5 Posted : Thursday, March 30, 2017 8:15:45 PM(UTC)
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Ok, just trying to put as much information as I can in this thread to maybe help others out in the future. Sooo, let's start at the top.

DSSR 031.15

"Quarters allowances may be granted to employees who, immediately prior to appointment or assignment to the position for which recruited, were deployed or employed in a combat zone supporting contingency operations by: (1) the United States Government, including its Armed Forces; or (2) a single United States firm, organization, or interest not immediately preceded by any prior such employment overseas; or (3) an international organization in which the United States Government participates; and immediately prior to meeting one of the above circumstances, were customarily resident in the United States, its territories, or possessions, or had met one of the above conditions and returned to the United States, its territories, or possessions during recruitment."

Now pay attention to that last part. "...or had met one of the above conditions and returned to the United States, its territories, or possessions during recruitment.".

So basically, in my case, I was in the US for 18 months, I then left to take this position in Afghanistan (combat zone per department of state) working as a DoD contractor. Because of that, I meet the above condition (2). Now, since I meet that condition currently, I am authorized DURING recruitment of this GS job, to go back to the US, presumably to prepare for my move. It seems like they thought this through...not surprising. So my HR/employee relations team have now stated that I would be entitled to LQA still, but I would need to do another eligibility determination document.

Now, regarding the "Transportation Agreement" that is still up in the air, they have not provided any regulation that they are using to justify why they are saying if I go home I won't be entitled to any kind of transportation agreement. I am pretty sure I know what they're using, but don't want to say anything until they provide the exact reg/instruction they are quoting.

I'll keep this updated as we go.

Edited by user Thursday, March 30, 2017 8:16:48 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Decadence  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, April 05, 2017 9:21:50 AM(UTC)
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I just wanted to give a quick update on my situation. Long story short, it was agreed that since I am not in a normal OCONUS position, but rather a combat zone, I should be able to travel back home to my HOR and PCS from there, at no expense to me and without jeopardizing my eligibility determination. Glad I got this resolved, and hopefully if someone runs into the same issue in the future, they can get to the same resolution.
DaVinci95  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, April 05, 2017 11:17:51 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Decadence Go to Quoted Post
I just wanted to give a quick update on my situation. Long story short, it was agreed that since I am not in a normal OCONUS position, but rather a combat zone, I should be able to travel back home to my HOR and PCS from there, at no expense to me and without jeopardizing my eligibility determination. Glad I got this resolved, and hopefully if someone runs into the same issue in the future, they can get to the same resolution.


Congrats and godspeed!
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Decadence on 4/5/2017(UTC)
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