This month, the Department of Defense (DoD) changed the way imminent danger pay (IDP) is determined.
In the past, service members would receive $225.00 per month IDP if they spent any part of that month in an area where IDP was authorized. That changed when President Barack Obama signed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act into law on Dec. 31, 2011.
Service members will now be paid $7.50 per day only for the days they actually spend in areas that qualify for IDP.
“This is a more targeted way of handling that pay,” says Pentagon spokesman Capt. John Kirby, U.S. Navy.
IDP is paid to service members on duty “in foreign areas where they are subject to the threat of physical harm or imminent danger because of civil insurrection, civil war, terrorism, or wartime conditions,” according to the DoD. Some of the countries currently eligible include:
- Congo, Dem Rep of
- Cote d’Ivoire
“Members will see the prorated amount in their Feb. 15 pay records,” Kirby says. The services are working to waive any debts incurred by overpayments in January, when service members were paid before DoD implemented the changes, but after the law had officially taken effect.
According to DoD regulations, however, anyone coming under fire, regardless of whether they are in an areas qualifying for imminent danger pay, will still receive the full hostile fire pay of $225 for the month.
Hostile fire pay takes effect if a service member “takes hostile fire or is exposed to an explosion of a mine; is in a unit engaged in hostile action; or is killed, injured, or wounded by hostile fire or explosion of a hostile mine,” according to DoD documents. “An individual can collect hostile fire pay or imminent danger pay, but not both simultaneously.”