Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.
I own a home at my permanent assigned station which is 300 miles from my TDY location. I’m considering purchasing a home within 50 miles of his temporary duty station. Once he purchases that home does his status on TDY (living expenses, travel, etc.) end? Is he required to notify his agency that he now owns a home in his TDY area? Or is it okay if he lives part-time in the home within 50 miles of his TDY location, continue to own both homes (one at permanent station and one at temporary station) and continue to claim TDY location expenses? Does the situation described disrupt his ability to be compensated for expenses at the TDY assignment?
While on official travel, a Federal employee is eligible for compensation of actual travel expenses. See 41 C.F.R. § 301-10.1-10.2. If an employee stays at his own residence while assigned to a temporary duty station, that employee would not have any actual travel expenses. Without actual travel expenses, an employee is not entitled to compensation for travel expenses. Moreover, we note that an employee who claims compensation for travel expenses without incurring any actual travel expenses could be subject to disciplinary action and/or criminal prosecution.
Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.
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