Federal Travelers Will Get a Small Per Diem Boost in 2020

The General Services Administration has made a number of changes to non-standard area designations, where reimbursement rates are higher.

Federal employees who travel for their jobs will be reimbursed at a slightly higher rate for lodging in fiscal 2020, the General Services Administration announced Thursday. 

Beginning Oct. 1, the standard lodging rate will increase from $94 to $96. The new fiscal 2020 rate applies to approximately 2,600 counties in the continental United States. The standard reimbursement rate for meals and incidental expenses will remain the same at $55 per day.  

There are, however, 322 non-standard areas designated in 2020 that will have higher per diem rates. For example, the per diem lodging rate in the Washington, D.C., metro area (depending on location in the metro area and month of the year), ranges from $184 to $256 in 2020. That compares to a range of $181 to $251 in 2019.

Among the 2020 changes in areas designated as non-standard: 

  • Boise, Idaho, is a new non-standard location.
  • Park County, Montana has been added to the Big Sky, Montana, non-standard area.
  • Missoula and Flathead counties in Montana were separated into their own non-standard areas instead of a combined non-standard area.
  • A number of counties will lose their former non-standard designation: Dover, Delaware; South Bend, Indiana; Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, Stevensville, Missouri; Lake County, Montana, Medina County, Ohio; Aiken County, South Carolina; Sheboygan County, Wisconsin.

For more detailed information, GSA has a per diem map where users can look up specific rates. The agency also offers a mobile app for users.