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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Dec. 16, 2020

Members: Help DoD set the new COLA rates for all services

The Department of Defense sets new Continental U.S. (CONUS) cost-of-living allowance (COLA) rates every year for the Uniformed Services (including the Coast Guard).

Coast Guard crews prepare for the day at sunrise at Base Miami Beach and Sector Miami as the cutters and small boats are moored Dec. 4, 2020. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Victor Cruz)These rates are based, in part, on a survey – the Living Pattern Survey (LPS) – of shopping patterns by CONUS-based active members and their dependents.  The LPS is conducted once every three years and the next one launches on Jan. 1, 2021.

The survey is open to all active duty members (including Reserve members on long-term active duty) currently stationed at their CONUS duty station for at least three months.

Participation is voluntary, but we can’t over-stress how important it is for all hands in CONUS to complete the online survey! The LPS is your only opportunity to influence CONUS COLA rates.

Your input will help the DoD understand where your household purchases groceries, clothing, household furnishings, entertainment, communications and transportation.

Everybody’s input is critical, especially if you live in a high-cost location where DoD doesn’t have a significant presence.

Members: Please look for the survey launch announcement in your inbox the first week of January. It will take you about 15 minutes to complete. The LPS can be completed on any computer with Internet access – you don’t need a CAC. 

Supervisors and leaders at all levels: Please help us get the highest possible response rate. Ensure your members see this MyCG article, and regularly remind them to take the survey. 

The LPS will be available to respondents starting January 1 at the following site:

Only CONUS-based active duty members and their dependents are eligible to participate.  A family’s principal shopper should be the one that completes the LPS and please, only one survey per household.  

The 2021 CONUS Living Pattern Survey (LPS) will run through March 31, 2021.