The aim of subsistence is to reimburse actual allowable subsistence expenditure within MOD limits. Subsistence expenses are defined as prepared food, drink, necessary personal expenditure, and temporary accommodation expenses incurred when travelling on duty.

The 2 most common elements of Subsistence are:

  1. Night Subsistence (NS) which normally consists of overnight accommodation and breakfast for an overnight absence where there is no suitable Service accommodation provision.
  2. Day Subsistence (DS) which is the re-imbursement of actual receipted costs, up to a DS limit, for expenditure necessarily incurred for food and drink (no alcohol) during the day for periods of over 5 hours’ absence from the permanent or temporary assignment station.

Night Subsistence (NS) – American Express (GBT) Booked Accommodation Procedures

All individuals on official duty, both in the UK and Overseas must book their hotels through GBT unless an exemption has been provided prior to travel.

Further information can be found at Defence travel (

From the 1 November 2021 any new UK hotel bookings using an Army UIN will be paid centrally when booked through American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) (excluding additional charges such as food and drink).

You will be given a unique booking reference – the HRG Trip Reference – to allow you to reclaim your accommodation costs via JPA. 

Email –
Phone number – 0044 844 848 4422
Opening hours are Monday to Friday 07:30hrs to 20:00hrs (UK time)
Emergency out of hours – 0203 668 2210

Day Subsistence (DS)

DS may be claimed in combination with NS as appropriate. Authority for claims for subsistence within 5 miles of the assignment station, temporary assignment station or home location are normally inappropriate unless the CO, or appropriate delegated officer, is content that the Service person’s duties make it impracticable for them to return to their duty station/home. DS reimburses breakfast and/or lunch and/or dinner costs, tax, and gratuities/service charges, except where NS is also being claimed for the same temporary duty, in which case breakfast costs are contained within NS, and not DS. Aggregation of DS claims is permitted when SP are away from their permanent duty station for 2 nights or more, this will enable personnel to submit DS claims over the whole period of detached duty, rather than accounting for expenditure against a daily limit. When aggregation is permitted, claims for receipted items of laundry may also be included within a DS claim. If receipted items of laundry are included, the daily rates of DS may not be exceeded. SP who receive light refreshments, breakfast, lunch or dinner in the working environment or any form of Official Hospitality must not claim DS for the food and drink provided under these circumstances at public expense.

Gratuities and Service Charges.

If a gratuity (which is optional) or service charge (which may be discretionary) is included in the bill, it may be reclaimed. It is recognised that countries have different customs and expected percentages vary. As a general rule, any gratuity or service charge not included in the bill may be claimed but should not normally exceed 10% of the value of the bill. SP serving in the US are entitled to claim up to 15% of the total bill.

However, a tip or gratuity may not be reclaimed when dining at a takeaway, self-service, or fast-food outlet (e.g., McDonalds). Total reimbursement for food, drinks and gratuities or service charges is restricted to the DS limit.

Subsistence Claims

It is possible to submit a range of claims via the Defence Gateway; This is ideal if you do not have JPA access. To note, it will only allow you to submit a claim if your expense account (the account that your claims are paid into) is set to ‘GBP’. If you want to swap your Expense account from ‘USD’ to ‘GBP’, please email the Pers Support Team on

For personnel with no Defence Gateway access, Personnel are requested to complete the F016A and conduct the below pre-submission checks prior to submitting this via email to

  • All yellow highlighted fields on the form have been completed by the applicant.
  • Appropriate detailed justification has been entered to match each line entry on the form.
  • A booking out form has been submitted to Unit HR to cover the period of the allowance that is being claimed for.
  • The reimbursement currency nominated on the F016a matches your nominated JPA expense account (i.e. USD to US bank nomination and GBP to UK bank nomination).
  • Supporting evidential documentation has been attached to the F016a submission email.

For further information on Subsistence, refer to JSP 752, Chapter 5, Section 1.

For questions or to find out the current US DS Rate, contact:

Last Updated: Oct 25, 2022 @ 3:27 pm

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