Department of Defense Education Activity

Understanding Your Pay

All DoDEA Headquarters employees are paid on a biweekly basis (usually every other Friday). The salary earned in each biweekly pay period is paid seven workdays later, in the next pay period. 
Our servicing finance office is the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) and they are located in Pensacola, Florida.

It is mandatory that all new employees use direct deposit. Direct deposit provides you with more immediate access to your earning than a traditional paycheck. The Direct Deposit Sign-up Form and instructions are included the in-processing form section within this Web-site.

The Department of Defense Civilian Leave and Earnings Statement (LES): You will receive a biweekly statement by mail or you can obtain your Leave and Earnings Statement via the DoD myPay application (

myPay is an innovative, automated system that puts you in control of processing certain discretionary pay data items without using paper forms. You can also get your tax forms and travel advice of payment using myPay.

Deductions from your Biweekly Pay: There are two type of deductions: discretionary and non-discretionary. Discretionary deductions are those deductions that only you may authorize, which may include life and health insurance, thrift savings, and plan contributions. Non-discretionary deductions will occur automatically, and include withholding of federal, state, and local income taxes, FICA tax and retirement plan contributions.

The Purpose of the W-4 and W-2 Forms: Although the withholding of federal and state taxes is non-discretionary, you can make decisions that impact the amount of funds withheld from your biweekly earnings. The W-4 form allows you to designate the number of tax exemptions (i.e., family members/dependents) that will be used in determining the amount of federal tax to be withheld. You will be provided with a state tax withholding form at in processing time. As a new employee, you are required to complete a W-4 form.

Every year in late January, DFAS provides all employees with their W-2 form. The W-2 form specifies your total gross earning, federal and state withholding taxes, FICA deductions, and other financial information. You need to file the W-2 form with your federal, state, and local income tax return.