I'm hoping someone can help me with this... I took my first travel assignment in DC recently and have been asked to extend my contract. My recruiter asked me why I didn't take any of the per diem benefits on my last contract. I told her I thought I had and it was in my hourly wage. She states no and she'll fix it for the new contract so I "see a little more take home pay". Since they provided housing and I am not receiving the per-diem currently that means my entire $39/hr ($58.50/hr OT) wage stated in my contract is taxed currently, right? Am I correct in my understanding that any per-diem I'm getting on the next contract will be in ADDITION to my current base salary? I'm also considering asking for the stipend too. The max per diem for this area is $71 M&IE and $183-$226 for lodging. How can I negotiate getting the max allowable and does anybody ever get it and maintain that base pay?
Thank you in advance for any input you can provide!