When you have two military members married to each other, the rules regarding Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) can get a little confusing. There is one general rule, but then there are all sorts of variations depending on variables.
In general, dual military couples without dependents each receive single BAH. A military member cannot get BAH with dependents unless they have a dependent. Another military member cannot be considered a dependent since they are entitled to their own benefits. If there is a child or other dependent involved then the rules change.
If a service member is authorized BAH with dependents for a child from another marriage or for a dependent parent they will keep that entitlement no matter what their current relationship is. Therefore, two military members not married to each other and living together could get BAH with dependents based on their status. If they get married one of them will lose the BAH with dependents, it will revert to single BAH.
Living Together In Civilian Housing
If the military couple lives together in civilian housing each is entitled to their own single BAH.
If there is a dependent child, the couple must choose which member gets BAH at the with-dependent rate. Normally this is the higher ranking member.
If there is more than one dependent child, each member cannot claim one child. One member will get BAH with dependents and the other will be entitled to BAH without dependents.
If dual military service members are not stationed together, and they do not have dependents, each will be treated as a single service member for purposes of BAH.
If they are otherwise eligible to live off base they will be eligible for single BAH.
If there are dependents, the with-dependent rate will be given for the location at which the dependents are residing. In the unlikely event that there are dependents residing at each location, each service member would be authorized BAH at the with-dependents rate. Be sure to carefully document this situation - it is likely to cause questions and confusion.
Living in Military Housing
When a dual military couple resides in military housing (government-owned or PPV), there is no BAH payable unless there is a special situation.
This special situation could include a dependent parent, a dependent child that is unable to reside with the family, due to the needs of the military, etc.
Check with your payroll office for specific details on these types of situations.
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