This week the Department of Defense announced the release of the 2013 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates, which go into effect Jan. 1, 2013. Overall rates will increase an average of 3.8 percent this year.
Veterans and eligible family members using the Post-9/11 GI Bill will also see an average increase in their housing stipend, which is based on the BAH rate for an E-5 with dependents. However, unlike the active duty BAH payment, which will go into effect at the first of the year, the GI Bill housing stipend will not go into effect until the start of the 2013-2014 academic year on August 1, 2013.
Just like the active duty BAH, the GI Bill housing stipend is rate protected. In other words, in areas where rates will decrease, the decrease will only apply to newly enrolled students or those who change their enrollment. However, they will receive the increase if the rate for their geographic area goes up. This assures that veterans and their eligible dependents are not penalized if the area's housing costs decrease.
According to the Defense Travel Management Office, there are three components are included in the BAH computation: median current market rent; average utilities (including electricity, heat, and water/sewer) and average renter's insurance.
Check out your 2013 GI Bill Housing stipend rate. Be sure to look up the rate for an E-5 with dependents.