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From The Mailbag: BAH For Family's Location

Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is one of the biggest benefits of military service.  For most families, it is a large part of their overall income.  When families are separated, the "where do I get BAH" question is important for both paperwork reasons and also financial reasons.  I get a lot of questions on this topic; this question is typical:

Hey Kate!

Question on BAH! I am now on sea duty at San Diego and currently have orders to PCS accompanied shore duty to NAS Lemoore. I own a house in San Diego and my family is not going with me. Question is can I request to get the San Diego BAH for my dependents location? If I can how can I request for it.

Thank you in advance.

Ms. C

I wish there was a quick, simple answer that would give Ms. C what she is hoping to hear.  A lot of military families wish that they could keep BAH for the location where there family is living even though the service member is in a different location.  At this time, that's not how the rules work for most situations.

Ms. C,

BAH is almost always based on the service member's duty station, but there are exceptions.   Exceptions to BAH policy are made for a number of different reasons.  The most frequent are medical needs of a dependent or the non-availability of housing at the service member's duty station.  Exceptions for the convenience of the service member are rarely, if ever, approved.

You certainly can ask your command to authorize BAH at the San Diego rate, but I would be very surprised if that request is approved unless there are extenuating circumstances that you did not share.

Good luck on your move!

Kate

There are always exceptions to the rules.  For example, my husband did an Individual Augmentee assignment for two years, and he did receive BAH for the location where our family resided during that time.  And, on some level, it never hurts to ask.  If you're going to be separated, and especially if you have some unique situation, talk to your command and see what they say.

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