Basic Allowance for Housing


Basic Allowance for Housing

Basic Allowance for Housing (B-A-H) is a United States military entitlement given to many military members. It was previously called Basic allowance for quarters (BAQ).

How It Works

BAH is given to members so that they can provide housing for themselves and their dependents (usually spouse and children). BAH is given when the member and their dependents do not occupy government quarters.

BAH is non taxable money paid on a monthly basis. There are 3 factors for determining the amount of BAH:
#Pay grade (this is essentially synonymous with rank), the higher the grade, the higher the BAH.
#Location in the United States - BAH is intended to match the average monthly rent in the area where the member is stationed, thus more expensive regions (they are indexed by zip codes) to live allocate more BAH. Depending on the status of the assignment (such as temporary duty, or an unaccompanied assignment) the BAH may be calculated where the dependents actually reside.
#If the member has dependents or not. There are 2 types or BAH, with dependents and without dependents. The rationale behind this is that a single person doesn't need as much room as a couple or a family.

The United States Department of Defense is conducting a study of the pros and cons of removing the differences between with and without dependent BAH, as it is a common complaint of "prejudice" by members without dependents.

The following DO NOT affect the amount of BAH-
*The number of dependents (a member with a spouse and no children and a spouse and one or several children receive the same amount of BAH).
*The actual amount paid for rent.

Some members look for quarters who charge less than the BAH and are therefore able to keep the extra money, others find places that charge more than the BAH, and must make up the difference themselves.

dependents, synonymous, conducting

Recent Changes

In past years, BAH was not actually given in the amount necessary for a place to live, but rather a calculated difference so that those who chose to live off base would have to pay some out of "their own pocket". In recent years, that gap has been partially closed by legislation from the Clinton Administration. Once the Clinton era pay raises expired, the Bush administration returned to the previously used formula resulting in lower pay raises for the military Fact|date=February 2007.

In past years the survey was taken from servicemembers, and the monthly rent that they paid. This ended, however, when it was determined that in an effort to save money, members were moving into cheaper and cheaper places, in more decrepit neighborhoods. The DoD changed the survey method to a survey of apartments off base, rather than apartments occupied by members.

OHA

Overseas Housing Allowance, or OHA may be given instead of BAH when a member is stationed outside the United States. Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) which is similar, but has some significant differences. In OHA, each country, and each region in a country have a cap on a per month basis as to what the military will pay for housing. OHA is the exact amount of monthly rent in the local currency (so the exchange rate is taken into consideration each month as the member is paid in US dollars) up to the cap.

OHA may also be paid in certain circumstances if the dependents are living overseas, for example if a member is deployed, and the dependents stay in a country outside of the US.

Frequently a "utility allowance" also accompanies OHA. This is usually a flat rate given to the member to cover the cost of utilities, regardless of the actual amount.

ee also

*Basic Pay
*Leave and Earnings Statement (LES)

External links

* [http://usmilitary.about.com/od/militarypaycharts/a/06bah.htm BAH Charts by rank and location (in USA)]
* [http://www.letsgo-europe.com/Germany/military/overseas_housing_allowance.html OHA Charts by rank and location]
* [http://usmilitary.about.com/od/housingallowance/a/bahtype.htm How big of a house is each rank expected to have?]

* [http://www.militaryforsaleforrent.com/basic_allowance_for_housing.shtml BAH Calculator]


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