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Allotments/Allowances -- Question & Answer Listing  
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Question / Answer

Question:
What is Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)?

Answer:
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is money paid to the Soldier to offset the housing costs for off-post living. BAH is tax-free and are based on a member's active duty status, pay grade, family status and assignment location. BAH rates are based on a survey taken of local off-base rental rates.

Question:
What is Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS)?

Answer:
The Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) is a food allowance paid to the service member. Most of this allowance is deducted from the Soldier's paycheck if he/she is required to eat all his/her meals in the military dining facilities. Note that because BAS is an allowance, and not pay, it is non-taxable.

Question:
What is Living Quarters Allowance?

Answer:
Living Quarters Allowance is paid to DoD and DA Civilian employees when government housing is not provided OCONUS. It is used to rent or lease a residence. A Post allowance is provided to offset the difference of cost of living in Washington, DC, and OCONUS.

Question:
What is the Family Separation Allowance?

Answer:
Family separation allowance is payment authorized to service members who have dependent family members and is payable when a military member is forced to be away from his/her dependents for longer than 30 days, due to military orders. Contact your unit’s financial non-commissioned officer (NCO) for specifics on this allowance.

Question:
What kind of allowances am I entitled to as a DA Civilian employed overseas?

Answer:
There are a number of DoD & Department of the Army (DA) Civilian Foreign Employment Allowances that may include a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA), travel and shipment of household goods and POV, and access to military commissaries, exchanges, and Recreational facilities owned, operated, or under the jurisdiction of the DoD. Contact your Army Civilian Personal Office for more information.

Question:
Who pays for my child's educational expenses when I am serving OCONUS and a DoD school is not available?

Answer:
For authorized individuals serving in an overseas assignment, an Education Allowance is paid for elementary or secondary school attendance when a DoD school is not available OCONUS.
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