What Is BAH?
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) are funds in addition to your basic pay that many military members receive when they are married or have dependents. While serving, you are eligible for free government housing, many times this is a room in the barracks or a house on base, but sometimes those quarters are not available or other circumstances are present that requires you to get your own place off base, this is what BAH is supposed to pay for.
For active component service members, BAH rates vary by rank, dependent status, and assigned permanent duty station. During deployment, the BAH rate continues to be based on the assigned permanent duty station. This rate does not change even if dependents choose to relocate to another area for duration of deployment. For reserve component members, BAH rates vary by rank, dependent status, and home of residence zip code.
Typically all jr enlisted members will live in the barracks on base, the notable exceptions to this rule is if you are married, have dependents or the barracks are 100% full. In many branches, such as the Air Force at E-5, when you reach a higher pay grade you are eligible for BAH even if you do not have dependents.
There are some bases/ports/forts that have very limited barracks on base, so getting approved for off base housing will be easier in those circumstances. You would submit a request through your Chain of Command to see if you qualify.
Any adjustments made to the rates of BAH take effect on January 1 of every year.
Will You Get the military housing allowance While At Boot Camp?
You are entitled to a housing allowance while you are in basic training if you are claiming any dependents. Your first paycheck will contain your base pay as well as your housing allowance. If you are not claiming any dependents, your paycheck will only contain your base pay.
Since you cant take your family with you while your at basic training, you would be eligible to receive this money to help pay the rent back home where your dependents are. Many times this could be an additional $1000 or more a month tax free… So it is important to find out if you are eligible.
The amount you get will be determined by the your pay grade, geographic duty location and dependency status. This money is an allowance and is not considered taxable income.
Click here for the official BAH calculator