What Is BAH? An Overview of Your Military Housing Allowance
Serving in the Armed Forces can come with some interesting benefits, and this includes housing benefits. While some troops may be wary of spending their paycheck on rental properties off-base, BAH helps you cover these expenses. This benefit can help you broaden your living horizons and be a welcomed financial help when on-base housing isn’t available. Learn more about military BAH pay and how it can help you make the move you’ve been waiting for.
Suggested read: What Home Can I Afford Now That I Don’t Get BAH?
What Is BAH’s Meaning?
BAH in the military is an acronym standing for Basic Allowance for Housing. Active-duty personnel can receive a stipend that aims at covering about 95% of the cost to rent a home. Those serving in the Reserves or the National Guard that have been on active duty for 30 days minimum are also eligible for BAH. While living off-base, you’ll still receive money to cover your rent and utilities in addition to this stipend.
The amount of military BAH pay you receive is based on different factors that make up your rate. These can include your rank, the number of dependents you have, and the average rate of rentals in your base’s real estate market.
How Does Dual Military BAH Work?
Dual military BAH works similarly to standard military pay BAH when you’re married but don’t have any dependents. In this case, the spouses in a married relationship who are on active duty will receive the rate that’s proportional to their rank and location if both are without dependents.
Things change when married troops receive BAH for military benefits but also have a child. Married couples with children will still receive BAH, but your rate will fall under the highest ranking partner’s allotment to receive the with-dependent BAH rate.
Different Types of Housing Allowances
There are different types of BAH created to help a wide range of those serving cover housing costs. Even people living in the barracks can receive BAH for military housing. Here are some of the different types of housing allowances available to those who serve:
- Partial BAH is for those serving who live in government quarters and have no dependents. Your total housing allowance is lower than traditional BAH but can help pay for expenses. Those living in barracks, on-base housing, or temporary on-base housing are eligible.
- BAH Reserve Component/Transit (BAH RC/T) can go by many names, including BAH Type 2 or BAH Type II. BAH Type II doesn’t take location into consideration to determine your rate and only looks at your rank and number of dependents. BAH RC/T is available for those serving in the National Guard who have activated less than 30 days.
- BAH-Differential (BAH-Diff) is for those living in government quarters but also paying child support. BAH Diff is not available to someone who pays less in child support than what they would be eligible for.
For couples who divorce, military divorce BAH rates are often based on BAH-Diff, but there are many factors that may determine this rate change, most notably, court decisions.
Calculating Your BAH Rate
The amount of BAH you receive can change from year to year. There are many factors such as inflation, budgets, real estate markets, location, and various other economic factors that will help determine how much you’ll receive. Using the BAH calculator provided by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) can help you more accurately determine the amount of assistance you’re eligible for.