When you have two military members married to each other, the rules regarding Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) can get a little confusing. There is one general rule, but then there are all sorts of variations depending on variables.
In general, dual military couples without dependents each receive their respective BAH. In dual military families with dependents, the higher ranking service member receives BAH at the with-dependent rate and the lower ranking service member receives BAH at the without-dependent rate.
And then there are the variations.
If dual military service members are not stationed together, and they do not have dependents, they will be treated as a single service member for purposes of BAH. This means that if the other “single” people in their unit, of the same rank, are eligible for BAH, they are eligible for BAH. If the other “single” people in their unit, of the same rank, are not authorized BAH, they are not automatically authorized BAH. They can, of course, always request BAH from the command. The results may vary. If dual military service members are not stationed together, and one service member is residing in the barracks, the other service member will continue to receive BAH at the appropriate rate.
If there are dependents, the with-dependent rate will be given for the location at which the dependents are residing. In the unlikely event that there are dependents residing at each location, each service member would be authorized BAH at the with-dependents rate. Be sure to carefully document this situation – it is likely to cause questions and confusion.
Living in Military Housing
When a dual military couple resides in military housing (government-owned or PPV), the BAH of the senior service member should be forfeited as payment for the housing. The lesser BAH remains for the family’s use.
I’m sure there are some situations that I didn’t think about…let me know and we’ll figure it out!
Note: All this stuff is listed in the Joint Federal Travel Regulations, Chapter 10: Housing Allowances, Part C: Member Married To Member. There’s a lengthy chart that lays out pretty much every single possible combination.