Senate Plan Would Cut Dual Mil BAH

Dual military couples (and anyone who is concerned about cuts to military pay and benefits) need to pay attention to a provision of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s  recommendations for the Fiscal Year 2016 defense authorization bill.  This provision, which is only a suggestion at this time, would dramatically cut Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for dual military couples who are stationed within the same geographic region.

Under current rules, both service members in a dual military couple are eligible for BAH.  If the couple has no dependents, each member receives BAH at the without dependents rate.  If the couple has dependents, one member (usually the senior, but not always) receives BAH at the with dependents rate and one member receives BAH at the without dependents rate.

If the Senate proposed changes become law, then only the senior of the two service members would receive BAH.  He or she would receive the with dependents rate even if the dual military couple does not have dependents.  In essence, the junior service member would become a dependent for purposes of BAH.

I strongly oppose this change because I believe that it unfairly penalizes dual military couples for the employment status of their spouse.   Total military compensation must consider all the pays and allowances to which each service member is entitled.  Changes to the current BAH rules would decrease total military compensation for the junior spouse, by thousands to tens of thousands of dollars each year.  In addition to being wrong, it would decrease retention and increase certain other costs (such as health care costs and PCS moving expenses.)

I 100% believe that the military needs to find places to make serious cuts.  I do not believe that cutting military compensation is the right place to look for savings.

The two houses of Congress will be working towards a joint defense bill in upcoming sessions.  If you have a strong opinion on this change, or any of the other changes that are included in the two bills, I encourage you to contact your legislators to voice your thoughts.  The MOAA website has a great interactive form that helps you to send emails to the right people for your location, and has suggested wording if writing that type of stuff is hard for you.


About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Allen

    Another slap in the face to the military, especially since one of the member’s of the Armed Services Committee is a reserve Colonel and Senator who does not need the additional income a dual enlisted military couple would. It is easy for them to send us overseas to fight wars when it is convenient for them but when it comes to supporting us back home, they seem to only want to take what we have deserved for fighting those wars. What a disgrace our government is!

  • Just saying

    It’s not about need. It’s about fair and just compensation for work/services rendered. BAH is part of RMC, and RMC is what is used to compare military pay to civilian pay. Take away BAH and you are paying someone less to do the same job they were doing.

    It doesn’t matter that they have a house, or if they need it, all that matters is that is their paycheck, their earnings, that is put in this special allowance to save the Govt money on retirement and disability payments.

    • denise

      I agree with you its not about need its about fair and just…they both signed a contract so they should both get what they were promised. After all the pay scale is not suppose to be a suggestion its suppose to be a given. I am tired of the millitary both retired and active duty getting the shaft. How about we cut the senate nd the other houses wages..they make too much for the little that they do, after all they could not even live with what we make whether its active duty or retired and they still want to take take take from us!

  • Natalie S.

    Reasons why this legislation is rediculous:
    1.) As stated, equal work for equal pay. Each person serves in their own right under their own contract and deserves equal compensation for their service regardless of who their spouse works for.
    2.) This legislation unfairly targets a particular group of people. The argument that BAH is an entitlement only for use on housing expenses and that member to member couples are the group exploiting this benefit ignores that fact that BAH is an unmanaged benefit. It is given to each person and the way in which it is spent is not tracked. If a military member wants to have a roommate to improve their financial situation or caliber of housing he/she is not asked to provide that information and have their BAH reduced accordingly. If a military member wants to rent at a discounted rate from family or friends which is offset from local cost of living they are free to do that and pocket the remainder of their BAH. If a person’s civilian spouse makes more than enough income to cover the service member’s living expenses for their household, they are not asked to produce their civilian spouse’s tax information and prove that they need their BAH benefit for housing. If a person wants to live in an apartment that is considerably cheaper than the housing they are entitled to and pocket the remainder of their BAH, or live in a camper parked on base and use their BAH benefit to pay off student loans that would not be tracked either. Unless the military wants to switch to a managed system that tracks each persons lease, need for BAH, and how BAH is spent by each person, than taking it away from couples is discrimination.
    3.) There is no law or rule that I’m aware of that requires married individuals to live under the same roof. That may be unconventional, but it is still an assumption none the less.
    4.) On the one hand, being legally married in the military is a dual service couple’s only chance at being stationed together in their careers. On the other hand this bill would force those couples into a pay cut and cause them to make less then their equally qualified equally serving counterparts if they do marry. I find that an unfair catch 22.

  • Natalie S.

    Just an add on to reason #2.. If a member’s spouse is a civilian that also is a government employee, say a GS13 working on base married to a O3. Both spouses are collecting a federal government pay check and are free to make as much money as they are able. The military member would still receive BAH, regardless of the spouse’s government income. This would not be labeled “double-dipping.” The military member would be free to pocket their BAH because it is that individual’s entitlement earned by their service.

  • Crazy

    Dual military members get your bankruptcy paperwork together… especially if you have multiple young children that rely on daycare ect…. LOL

  • Hal

    I live in Washington DC and for an O-3 over 4 years the BAH is close to $2000/month. Where are these people living that they need $4000/month…these excesses did not exist in the pre-9/11 military which most people forget. I say this is a benefit to the country, use the saved funds for training or upgrading equipment. Don’t forget, just because you serve this country doesnt mean you GET the right to drive a BMW and live in a $500,000 home. Currently federal/military incomes are out pacing civilian incomes, guess we’re headed for a dependent state.

    • SeniorPerson

      Were you in the pre-9/11 military? No, you weren’t. I was, as so was my spouse, and this benefit did exist during that time. Please do your research before you spout off. Maybe with a little more time in uniform you will gain some wisdom.

    • sw614

      What excesses did not exist before 9-11? Both members drawing BAH?

      A member takes the oath, signs a contract, and the rules state that member can draw what that member is entitled to. The spouses occupation should not come into play.

      Want to cut expenditures and benefit the country? Look at the 65% of the budget that us exempt from sequestration cuts and see where those might be curtailed. This decrease in BAH falls into the same category as cutting the commissaries, another nickle and dime effort against the people who serve this country while other who do not get free stuff beyond what they need.

    • Nick

      Clearly you’re a young, inexperienced O3…so I’ll be gentle. Maybe after a few years of personal development (including children and a spouse) you will reconsider your above comments. $2000 a month for a family of 4 or 5 in the DC area is absolutely not possible (unless you are okay with living 45-60 minutes out). As a physician in the military (13 years in now)…my pay is no where near a civilian’s pay for the same medical specialty. Do your research kid.

    • KiLM

      Well I am dual military Living in Hawaii, with an infant, another on the way and pets. My daughter goes through $75 of formula a week, and that’s not all she eats. As dual military our income is “too high” to get WIC and that won’t change if they cut our BAH. We live in military housing, with normal family cars with decent gas mileage to save money.
      So saying that we make too much to support our family would be ridiculous. Unless you plan on paying to feed my kids and pets then I suggest you better research the cost of raising a family. Plus daycare out here is over $600/ a month. Basically my entire BAH paycheck covers feeding and caring for my children, while my spouses covers our house.

      • Gary

        All Numbers Based on E-1 (past 4 months of service) with one dependent *All numbers are from DOD websites*
        Base Pay = $1,547 per month x 2 = $3,094
        BAH for Hickam = $2,922(dep. Rate) + $2,190(single rate) = $5,112
        COLA with one dependent = $645
        BAS = $367 per month x2 = $734
        Monthly = $9,585 —– Yearly= $115,020

        The State of Hawaii’s median income was $80,681 for three person household in 2015. The above numbers are the minimum income you and your spouse could make yearly. Your taxed income only includes your base pay ($37,128), so you are not even taxed as much as the average household there. I was stationed at an overseas location where mil to mil banked, then complained they couldn’t pay bills without two BAH’s. Be honest and acknowledge that without one BAH you and your spouse still make enough to exceed the local median income by around $8,000. I understanding living comfortably but have seen mil to mil live way too comfortably overseas, using their BAH that is meant for housing, not luxuries.

    • JLL

      Clearly the “saved” money will go to towards training or upgrading equipment. Yes training and equipment provided by retired COL’s that doesn’t not help the operational readiness nor is it wanted by the force. Do your research. No one said anything about a BMW, that was probably paid for doing multiple deployments.

  • David

    I doesn’t affect me personally because Im not Mil to Mil. I d think its a better way to cut cost than them talking about cutting Post 911 GI bill. I know Mil to Mil would disagree, but BAH is to help house a service member and their family. Why does anyone need 2 BAH in a household if they are in the same Geographical location. I think it should only be if in different areas that they can receive duel BAH

    • wambulance

      You’re dependents get free medical and dental. Go live in the civilian world and pay for your family’s insurance not to mention all the programs they are entitled and more than likely disrespect and take advantage of.

      • Fedup

        First: go to school; “you’re” vice “your” usage shows illiteracy.
        Second: dependent spouse move with their service member’s requirements and are not able to set roots within the civilian community with long term employment and benefit packages and therefore deserve compensation.
        Third: anyone can stand on the corner and point out negativity, trying doing something with a positive impact that is worthy. if not… migrate to Canada as we don’t need you here.

  • JohnD

    Notice how they don’t offer to cut their own extravagant benifits to help the taxpayers and the overburdened country! Are they the rRoman senate? Where is the Rubicon?

  • AnnouncerAce

    The co-habitation possibilities under the current pay system are endless. The simple solution is to combine all routine allowances as normal base pay just like other government employees. The benefits are simplified accounting; increased retirement in real dollars; all compensation is tied to the Cost of Living Index; everyone gets equal pay for equal work; and morale improves because members know they’re being treated fairly. All housing is not equal, so if members are required (or choose) to live on post/base, determine the value of their house or dorm room according to the local market and deduct it. Limit additional compensation only for combat zones or hazardous duty. This will probably require some one-time adjustments and numbers juggling at DFAS.

    • sw614

      As retirement is tied to taxable income (base pay) will it have to be recalculated ti take the additional taxable income into account?

      Would make for a nice retirement check.

  • Jim Green

    I despise all the attempts to cut pay, benefits and support services. People are the primary and most indispensable resource of any organization and especially our armed forces. No other item should ever be funded until all personnel items are fully funded and then other lines can be negotiated. Not a single penny should be spent on tax returns to imprisoned felons, welfare and other BS to illegal aliens or even most welfare programs and art programs until the entire justified military budget is funded. Political expediency carves us to the bone and then they all come crying when something bad happens. I am tired, retired, broken and angry. This BS has to stop now!

  • Joel Davidson

    Simply discrimination against married couples. I guess they can all get divorced and continue to get the benefit but that would eventually mean they would not be stationed together. Typical anti-family move.

    • Guest

      You can’t be serious? In my experiences, it’ has been more anti-single Soldier than anything. It’s an entitlement that you may/may not be entitled to depending on who’s party is controlling the purse. Would you prefer to keep your dual BAH and have to pay for your own medical expenses while in garrison or this? Not saying you but the overinflated sense of entitlement by my fellow servicemembers these days is mind blowing. I can only imagine what the outcry would be if they made you pay for 25% of your tuition like they use to or if base pay was still at 1998 levels. If you joined to for riches then you all picked the wrong profession. Change your lifestyles

      • bp15

        entitlement? as in BAH? so they should take everyone’s? you give up your BAH and I will give up mine.

  • Stephanie

    This is horrible and should not happen. Both my husband and I have earned the right to collect our benefits. I completely agree that cuts need to be made… However those cuts need to be made elsewhere instead of off the backs of the service members. How about looking at the medical providers that are being paid tax free special pay and they haven’t seen a patient for years…or look at our aupply systems… Why can’t we order supplies off of the economy at a cheaper price than using the “GSA approved” suppliers that charge 50-150% higher. There are ways to cut back… Why don’t you talk to the men and women who are on the ground…

  • Fedup

    This will simply result in co-habitation vice marriage further eroding morale values for the sake of playing the numbers game. Human nature is to adapt to the environment. Nothing will be gained from this. Another political “Great Idea” without thought without considering the long term out come.
    You want REAL cuts… revert to patriotism politics; if it’s good enough for service members it’s good enough for politicians. Get rid of expense accounts, limo services, funding for second residences and such; make capital hill a military style compound with barracks, dinning hall, and a shuttle.
    Oh yeah, bare lobbyists too.

  • tired

    Just when you think they cannot come up with a more stupid idea they do. Dual military are both entitled to their BAH. They both signed a contract, most likely both have multiple deployments where they both had to leave their children atthe same time and now to even suggest taking one of their entitlements away is a spit in the face.

  • AF Guy

    So sick of our government targeting our military personnel to recover funds politicians have wasted for decades through poor fiscal management. Why should we (military) pay the price for their incompetence? Maybe they should change foreign policy so we don’t need such a robust Military. Stop being the world police and pissing off the rest of the world. Things continue to ramp up, Russia, South China Sea, ISIS, North Korea, etc. yet big governement keeps finding ways to try and cut military pay and benefits. Who will serve after they’ve started WW3? Bettter learn Chinese and Russian, because they are going to completely own us one day whether through war or, more likely, continuing to allow them to buy our lands and borrowing money from them.

    • Guest

      can you be more dramatic??

  • angmck

    People, BAH is NOT income, it’s money provided for you to have a home for your family. It’s not intended to be income, therefore if both spouses are military, only one should get the BAH, because it is for their ONE FAMILY. I think that many people don’t realize that BAH used to not exist, you use to have to live in base housing, and of course if you were dual military, you still only rated one house for your whole family. The fact they give BAH now only means that the ONE FAMILY can live off base.

    • angmck

      After all, it’s not like your dependents are entitled to double anything else, not like you get double the healthcare, double the commissary benefits, etc.

      • Michelle

        I am part of a dual military couple, and I did not join for riches. I joined to be able to care for myself. As a mil-to-mil couple, I am expected to serve at any given time with or without my husband’s financial and or physical support. failure to structure our lives in this way could lead to us early separation from the military. My service, my military obligation is separate from my husband’s and my pay should be too.

    • Jim Green

      2. Purpose and Goal
      The purpose of the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) program is to provide fair housing allowances to service members. The goal of the program is to help members cover the costs of housing in the private sector; therefore, rental‐housing costs in the private sector are the basis for the allowance. Members receive a housing allowance when government quarters are not available. DoD determines an equitable housing allowance to enable members to afford suitable rental housing near their duty location. The allowance is set based on geographic duty location, pay grade, and dependent status.
      This is from the DTMA manual as they are the responsible agency. you should also consider that the taxpayer gets over when a significant portion of ones pay is not taxable and excluded from retirement entitlement. BAH was a means of saving money in a manner that nobody noticed. Finally, one of the objectives of legislation is to promote familial bonds as this creates a more stable society. This idea is contrary to that higher order aspiration.

      We give billions to countries that act against our interests. We are giving billions in various Great Sociey programs, some of which goes to illegal aliens. Our government also mandates year end spending in order to execute 100% of budgeted funds which generates unbelievable billions in wasteful spending. There are many more reasonable place to cut.

    • Joe

      “People, BAH is NOT income, it’s money provided for you to have a home for your family.”

      According to Title 37 USC 403 BAH is an individual entitlement for each service member. I understand you think an individual who makes a choice to share their residence with another military member should loose that entitlement. Apparently the Senate also thinks this way as the NDAA as defined by H.R. 1735 specifically targets military members married to other military members and military members living with other military members. Illogically the bill treats those who are married worse than those who are simply roommates.

    • Jennifer

      Actually, in the legal sense, BAH is treated as income.

  • Retired USAF

    How can any rational thinking person think it is right for a married couple to receive BAH twice when they they reside together in a single dwelling? This was a stupid idea to begin with. If the couple is stationed at different locations then of course each would be entitled to BAH but they should not be able to double dip if living in the same house.

  • Retired Military

    I retired from the military and knew many mil-to-mil couples. I was one for a while and while I was married to another mil both of our BAH was taken away as we lived on base housing. So they took both of our BAH payments. No complaint as we received a free home/utilities. Most of the mil-to-mil couples use their extra BAH for a car payment or other stuff. In the case of overseas housing allowance (OHA) the government takes back the unused balance of OHA. So if rent/mortage is 1200.00 a month and you receive 1500.00 per month the govenrment takes 300.00 from your OHA. They should apply the same rules for BAH in the US. Just because the you are serving on your own right doesn’t mean the government has to pay for two homes. BAH is entitlement – not pay and the goivernment can revoke entitlements. Bottom line – its abusing the system.

    • Just saying

      It’s not abuse. And it’s not a free home.

      Base Pay + BAH + BAS + TA = Regular Military Compensation.

      That means that an individuals worth is made up of those four components. Why would you take one component away, and compensate an individual 25% less just because they are married.

      • Retired Military

        Try being stationed overseas overseas and make that argument. The unused portion of your BAH/OHA is taken back – you do not keep the unused remainder. So are they taking your pay if you are stationed overseas? They will take the OHA with dependent rate (for one person) and divide it between the two members to compute the total amount of OHA entitled per military couple as they are considered “sharers”. Why the difference if you are stationed in the US? The same practice should happen stateside to BAH. It would save millions of dollars annually and still afford the military couple to live off base.

        Now – why should the government pay a couple two BAH payments when they could mandate that they live on base in one house? Law restricts BAH entitlement to the non-availability of government quarters. If there are open houses on base then dual couples should be required to live on base (provided they both work on the same base) since dual mil-to-mil couples would be the biggest cost savings to the government.

        An individual’s worth to the military is calculated by their ability to deploy not by a computation of pay and allowances (and I stress the word allowance not entitlement).

        Its abuse of the intent for BAH.


        Joint Federal Travel Regulation:

        • guest

          It is unjust to single out dual mil. They should not be alone rowing in the boat. They are just an easier target because it is easy to track via DEERS. If dual mil members lose one of their BAH because they share a household than any service member sharing rent with another person should have the same rules.

          If we start distributing BAH in the same manner as OHA for dual mil then we need to take the next “fair” step and look at single members who split the rent. OHA requires all tenants to report rent shared, doesn’t matter if they are married or single.

          Yes it is true that OHA money not used for rent is returned, but savings are rarely realized. Either them member find housing at the max rate for both and/or the market is not stupid so it sets the rental rates at the maximum of the OHA. Of course this artificially driving the housing market prices up is Illegal But how can the government prove and regulate it when a whole area raises the prices at the same time to match the current rate? I’ve seen it happen.

          Why not take it a step further? What about mil to other government employees, mil to retired, mil to mil disabled? Where is the line drawn? Do we want to start talking about double dipping on BAS and moving allowances? What about those who earned their military retirement and then turned around and get another full time job working again for the government? Are we going to take away the retirement they earned because they were smart enough to get another job? What other job bases pay and benefits on who your spouse works for?

          On principal, a member earns their benefits on merit of their honorable service not their marital status and spouse employer. When everything is said and done the greatest consolation that service members have after dealing with all of the hardships is their pay check. You can squabble that BAH is not pay, but the average military member just sees that lump sum twice a month and don’t mentally categorize pay from allowances. They see their pay check from which they pay their bills. Just leave it alone.

          The real problem is that BAH is just another military benefit amongst a long list that is slowly being chipped away at one budget at a time. If the nation desires a military that has steady turnover with lack of training and experience keep at it. Because it is the very things they are trying to take away that keeps our leaders and highly skilled members from leaving. If we want to run the military like a discount store, we’ll get discount store quality. We can go back to the days of the draft and when the services were filled with druggies and jail birds. You get what you pay for.

        • J_T

          When stationed overseas as I am now mil-mil marriage is treated just like a roommate. If member A is entitled $1200 OHA and is married to member B who is also entitled $1200 OHA they can get a place together that costs up to $2400. Yes if they rent a place that costs $1800 they don’t get to pocket the remaining $600 like they would stateside (guess what most people try and find a place that is right at their OHA). That being said both individuals get their utility allowance and COLA.

          You state law restricts BAH to when on base housing is not available. With privatized housing that is not the case. The DoD determined military members have a choice to live on or off base. You also previously mentioned when you lived on base your utilities were paid for, that’s no longer the case.

          I will use the term entitled because BAH is an entitlement under current law for each member based on pay grade, location, and if they have dependents. If a member was wounded in battle and unable to deploy they are still entitled to the allowances of their grade, location and dependency status, despite your implied belief that they have no military worth because they can’t deploy.

    • Grateful Soldier

      Everyone is talking about abusing the system. As a dual military member I think it’s ridiculous that so many ppl would rather point fingers at Soldiers rather than look at the many ways government waste money and allow for money to be abused. For instance, you have these young girls having all these babies receiving all types of government assistance to include welfare, section 8 and large school checks just to take one class. There are ppl who refuse to work over 20 hours per week so that their rent doesn’t go above $20 a month and they can continue to get free daycare. For those of you who feel that BAH should not help with bills, I ask you why the heck not. When you live on post they charge you your entire BAH but offer you dumps to live in. When your child goes to daycare on post most times it more expensive then off post daycares. When you grocery shop on post they never have enough to accommodate the military population and many places the claim to not charge taxes yet they charge you for bags. How about they save money by not changing uniforms every 3-4 years, I mean really this adds up clothing allowance or not and at the end of the day if I do have a little money to pocket, good for me because that’s what I deserve for all the extra hours that I work and continuing to be a grateful Soldier who gives just as much to the Army if not more, than what they give to me.

  • Guest

    Where were these arguments when single Soldiers lost their entitlement to DLA?

    • Kate

      Guest, I’m not sure what you are talking about? Single soldiers are eligible for, and receive, DLA (hence the “without dependents rates that exist.). It is true that single, junior enlisted are more likely to be ineligible for DLA due to occupying government quarters. However, DLA at the without dependents rate is available, and used, at all pay grades. It is pretty well spelled out in the Joint Travel Regs, and they’ve covered all the bases (including single servicemembers assigned to ships, living in barracks, and an entire chart for dual military service members.)

    • Military Vet

      I agree – the single soldiers always get pushed aside! Housing isn’t any cheaper when you are single unless you have a room-mate, which is fine in your early 20s, but not later if you want to have a chance to find a spouse…. Why don’t they go to one rate for everyone – less hassle for all – just have a locality rate (like the civilians). Equality and justice for all.

  • JOE


    • J_T

      How is it “rediculous”? BAH is an entitlement earned based on pay grade, location of residence and if the member has dependents. It does not matter if they share their residence with another military member.

  • Infantryman

    There is no legitimate argument for duel military to be paid for two households unless you have two households! I have been in the Military for 18 Years, and was amazed to see Soldiers collecting an extra thousand dollars for no reason! In fact there are some couples that get married that are not interested in a family or really that involved with each other just to receive the extra benefits that they don’t deserve in the first place! Not happy with Congress but they finally got one right! If you were collecting all that extra money and didn’t save it instead used it for luxury, now it’s time to pay the price!

    • J_T

      Infantryman could you indicate what the extra benefit is by getting married? The current USC is written such that BAH is an entitlement for every military member. The purpose of BAH is not to cover actual costs but instead to provide a housing allowance.

      An overseas housing allowance is used to cover actual costs but mil-mil members are treated just like any other roommates.


      Military members should receive the same entitlements due to their location and status period. If you look at this apples to apples a civilian will not be penalized due to his/her marriage status. The service member performs his/her duty honorably there is zero reason why they should not be paid any less than a service member serving honorably in a non dual military status. The fact is BAH was created to offset the cost of living and make the military pay more comparable to the civilian market. As I stated below the number of dual military members receiving dual BAH is a drop in the hat in the DOD budget verses the fraud waste and abuse and I would dare say it is less than an organization spends on copy paper lol. If we want to cut the budget lets look at the companies many owned by politician’s that capitalize on the GSA/ supply system. Or should we look outside the military to cut welfare, prisoner entitlements, aid to countries that do not support us etc.


    The fact is that while it may seem like a great deal to cut BAH and military benefits. You are robbing Peter to pay Paul. There is a lot of fraud waste and abuse in the military and I assure you it is not with how personnel are being compensated. If you look at the base pay chart for a military member, cross reference what that pay would be for a comparable civilian job every time they are not equal. Military members who are serving their nation should never have to worry about what pay will stay what pay will go etc. For the service members that are for reducing the benefits for other service members you should be ashamed. You have to look at it as a whole and not the small group who abuse the system. The ones who abuse the system as you call it will continue to abuse the system. I also do not agree with soldiers being forced to live in run down barracks and continually being harassed by leadership for room checks. If you signed up to serve your nation than you should be adult enough to manage yourself. Big boy rules if you will and if you can’t than you don’t belong in the military. Another thing not covered for dual military members is daycare. I have heard “if you were supposed to have kids or a wife the military would have issued them……. hahaha”. Well let me clear this misconception up, dual military members are required to have a family care plan, and required to disclose all income including BAH for your total income. From your total income you will be required to pay according to the scale of said daycare. For example a dual military couple E5 and E6 are required to pay 1150.00 every month in a location where they receive base pay plus 1230 for BAH and 848 for BAH. The average house would cost in said area about 1400.00 for one located not in a bad part of town. so math would have BAH covering the house and utilities. Not saying all areas are like this but just one example of how you can see its not all rainbows and unicorns. Let me add this to it I have experienced along with a few other dual military couples deployments and separation for 3 years out of 4 due to conflicting deployments and a assignments. That is another fact people who go home to their spouses every night cannot fathom. So how is it that one service member serving their country is any less deserving of benefits than another service member due to their marriage status. I say if you have a couple who both decide to sign that blank check payable to the Country they love up to the cost of their life, then that household should be the last one to have their budget cut! Maybe we need to look outside the military to cut national spending, like welfare, programs that benefit countries that dislike us and do not support us, maybe its time to take care of the men and women who give to this country and stop giving to those who give nothing.

  • Military Veteran

    Bottom-line – is BAH an “Allowance” or “Compensation”? It is a non-taxable “Allowance” – legally. That is the argument for why single people get a reduced allowance, even though they work the same jobs as married folks (technically their pay is the same, but their allowances are reduced). A family allowance should be for one family, therefore one allowance. Dual military that take two allowances are taking funding that could be used to help the troops and veterans in the VA or some other higher priority.
    I agree with the previous statement, “There is no legitimate argument for dual military to be paid for two households unless you have two households (each military assigned to two different locations)! Congress did get this one right.

    • all military

      apparently you are not in the military. most military spouses are not stationed in the same geo location. I was just previously stationed in Pensacola, Fl and my wife was stationed in Orlando, Fl. its a 7.5 hour drive, going both ways. we were stationed in the same state and same geo location but we were not together and the distance would be a strain driving 4 hours to and from work, even if we did meet in the middle. You’re a “Vet” right??? Just imagine if they too away the funding to help the veterans who no longer serve with us and all the funds for the VA and their reasoning behind it was ” they should have saved and taken advantages of their opportunities.

    • all military

      and even with those joint military families and those navy and marine men and women, if one is stationed on a boat and one is stateside, they are both still entitled to it and the colocation goes out the window. there’s no way to make it any clearer than that.

  • Jim Green

    When you throw about the term “legal”, I think you should be willing to spend time researching and then citing your support for your argument as to the meaning of words. After reading the final published statute, it is more helpful to read the legislative history and any transcriptions of the debate on the issue. Your argument is a simple matter of class envy which has been foisted upon us for 6 dreadful years and will have a long lasting and destructive effect on the greatest nation to ever exist. Five percent of the world’s population generating 27+% of the worlds GDP! Do not envy those who gain more than you do, get your life together and earn those things. I caution that a good life is not measured by material things but it is not good to spend time pointing out what others have that you don’t. Envy is one of the 7 deadly sins you know.

  • Jim Green

    I find no flaws with your argument. It stands on its own. What you have to consider is that much of our law includes provisions which subsidize certain behaviors as a means to strengthen our nation. In this case, the family unit is an important consideration and was given a small economic boost so as to encourage service members to become family members as statistics generally support the argument that families tend to be more stable, more likely to remain for a career, and less likely to be out running the streets at all hours. Just something to ponder.

  • 36-year veteran

    Dual military are not “entitled” to two BAH allowances. BAH was designed to off-set the cost of housing. Unless a military couple is stationed separately, there should only be a single housing expense and therefore a single housing allowance.

    The argument that you need the second BAH to cover childcare costs is absurd. What about dual-income married couples with only one member in the military? They don’t get extra pay to cover childcare. Not to mention that dual-military couples without kids also receive dual BAH.

    Sure there are many other places where wasteful spending can be cut but cutting dual BAH is a no-brainer.

  • Military Wife

    As an active duty member for 18 years I have been married 9 years now and have recieved BAH single and BAH with Dependant for 5 years. I have been through 3 deployments, bought 2 houses which I currently have to rent one out due to the fact that the housing market crashed and I am upside down. The area I am stationed is not buyer friendly and in order to own a half decent house you are going to pay for it. We pay for daycare and now schooling due to poor schooling in our area. So here it is, I volunteered to join, I love the military, but if they take half of my salary I will fullfill my contract and go somewhere where I do not have to pay out of the nose for housing and schooling, where I can get a job that wont take me away from my family and make me stand duty 24 hours every 6 days, where I can get off work intime to take my son to soccer and not worry about they next time my spouse deploys and who will keep my son while I am on duty. Think about the retention people, it will not pay to put up with all the crap if they take our BAH.

  • Marc

    The military provides tax free housing for our members and their families. That’s an entitlement and it’s tax exempt. Pastors at churches get the same deal. Tax exempt. So it’s the housing that’s an entitlement, not the $s. The military and churches also sometimes provide a place to live in lieu of the housing allowance. That “entitlement” is also tax exempt. So are we now saying that we should exempt dual military families from military housing? Or should we say that they’re entitled to 2 houses. No, that’s ridiculous. So too is dual BAH. If we want an incentive pay for dual-military families, then pass that, but this loophole is fleecing the taxpayer, and really degrading military readiness, because the bottom line is each family only needs one home,and every dollar wasted on dual-BAH takes away from the topline budget limit for each service, thus reducing what should be spent on actual need. Single BAH families make due with single BAH, and so should duals. Nobody’s talking about reducing “PAY”. It’s about an allowance.

  • all military

    I find it funny, disrespectful that when they look towards the military when they speak of budget-cuts. my wife and I are both in the military, and I would feel so disrespected if someone took money out of my hard earned pay check and allowances to convene themselves. We are the 1.3% (people who actively in the military) of all Americans who work our butts off night and day, some days without sleep or food, and apart from loved ones for months and sometimes years at a time. My wife is stationed in Texas and I am stationed in Virginia. The amount of BAH that is given to us is not enough to buy a house, its only enough to get by on a small apartment, and you might have a little extra left over to pay for some utilities. So even then, when my wife and I take leave to go see one another for a week or 2 at a time right now, its convenient because we both have things of the other, such as clothes, shoes, jewelry, photos, pets, etc. it is here where we start to become equal to a civilian. This is the part of our job that gives us hope in a better future for ourselves and our children.

  • all military

    Just think, if they take away our BAH from one of our us its unfair to the both of us. If I decide to go visit her for 2 weeks, I would have to stay in a hotel which would probably cost about $90+ a night just for hotel expenses alone if I want to spend the time with my wife because I cant sleep in the barracks with her and her room mates. On top of that, you have to dine out for breakfast, lunch and dinner because you don’t have a kitchen to cook in, which would roughly be around $60 a day combined. and so many other things you can do in your own home would take a toll on the BAH you or your spouse is receiving.

  • all military

    It would be completely and utterly unfair to all the men and women who have served this country. Hotel- $1260+_Dining( 3 meals a day combined)- $840__$2100 For 2 weeks just to see my wife would cost me almost 3 times as much as they are giving us now. Even with both of our BAH combined, it still wouldn’t be enough to cover the expenses of a 2 week trip of they stopped giving us both BAH and only gave it to one military member. To be honest, I thing they should take budget cuts out of their funds. Most people in the senate and above gets about $800,000+ each year, just to refurnish their offices and over $300,000+ in “Bonuses”, and they make over $1.4 million dollars a year . Yet they’re trying to take money away from us. I STRONGLY DISAGREE WITH CONGRESS, THE SENATE, AND ALOT OF THEIR DECISIONS THAT NEGATIVELY IMPACT THE WELLFARE OF MINORITIES, MIDDLE CLASS AND MILITARY.

  • rsf

    Support pay increases no lower than US cost of living for all service members which has not happened recently under the current administration that has created a new pay gap that was previously corrected over many years; single BAH for dual military living together at with dependent rate regardless of dependent status is inherently more fair than arbitrary across the board less than cost of living base pay annual increases for the total force.