Who doesn't need help covering the costs of living, especially in today's economy? When you're in the military, you get financial help over and above your military pay. These come in the form of a variety of military allowances.
Military allowances can greatly expand your military pay, making it go a lot further. This alone makes military allowances one of the great incentives for joining today's military.
But there's more. As an added incentive, most military allowances are non-taxable. This is another large benefit, as military allowances are designed to pay for basic living costs that would otherwise come from your military paycheck, which is taxed.
So when you're figuring out how far your military paycheck will go, don't forget to include the added mileage of your military allowances.
Explore the various military allowances to find out if you're eligible. Military allowances have a wide range of requirements (i.e. pay grade, location, marital status, etc.) and chances are good that you qualify for at least some, if not most, of today's available military allowances.
BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR HOUSING (BAH)
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is paid to uniformed service members to provide housing compensation based.
Basic Housing Allowance is payable when government quarters are not provided or when temporarily residing in barracks. BAH is based on pay grade, zip code, and dependency status.
BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE (BAS)
Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) is basically a military food allowance. BAS is based on the military service member's needs only, as BAS is not intended to cover military spouses and/or family members' food/subsistence costs.
As of January 1, 2009, all eligible enlisted military members can draw full BAS at a monthly rate of $323.87. Military officers can draw a BAS monthly rate of $223.04.
Service members who draw BAS are required to pay for their own meals, even if meals are provided by the government.
COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE (COLA)
Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) is a cash allowance intended to compensate military servicemembers for high cost of living areas.
COLA is not assigned to areas where the cost of living is less than of meets the average of that in the United Sates. A service member must be permanently assigned to the area to receive COLA.
A military clothing allowance is given to Airmen, Coast Guardsmen, Marines, Sailors and Soldiers to help pay for uniforms and other clothing costs. To find SELRES personnel clothing rates check with your local Navy Operational Support Center.
FAMILY SEPARATION ALLOWANCE (FSA)
Family Separation Allowance (FSA) provides compensation for added expenses incurred because of an enforced family separation. FSA is payable to qualified members serving inside or outside the United States. For FSA, all military pay grades receive $250.00.
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