The military service personnel who lives in a military base receive housing and free meals. If the service member lives off base, the military will give an allowance for housing. This is called the Basic Allowance for Housing. Many military service members receive this for living outside of a government-provided house or military post.
The amount of Basic Allowance for Housing is different for most service members. What determines the amount of the BAH is the rank of the service member, number of dependents, and the cost of living in the geographical area where the service member is stationed.
With that said, the BAH amount a military service member gets will be different. Mainly, where the service member is located determines the BAH amount.
For example, if a service member with 2 dependents is stationed in California, he or she will get more than someone with the same rank and number of dependents who’s in the South. Because of this, the geographical location and the cost of living in that particular area is what determines the BAH.
Differences Between Basic Allowance for Subsistence and Basic Allowance for Housing
Oftentimes, BAS and the BAH are mistaken for the way they are calculated. The Basic Allowance for Subsistence is the allowance for covering the cost of meals of a military service member. Since it doesn’t offset the cost of meals for the family members of the service member, the number of dependents doesn’t play a role in calculating the amount.
On the other hand, since BAH is directly covered the family members, the dependents can increase the amount. For example, a military service member who’s achieved the rank of E-8 stationed in Indianapolis, Indiana without dependents will get about $1,536. With dependents, this goes up to $1,644. Although it isn’t a significant difference, with the other benefits the military service members get to offset the other costs, the BAH is a big helper.