Basic Allowance For Subsistence
Military personnel also receive Basic Allowance for Subsistence if they live off base. This money is meant to purchase food. If you live on base you will not receive BAS, but you will be allowed to eat at the dining facility for free.
Current BAS rates:
- Enlisted $323.87
- Officer $223.04
Adding to our previous example, our married E-4 earns $3,855.70 per month total, or $46,268.40 per year.
Fully Developed Disability Claims
The next fasted option is the Fully Developed Disability Claims program.
The primary difference between the FDDC program and filing a standard claim is the Veteran must provide all evidence upfront and certify there’s no additional evidence needed to make a claim decision.
At a minimum, the Veteran should provide:
- All military personnel records on the condition, and
- All service treatment records on the condition, and
- All private medical records on the condition, and
- All VA health records or supplementary information about related VA health records that the VA can request on your behalf
If the VA requires additional information, the claim typically gets removed from the FDDC program and is processed as a standard claim.
Tracking Your Pay And Benefits:
The military gives service members two forms to track and understand their pay and benefits: Leave and Earnings Statements and Net Pay Advice . These can be viewed or downloaded from your myPay account. Its not a bad idea to keep a copy of these forms to ensure the accuracy of your pay and benefits.
Here is the information found on these forms:
- LES: Everything you need to know about your pay and benefits should be found on your LES. It includes your end of month pay information, including gross pay, net pay, state and federal taxes paid, Thrift Savings Plan contributions, other pay & benefits , Days of Leave, and more.
- NPA: Mid-month pay information.
Pay Periods: You get paid for the previous work period. In this case, you get paid on the 15th for work from the 1st 15th of the month. The pay on the 1st of the following month is for work done from the 16th the end of the month.
What about partial months? The military considers a month to be 30 days long this makes it easier for calculating pay and benefits for a partial month of service. So each day of pay is worth 1/30th of your monthly pay and benefits. If you only work part of a pay period you would receive 1/30th of your normal pay and benefits for this period. This is important to know for those times when you PCS, are away on an extended TDY or deployment, or when you separate or retire from the military.
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The Basic Allowance For Housing
Technically, there’s no difference in military pay married versus single, but tying the knot does affect the “Basic Allowance for Housing” entitlement that’s provided to servicemembers to defray the costs of keeping a roof over their heads. It pays for a portion of rent, mortgage and some utilities, and it can be adjusted upward when you get married.
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This “BAH” entitlement increases a bit when you add a dependent, even if your spouse or your other dependent doesn’t live at your duty station with you. In fact, adding a dependent is the only way to increase your BAH benefits. Unfortunately, this is a one-time event. You don’t get another increase whenever you and your spouse add another dependent, such as if you have a child.
The extra money is included in your biweekly pay, much like a raise, and it covers 95 percent of your housing costs, not counting renters’ insurance. And here’s more good news: You’ll still receive what you were initially getting if this rate is adjusted downward, but you’ll get more if the rate goes up.
The Family Separation For Housing
FSH is confusing for two reasons it seems to closely resemble the OTHER form of DoD compensation for a required separation of the service member from their family known as the Family Separation Allowance or FSA. Some DoD websites have documentation that seems to treat FSH and FSA interchangeably, but careful research shows these really are two different types of family separation pay.
The Department of Defense Describes Family Separation For Housing pay as compensation for additional housing expenses resulting from separation from their dependents when the service member is assigned to an overseas base or in the United States, when dependent travel is delayed or restricted.
FSH is not permitted for any situation where the service member is under permissive orders or when government quarters are available to the member.
There are two varieties of FSH:
- FSH-BAH Based Locations paid at the without dependentsBAH rate
- FSH-OHA Based Locations payable monthly up to the without-dependents Overseas Housing Allowance rate
Depending on the branch of military service, additional requirements may apply. Consider the additional rules for members of the Coast Guard, which state that FSH is NOT payable when the following conditions apply:
To claim FSH, ask your unit orderly room, First Sergeant, Command Sergeant Major, or make an appointment with your base Finance office.
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Base Pay + Allowances
All active-duty physicians receive base pay, along with housing and subsistence allowances. Members of the Reserve or Guard are paid for drilling and when they are deployed.
Pay and allowances will increase along with your rank as an officer, and military physicians can expect promotions every five to six years. Depending on experience and specialty, licensed physicians may be able to enter at a higher rank, which means they would receive a higher base pay.
Getting A Yearly Pay Raise
Military retirees get an annual cost of living adjustment on the first December of each year equivalent to the inflation rate of the respective year. Inflation is based on the consumer price index . COLA helps military retirees sustain their purchasing abilities each year.
If a member accepts the Career Status Bonus , their COLA is capped at one full percentage point beneath the rate of inflation.
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What If You Dont Notice An Incorrect Payment
It can be easy not to notice getting paid an incorrect amount during hectic times or while your pay is fluctuating due to a PCS move or deployment. If you dont notice, someone in admin eventually will, either as a part of internal quality assurance efforts, or as a result of an inspection. When over-payments are caught in these ways, that can sometimes be recouped from your next paychecks without noticeand thats a really crappy surprise to have on payday. This is commonly referred to as a checkage.
Avoid being surprised by having your pay checked by staying on top of your pay and ensuring its correct each time its deposited.
Extra Pays And Allowances Help Take Their Salaries A Bit Further
Base pay can seem stingy, especially at the lower ranks where enlisted receive around $20,000 per year.
But troops receive a number of benefits and may qualify for extra allowances.
When eligible to live off base, service members receive a basic allowance for housing , which increases at each paygrade the exact amount is set based on location and whether the individual has any children. Service members also receive allowances to help cover the cost of food and in expensive duty locations receive a cost of living allowance . Enlisted personnel also receive a stipend to help them pay for their uniforms.
Any portion of a service member’s salary that is labeled as an “allowance” is not taxed by the government, so service members may only have to pay taxes for roughly two-thirds of their salary.
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Determining What Is Taxable Military Retirement Pay
Military retirement pay is accountable to federal income tax. After retirement, veterans specify the number of exemptions theyre eligible for on their W-4. The amount deducted from their pay for federal withholding tax each month is based on this exceptions number. The state in which the retiree lives in determines whether or not their retirement pay is subject to state income tax.
Some states exclude military retired pay from state income taxes. Veterans can contact their states veterans office for additional information about state taxes and military retirement pay.
At any time, retired military personnel can alter the amount of tax excluded from their retirement pay by completing a new W-4. Visit Keeping DFAS Up-to-Date for more details.
Military retirement pay is subject to federal income tax but no FICA deductions.
Medical retirement pay is tax-free under the condition a member joined before September 24, 1975, and if the military determines that a members medical condition is combat related.
Youve Earned It Use Your Leave Or Lose It
Leave time continues to add up as earned, but there is a limit to how much leave can be carried over from one fiscal year to another. Typically, if you have accrued more than two months of unused leave, you lose any amount that exceeds 60 days at the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30.
A service member may be authorized to carry over more than 60 days leave for a period of time. This is called a special leave accrual and is usually authorized due to deployment to certain areas of the world, assignment to certain designated units, or operational requirements that prevent the service member from taking leave.
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Special And Incentive Pay
When service members deploy, they receive additional pays and allowances based on their deployment location, length of deployment, and whether they have a family. Special and Incentive pays include:
- Family Separation Allowance is paid during extended periods of family separation. FSA is $250 per month.
- Hostile Fire/Imminent Danger Pay is for service members serving within an officially declared hostile fire/imminent danger zone. The current rate is $225 per month.
- Hardship Duty Pay comes in three designations.
- HDP-Location compensates service members assigned to locations outside the continental United States where living conditions are substantially below the standard members serving stateside would endure. Rates are paid in increments of $50, $100, or $150 per month, based on the level of hardship in a
- HDP-Mission compensates officers and enlisted personnel for performing designated hardship missions.
- HDP-Tempo involves personnel who are mobilized or deployed for a specified mission. Secretaries of the military departments are authorized to designate such missions, but none have been implemented.
Special And Incentive Pays
Special and Incentive pays are ways to earn over and above your basic rate or allowances, regardless of your time in the service or pay grade. They help the Department of Defense ensure that the right people are where they need to be to keep the country safe.
Some types of S& I pays include:
- Hardship Duty Pay for service members assigned to places where the standard of living is significantly below that of the continental United States
- Hostile Fire Pay/Imminent Danger Pay for those assigned to specific regions where they may be subject to hostile actions like enemy fire or mines
- Assignment Incentive Pay for service members on extended tours or certain unusual assignments
- Hazardous Duty Incentive Pay for those on specific types of flying duty such as parachute jumping, flight deck duty or experimental stress duty also known as flight pay for aircrew members
Your take-home pay will be impacted by automatic deductions for things like taxes and Thrift Savings Plan contributions. If youve got any questions about payments or deductions, a Military OneSource financial counselor is happy to walk you through your Leave and Earnings Statement at no cost.
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United States Military Pay
United States military pay is money paid to members in the United States Armed Forces. The amount of pay may vary by the member’s rank, time in the military, location duty assignment, and by some special skills the member may have.
Pay will be largely based on rank, which goes from E-1 to E-9 for enlisted members, O-1 to O-10 for commissioned officers and W-1 to W-5 for warrant officers. Commissioned officers and warrant officers will often have higher pay-grades than their enlisted counterparts. Early pay-grade promotions are quite frequent, but promotions past E-4 will be fewer.
Calculating A Service Member’s Income
Because military paychecks are unlike any other paychecks, it can be a real challenge to determine what a service member’s actual pay is. This is unfortunate given that a parent’s income is always the basis for calculating child support. To get started with your state’s child support guidelines, you’ll need to know the service member’s income as well as the amount of any payments the service member is making for the children’s health insurance or for work-related day care.
Start with the service member’s base salary. There’s also a housing allowance, calculated using location, family commitments, and the service member’s pay grade. There are also pay differentials for hazardous assignments and other variations in responsibilities. It’s possible that the service member is receiving “in-kind” compensation in the form of housing, meals, and other nonmonetary compensation.
In trying to determine the other parent’s income, don’t use a tax return, because some of the income that service members receive is tax-free, and you’ll be working with an amount that’s too low. Instead, use the Leave and Earnings Statement , which is similar to a pay stub but more comprehensive. The LES will show you the service member parent’s basic pay and housing and other allowances, as well as information about how many dependents the service member is claiming and how much accrued leave is available.
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Basic Pay And Allowances
While serving in the military, your basic pay is considered taxable income, while many allowances are not. That means taxes will be deducted from your basic pay, but not from additional allowances aimed at paying for things like housing or food.
Basic Pay is the primary compensation for service members and is determined by assessing two factors: pay grade and years in service. As mentioned above, basic pay is your primary taxable income. Its calculated monthly, then cut it half and distributed in two paychecks. Basic Pay can be compared to a salary in a civilian job, meaning its not tied specifically to hours, as service members are not eligible for overtime. Basic Pay rate are adjusted annually to coincide with the national Employment Cost Index. In other words, Basic Pay increases each year to coincide with changes in average private sector pay and inflation.
If youd like to know what you should be receiving for your basic military pay, check out our 2020 military pay charts for officers and enlisted personnel here.
Basic Allowance for Housing
Service members also sometimes receive something called BAH Type II, which is an in-transit rate for housing between duty stations.
Want to find out what the exact BAH rate is for your appointed place of duty? Check out this BAH Calculator provided by the Defense Travel Management Office.
Basic Allowance for Subsistence
Service members received a .90% increase in BAS for 2020.
Other Common Allowances
Plan For Career Success
To qualify for good-paying military jobs, youll need to be willing to pursue extra training on the job. Take time to recognize the scope of knowledge, skills, and abilities you acquired in the military, appreciate what else you need to get the highest-paid military jobs, and focus on gaining your achievement and advancement goals. Ask commanders for opportunities or pay attention to notices that offer special pay for certain duties.
Think in advance about what you will need for the transition from themilitary into civilian life, identify the positions equivalent to best-paid military jobs with similar duties and get enough competence to apply for. Though your next career move can be exciting, it needs tough decisions about your development and will take preparation, whether for meeting your financial goals or making you continue your education.
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Can I Go With My Husband/wife On A Tdy
One of the many perks of temporary duty assignments is that you can occasionally bring along the family.
The same is not true of deployments where it would put your spouse or other family members in danger.
If given the chance to bring along a spouse for your temporary duty assignment you should welcome the opportunity, but keep in mind that pier diem rates are only calculated for the service member unless it involves a permanent change of station move.
Military personnel often spend months away from family and friends, so having a unique opportunity like this to catch up with a loved one is rare and special.
MilitaryShoppers.com put together a great resource on the topic.
It explains the pros and cons of tagging along with a significant other while he or she is on TDY.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that while you can live with your spouse while on temporary duty assignment his or her time is still limited and it might drain your budget quickly.
Other than that its an enticing opportunity to catch up after potentially months of separation.
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