2013 BAH and BAS Rates Announced

The Department of Defense (DoD) released the 2013 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates and Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) rates which take effect on January 1st.

BAH is a nontaxable allowance provided to eligible service members. The allowance varies worldwide and is based on the median current market rent, average utilities (including electricity, heat, and water/sewer), and average renter’s insurance. BAH is also calculated for each pay grade, both with and without dependents. Overall, rates went up an average of 3.8 percent. Rate increases are spread throughout the country. For 2013 the average increase in BAH for military families is about $60 per month. You can calculate your BAH rate for 2013 by using the DoD BAH calculator. Remember BAH is based on your service member’s duty station, which may not be the same zip code where you live. (There are some exceptions to this guideline.)

A key feature of the BAH program is rate protection. This means if the BAH in your area decreases, the allowance you receive will not decrease. You are locked into the higher rate. This ensures military families who have made long-term housing commitments in the form of a lease or contract are not penalized if the area’s housing costs decrease. However, new families assigned to the area will receive the 2013 rate.

BAS is also a nontaxable allowance and is intended to replace the rations historically provided to service members. BAS rates are tied directly to the United States Department of Agriculture’s calculation of the increasing price of food. The index rose by 1.1 percent between the beginning of October 2011 and the end of September 2012. BAS is not designed to feed a family. It is an allowance to offset the cost of food for the service member only. Enlisted service members will receive $352.27 a month, up from $348.44 per month this year. Officers will receive $242.60 a month, up from $239.96 in 2012.

(Source: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=118813

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