military housing and basic housing allowance

BAH: Basic Housing Allowance FAQs

BAH After Getting Married

Question: My husband is in his 9th week of AIT. We married in December after he graduated from BT. He just now got me added to DEERS. I called to see when we would start getting our BAH. I was told he had not yet completed the process and still needed to go to the finance office to complete more paperwork.

My husband has a way of putting things off. It could take a few more weeks of me nagging him before he finishes this process.

My question is: Will we get back pay for our BAH, or will we only be paid from the day he completes the paperwork? How long will it take to receive a BAH payment once he has the paperwork done? Does the payment get deposited at the same time as his regular pay?


Answer: You should receive back pay for BAH from the day you were married. So that should be a pretty nice check. BAH is added to his regular pay.

After the paperwork is completed, it should be in the following paycheck unless he completes it just before payday. If that is the case, it will appear in the next paycheck. The lump sum for back pay should all be in one check.

After that, his pay will be split fairly evenly twice a month.

Hope he gets it taken care of quickly!

Applying for BAH

Question: Hi! I am getting married to a soldier in about two months. How long will it take to get our BAH after we get married so I can move to his duty station? I’m in TN and he`s in TX. And what steps do we need to take to receive our BAH? Thanks. 🙂


Answer: As soon as you get married, he needs to take the marriage certificate to finance to update his records. In addition, you will need to get your military ID and be enrolled in DEERS.

Typically, BAH will go into effect on the next month’s paycheck and will be back paid to the date of your marriage.

Congratulations on getting married!

BAH When Not Living with Your Soldier

Question: I have been married for three months, and my husband keeps telling me that he is not getting BAH for being married.

I live in a different place than him. He is at Fort Bragg. He says if he gets it, they take it for his bills. I thought the money was for me and the kids’ housing. He won’t tell me who his SGT is. I have nothing as I gave up my job because he said we were moving there. What do I do?


Answer: BAH is given to married soldiers to provide a place for them to live with their families. If they choose to live on post, then housing will be provided for “free,” but they will not receive any BAH.

If the soldier lives on post, they are not technically receiving any money every month. However, they should also not be living in on-post housing alone. Is it possible he never updated his records and is living in the barracks as a “single” soldier?

If he is living off post, then he is receiving BAH.

You need to find a way to contact his chain of command to let them know that he is not supporting you or his kids. It is possible they can help through an allotment.

Why have you not moved to be there with him?

Geographic Bachelor Status

Question: Hi, my husband and I have been married for two years and have been together for five. He decided to join the Army against my wishes. I am unable to go with him because I cannot travel for medical reasons and am currently involved in a long school program while receiving my medical treatments.

So now I am stuck living with my mom and am by myself. My medical condition does not allow me to sit in a car for more than 30 minutes, and flying is out of the question.

We are trying to figure out how BAH works when a spouse is not living with the husband. I know it goes by where his duty station is, but would they be able to give him a room in the barracks and let him keep some of the BAH, or would he be better off renting a room in a house off base? Please help; no one can answer this one for us.


Answer: It is possible, due to your medical conditions, that he could be assigned geographical bachelor status with the Army. The Army supposedly ended this program, at least in an official capacity, but it still exists in some circumstances.

He would need to talk to his chain of command. His ability to stay in the barracks would depend on his rank (usually lower than E-6) and available space.

Ultimately, it is up to his chain of command.

It is also important for you to enroll in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP). In fact, it is required that you are enrolled. This allows the Army to take your medical conditions into consideration when assigning duty stations as well as providing access to additional services, resources, and support.

Housing Allowance During Basic Training

Question: I recently enlisted in the Army and am going into BCT at the end of May. I’ve read all over the Internet that a soldier with dependents receives BAH while at BCT, but I haven’t found anything that specifically lays it out as to how much.

I’ve found nothing on an actual military or government-run website. My recruiter doesn’t know for sure because he very rarely gets married recruits, and I’m trying to avoid going to and bothering his superiors. Any help?


Answer: Yes, married soldiers will receive BAH in basic training. While you are in training, BAH will be based on your rank and the zip code where your dependents live.

When you go to basic training, be sure to take the appropriate paperwork so your pay will be set up correctly (marriage certificate and birth certificates for all children under 18). If applicable, you may also be required to take a copy of your rental agreement or lease.

When you have been assigned to your permanent duty station, your BAH will be based on your duty station, your rank, and if you have dependents. For future reference, when you are deployed, BAH is still based on your permanent duty station regardless of where you may be for the deployment.

BAH When ETSing

Question: I have a question that needs to be answered to the best of someone’s ability. My husband is currently ETSing out of the Army. We are about three weeks from going home, so it is coming close, but we were wondering when we will receive our BAH again because I know that we should receive it one last time in March’s paycheck.  So how soon will we receive the BAH after we leave here?


Answer: You should continue to receive pay on schedule as long as he is considered on active duty. If he is taking terminal leave, for instance, he will continue to be paid as he always has until his official ETS date.

His final paycheck will take longer than normal as they review his financial records to ensure his final paycheck is accurate. In my experience, getting a final paycheck after ETS takes anywhere from four to six weeks.

Those who are retiring tend to get their final paycheck quicker than those who are discharging before retirement age.

Keep in mind, it’s always possible during the final review, they will find other money that is owed, and that will come out of his final paycheck.

Good luck with ETSing!

BAH at Lower Enlisted Ranks

Question: My fiance has recently decided to join the Army and will be off to basic soon. We plan on getting married before AIT, and I most definitely want to go with him to his assigned post after training.

His father, a Veteran, told us that the military would most likely not cover my housing and living expenses while he is a low rank. He mentioned command sponsorship?

Thanks in advance! And btw, is by far the most helpful and informative site I’ve come across. Amazing!


Answer: Thank you!! I’m so glad you have found the website to be helpful.

The military will cover housing with BAH while he is training (rank, zip code, and dependent status determine the payment) if you are married. As long as you are married, BAH continues after training and will be based on the location of his permanent duty station.

He will also receive a separation allowance during training and BAS (food allowance) after training is complete if he is married.

You will only need command sponsorship if he is assigned overseas (OCONUS). Hope this helps!

Choosing to Live Off Post

Question: Hi! My husband is currently a reserve Army MP. He is now going active (by choice). We are unsure of where we are going yet, as his request was just approved.

My question is, if space is available on base, are we allowed to say “no thank you” without losing our BAH? I know they will move us, but do we have a choice to live off base? Thanks!


Answer: As a married soldier, he should have the option to choose to live off-post. The only exception would be some overseas posts requiring families to be on post unless the soldier is of a certain rank.

If you choose to live on post, you trade BAH for on-post housing. If you choose to live off post, you receive BAH to help cover housing costs.

Good luck with the move!

Not Moving With YOUR Soldier When On Orders

Question: My husband graduates BCT in Aug and then goes to AIT until December.

He and I have talked it over, and as of now, I have decided to stay at our home for a little while after he goes to his duty station. He wants me to stay at my job for a while so we can get our debt paid off.

My question is, do I have to go if I am on his orders for his duty station? Also, I plan on staying home no longer than a year, so when I do decide to move, will I be able to move to his base with him?


Answer: You do not have to move with him. But realize that he will only receive a housing allowance to pay for one household.

You will be able to move with him whenever you would like. Whether the Army will pay for the move depends on whether you are on his orders and if he uses his moving allowance when moving to the post.

Your best bet is to contact the transportation office to find out about your particular situation and if there is an expiration date for the move. The orders often state how long he has to move household goods with expenses being covered by the Army.

author avatar
Stacey Abler
Stacey's husband joined the Army in 2003 and was medically retired after four deployments. She enjoys sharing her experiences and expertise around Army life while continuing to support Army spouses and families in their military journey.

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  1. Hello,
    My husband and I are going to be pcsing in May and arriving at our new station in June, with my husband taking 30 days of PCs leave. I was hoping to leave and clear housing in April so my son and I can see family before we leave again. My question is, if I clear housing in April will we receive May and June BAH? Or would BAH received in May be paying for the month of April??
    Thank you in advance for any help you can give.

  2. My fiance and I are trying to get married ASAP, we can’t do this distance nonsense anymore.. He is an E2. He is stationed in Colorado and I live in California. I currently have a full time job where I live, and so I do not plan to leave until we are married and have a place on base to live, so my question is about BAH…He has some buddies who are married who said they have not had their BAH go through for four months now, they are still waiting..if for some reason that happens to us, and we have to wait for his BAH to kick in, are we paying rent for a house on base out of pocket? I know that once we are married, he can no longer live in the barracks since he will qualify for housing at that point, but we cannot afford to pay rent like that out of pocket and so now we are worried that we aren’t going to be able to get married when we want to and we are MISERABLE without each other…

  3. My Fiance joined the army as active. We are not married yet, but will be getting married on family day before graduating. He will be stationed in Hawaii. He leaves right after graduating. What is my best option to sign up for everything before he leaves to Hawaii, or wait for him to get to Hawaii and set it all up there. Please Help his family wants to be with him. Thank you

  4. My fiance and I are getting married and moving in together in a month on off-post housing. Though it should only take a few weeks for us to be registered in the army as married, he says that it will take like six months to get BAH because it takes months and months for the army to officially have you move out of on-post housing (we’re long distance and he currently lives on post). Will it really take months for the army to provide BAH?

  5. I have a question that has nothing to do with BAH but my husband I recently got married and he brought me back to his home base with him, I am currently staying with a friend because with his work and all we have zero time to go house hunting. I was wondering if there is any way we could get PTDY given that he isn’t PCSing but we need some type of time to get everything done.

  6. My husband left for BCT November 5th and we have 2 kids so I know he gets BAH. I am wondering if he should be getting any BAH for November or just December on and what to expect on when BAH is paid? I believe he got his first check but not sure if it’s his pay or if it is the HBL advance.

  7. My husband and I got married in New York City when I went on leave to see him. I am stationed in Fort Bragg so after I came back I had to submit all the necessary documents to have them back pay me. He came to Fort Bragg September 1, 2018, and the marriage was January 31, 2018. I was back paid according to North Carolina bah rate. I was wondering if that is right. I thought it was supposed to be new york bah rate. I have brought this to Nco’s attention but he’s not sure either. Please enlighten me.

  8. If my name is not on the lease aggreement but my wifes name is will I still be able to get BAH? I’m the service member who enlisted and we’ve been married for 2 and a half years before I enlisted

    1. It shouldn’t be a problem for collecting BAH. But you will want to get your name on it in the event you are deployed or receive PCS orders. It will be much tougher to break the lease if your name isn’t on it.

  9. My husband is in AIT in texas, my son and I are in california. According to my husband the army will not move us to texas but they will also not pay for california BAH either because we are on his orders. They will only give us BAH for where he is currently in Texas (which is about a $1200 difference in BAH rates). Is this correct? He also has his orders for us to moved to Maryland after AIT. But the army is only giving us a per diem to move from texas, not california where we are. Any information would be helpful!

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