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. I have a question. My husband left for Basic Training on September 4. He told me the BAH would post in the account on Sept 15 but it’s the 19th and I have not gotten anything. What should I do?

  2. I meet someone that is I believe in special duties.. he said if I do.registration he will be able to come meet me. Is there a fee added to this? Am I being scammed, he says it not qualifying as a leAve since he has to go back with in 3 months.

  3. I have a question. Can a married soldier live on base and collect BAH for his spouse, who is not living with him?

  4. Hello. I am not able to move with my husband in the summer bc of health and my special needs son having waivers and finishing highschool in this state. I am concerned bc everywhere he has the option of for transfer is almost half our current BHA. IS there anyway to get an extension of BHA for this area based on the fact my son and myself can not move out of this area? Thanks.

  5. my husband entered bct on october 2nd. ita now nov. 16th. ive gotten 3 payments but they were small and did not include his bah. what should i do??

  6. Hello I have a question. I’ve been married since November 20th 2017. I completed all the paper work today. I don’t move into my place on post until January 8th do I receive back pay since the day I’ve been married

  7. I am 10 months away from ETS and I’ve been married for 2 months. I know I cannot get my spouse command sponsored without reenlisting but can I still enroll them in Deers and move off post with them?

  8. So my fiance is in the army and he is in AIT right now in Virginia and we plan on getting married when he gets back but he is going to be stationed in south korea and I dont know how long the housing will take for me to get over there. I need to find out how long it will take thanks

  9. Hi. I am a army spouse. The day I moved to my husbands 1st duty station I had got a screen shot of an inappropriate convo between him and a female. Which as a newly wed I felt really betrayed. A yr later I am still married. But my journey hasn’t been that great. My husband never added me on the lease, which BAH pays for. He tells me BAH isn’t for me so it’s non of my business. He says it’s his place and not mine since I’m not on the lease. I’ve started asking questions about where his finances go because he says I use all his money when I don’t recieve any money, and again he tells me the money he makes is not my business. He told me to get a job to support myself within the first 2 months I moved with him. And I have. I work to feed myself. If I want to buy something I have to have my own money. His car has only his name on it so so likes to say it’s his car and I could walk or ride the bus to work. We argue and he says he’ll put me out in the street with nothing. I’m kept away from FRG meetings, I have never met his COC. I have no idea who his 1st sgt is. My husband tells me his 1st sgt has been telling him to get rid of me. What happened to higher ups having leadership skills? Instead of talking to their soldiers they think is okay to say wives don’t matter to the ARMY. What I want to know is, where do I go for help? If my husband is buddies with higher ranking individuals? My husband tells me they won’t help me if I try.

  10. My husband & I married December 22, 2017, moved into off post military housing on 12/29/17 as of yet we have not received BAH. We received a call from the leasing company we owe rent by the 13th or we will get evicted. My husband went to finance today , his paperwork was ever processed, they said the leasing company will get the BAH back pay, went to the leasing company they said no we get the BAH back pay. I am so confused. We had to pay $1249 out of our pocket & when I asked the leasing company if they get the back pay will they reimburse us they said they didn’t know. Can anyone help me.

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