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United States Military Pay and Benefits

Family Separation Allowance


Family Separation Allowance (FSA) is payable only to members with dependents. Basically, family separation allowance is payable when a military member is forced to be away from his/her dependents for longer than 30 days, due to military orders.

There are two types of FSA: type I and type II. Both types are payable in addition to any other allowance or per diem to which a member may be entitled. A member may qualify for both types for the same period.

When most people think of "Family Separation Allowance," they are thinking of Type II. This is payable when a military member is forced to be separated from his/her dependents for longer than 30 days, and is a set amount of payment each month. Type I, on the other hand is payable when a military member is forced to be separated from his/her dependents, and must live off-base. In this case, the member is paid an additional "housing allowance" in addition to any housing allowance he/she may already be recieving to provide housing for his/her dependents.

Family Separation Allowance Type I

The purpose of Type I FSA is to pay a member for added housing expenses resulting from enforced separation from dependents, when the military member must live off-base at the new location.

Family Separation Allowance - I is payable to each member with dependents who is on permanent duty outside the United States or in Alaska who meets all of the following conditions:

    1. Transportation of dependents to the permanent duty station or to a place near that station is not authorized at government expense.

    2. Dependents do not live at or near the permanent duty station.

    3. Adequate government quarters or housing facilities are not available for assignment to a member and the member is instructed to reside off-base.

Family Separation Allowance Type II rates are the same as Overseas Housing Allowance, (OHA) rates (without dependents).

Family Separation Allowance Type II

Type II FSA provides compensation for added expenses incurred because of an enforced family separation under any one of the following conditions:

    1. Transportation of dependents (including dependent acquired after effective date of orders), is not authorized at government expense and the dependents do not live in the vicinity of the member's home port/permanent duty station.

    2. The member is on duty aboard a ship, and the ship is away from the homeport continuously for more than 30 days.

    3. The member is on TDY (or temporary additional duty) away from the permanent station continuously for more than 30 days, and the member's dependents are not residing at or near the TDY station. This includes members who are required to perform a period of the TDY before reporting to their initial station of assignment (such as basic training and technical school/AIT/A-School).

The amount of FSA Type II, payable is $250.00 per month.

Military Married to Military

FSA-II is payable to a member married to another member regardless of whether the member has any non-active duty dependents, when all other general conditions are met and provided members were residing together immediately before being separated by reason of execution of military orders.

    Not more than one monthly allowance may be paid with respect to a married military couple for any month. Each member may be entitled to FSA-II within the same month, but both cannot simultaneously be entitled. Payment shall be made to the member whose orders resulted in the separation. If both members receive orders requiring departure on the same day, then payment will go to the senior member.

    If a member meets the requirements for credit of FSA-II, but entitlement is precluded by an existing entitlement status of the spouse, then the second member may, if still qualified, immediately become entitled to FSA-II upon termination of the spouse's status. The couple may qualify for sequential entitlements to FSA-II provided military orders keep them continuously separated.

    In order to qualify for a subsequent entitlement to FSA-II, a married member couple, no longer separated by reason of military orders, shall reestablish a joint household and reside together.

Dependent Separation Requirements

A member is not considered "a member with dependents" for FSA-II entitlement when:

    A. The sole dependent is placed in an institution for a known period of over 1 year or for an indefinite period which may be expected to exceed 1 year.

    B. The sole dependent is a spouse legally separated or child(ren) in the legal custody of another person. Exception: When the member has joint physical and legal custody of child(ren) and the child(ren) otherwise would reside with the member but for the current assignment, the member shall be considered as a "member with dependents" for FSA-II entitlement.

    C. The member's dependent parent does not reside in a home, which the member controls, supervises, and maintains for mutual use when circumstances permit.

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