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BAH Differential

Commissioned Officers


Updated January 18, 2007

Special rules apply for active duty members who live in the barracks and pay child support. Married members and members with custodial custody of children are considered to "have dependents," (for housing purposes) and receive full-rate housing allowance (BAH), even if they reside temporarily in the barracks (such as in basic training, job school, or unaccompanied overseas assignment), in order to provide adequate financial support (housing) for their dependents.

However, military members who don't have custody, and are paying child support, *ARE NOT* authorized to reside in the barracks and receive full-rate BAH.

Instead, such members are paid an entitlement called BAH-DIFF, or BAH Differential. BAH-DIFF is the difference between the full married rate and full single rate of BAH RC/T, (which is a different allowance than BAH type I, the full-rate active duty housing allowance).

In order to receive this allowance, however, the military member must prove (by support agreement or court order) that the amount of child support they provide equals or exceeds the amount of BAH-DIFF they are entitled to.

If the amount of support is less than the BAH-DIFF entitlement, the member receives nothing.

Single members who are authorized to reside off base at government expense, who pay child support are entitled to the full, with-dependent rate housing allowance.

Keep in mind that BAH-DIFF rates are computed from the DIFFERENCE between the full-rate and single-rate for specific ranks, so it doesn't mean that one with more rank receives a greater BAH-DIFF amount. For example, an O-2 is entitled to a greater amount than is an O-3 or even an O-4. That's simply the way the amounts are calculated (and yes, lots of military members have complained about it, but this is the way that Congress phrased the law).

Below are the monthly BAH-DIFF Rates for each paygrade for Fiscal Year 2007:

Commissioned Officers

Paygrade BAH Differential
O-10 283.50
O-9 283.50
O-8 283.50
O-7 283.50
O-6 234.90
O-5 226.80
O-4 150.90
O-3 150.60
O-2 177.60
O-1 192.60
O-3E 158.40
O-2E 189.30
O-1E 221.70

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