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Thread: Changes Coming to Mil-to-Mil BAH?

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    Changes Coming to Mil-to-Mil BAH?

    A friend posted this article on FaceBook regarding dual-service housing allowances. Apparantly, the Senate Armed Services Committee inserted language into the 2016 Defense Authorization Bill to change mil-to-mil BAH.

    Here is a quick quote from the article:

    The Senate Armed Services Committee has inserted language in its version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill that takes a different view. It seeks to end what some lawmakers perceive as an income windfall for dual-service couples by linking BAH payments to what these families actually pay to rent housing at new and future assignments.

    If the full Senate and, later this summer, the full House were to agree to this change, it would be a dramatic compensation cut for dual-service families whose total numbers have grown over the last several years with military recognition of gay and lesbian marital status.

    Under current law, a dual service couple with no children assigned to the same locale can each draw BAH at a lower “without dependents” rate. If the couples have a child or children, the more senior ranking member can draw BAH at a higher “with dependents” rate while the other member continues to draw BAH at the lower “without” rate.

    The Senate bill, in both circumstances, would allow only the higher-ranking member in dual-service marriage to draw any BAH, though at the higher with-dependents rate. The other member would be ineligible for BAH.

    To prevent couples from circumventing this proposed change in law by living in separate residences while assigned to the same area, the Senate committee would direct that the new BAH limit apply to couples “who are assigned within normal commuting distance from each other.”


    Read more: http://militaryadvantage.military.co...#ixzz3bXKrsRvO
    MilitaryAdvantage.Military.com
    As a finance person, this immediately struck me as a pretty terrible idea and not even for the reason you might be thinking. The unintended consequences of this change would be massive. As stated in the article, the law will "prevent couples from circumventing this proposed change in law by living in separate residences while assigned to the same area, the Senate committee would direct that the new BAH limit apply to couples “who are assigned within normal commuting distance from each other.”

    Based on the above, if a couple is legally married only the higher ranking member will receive BAH. What happens when a couple decides to get divorced? Is the lower ranking member expected to live without BAH for however long the divorce takes? That could be years. If not, what documentation will be used to restart BAH?

    Let's say a couple decides to split up. The husband is lower ranking and he moves out and gets his own apartment. Does he have to file for divorce first before finance can restart the BAH? What if after six months the couple decides not to get divorced? Does finance collect back the BAH? This sounds like a giant mess and finance is going to spend an insane amount of time trying to figure out living everyone's marital situation.

    If the above wasn't bad enough, what about same sex couples? They want equal treatment right? Does this mean that if a same sex couple declares their selves married one of them will also lose their BAH? That seems like an incentive for same sex couples to pretend they aren't married which is ironically the exact opposite of how it used to be.

    What say you guys?
    Last edited by SomeRandomGuy; 05-29-2015 at 02:22 PM.

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