Using your Army Benefits to cover housing, food, clothing and other expenses
In addition to salary and bonuses, the Army provides military allowances to offset the cost of living. Soldiers who live on an Army post receive military housing and meals for free. If your situation calls for you to live off post, the Army provides allowances for your housing and meals. Soldiers also receive allowances for clothing and official travel.
ARMY FOOD ALLOWANCE
The Basic Allowance for Subsistence is used to pay for food for enlisted Soldiers and officers authorized to eat off post. Most Soldiers who qualify for this Army food allowance receive more than $200 per month.
ARMY HOUSING ALLOWANCE
The Basic Allowance for Housing offsets the cost of housing when Soldiers live off post. BAH rates are based on location, rank and family status. This Army housing allowance is the second-largest piece of compensation for most Soldiers.
ARMY CLOTHING ALLOWANCE
Enlisted Soldiers receive an annual Army clothing allowance to replace uniforms and uniform decorations. For jobs that require civilian clothes, the military provides a civilian clothing allowance.
ARMY COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE
Soldiers assigned to high-cost locations in the continental U.S. and overseas are paid a Cost of Living Allowance. This Army COLA offsets the higher costs of food, transportation, clothing and other nonhousing items. Higher housing costs are covered separately by the Basic Allowance for Housing.
ARMY MOVING ALLOWANCE
The Army pays a moving allowance for the transportation of household goods during a permanent change-of-station move. In addition, a Temporary Lodging Allowance covers the cost of temporary housing at the beginning and end of a move. To further offset moving costs, a Dislocation Allowance is also granted for permanent change-of-station moves.
FAMILY SEPARATION ALLOWANCE
Soldiers assigned or deployed to locations where the military will not move families receive an Army Family Separation Allowance of $250 per month to cover expenses incurred during a Soldier’s separation from their family. Soldiers are also entitled to the allowance if their families are unable to accompany them overseas due to medical reasons.