Benefits

Housing – Benefits

One of the great benefits of moving with the military is that you and your family will likely have a number of housing options at your new location. You will also receive a housing allowance and moving benefits to help ease the transition. Make the most of your housing benefits with help from Military OneSource.

Basic allowance for housing, or BAH

  • BAH is intended to cover the cost of housing and is available to service members stationed in the U.S. who don't live in government-owned housing.
  • This allowance is based on average housing costs, your rank and whether or not you have dependents.

Overseas housing allowance, or OHA

  • OHA offsets the cost of off-base housing outside the continental U.S.
  • It is based on rank and dependents and is available to unaccompanied service members only if government housing is unavailable.
  • Covers move-in costs, utilities and maintenance.

Connect with your overseas duty station for the housing details in your new area and to get help applying for OHA.

Family separation allowance, or FSA

  • FSA is paid when your family members can't live with you at your permanent duty station — most commonly when transportation isn't authorized, housing is unavailable, you're aboard a ship, or your family can't move because of a medical condition.
  • This allowance is paid as a flat, monthly rate.

Check with your installation housing office, the Relocation Assistance Program office or the Defense Finance and Accounting Service for more FSA details.

Dislocation allowance or DLA

  • DLA helps with miscellaneous moving costs.
  • It’s paid generally once per permanent change of station, or PCS move.
  • This allowance isn’t paid if you're reassigned to government quarters or are unaccompanied and doesn't usually pay for local moves.

Move-in housing allowance or MIHA

  • MIHA is available only outside the continental United States.
  • It helps cover the cost of miscellaneous expenses, like appliances, lease taxes, one-time rent-related expenses or security expenses.
  • Varies by currency rate and location.

Advances

If you need additional assistance to cover the cost of moving, you can apply for an advance of basic pay. This advance can be used to cover:

  • Basic allowance for housing
  • Overseas housing allowance
  • Moving-related expenses
  • Travel allowances (varies by service branch)

Before taking an advance, be sure to do some research and contact the experts at your Personal Financial Management Program office to help with budget planning.

Housing options

As a service member, you have a variety of housing options. Consult the Relocation Assistance Program for guidance on making the best decision for you.

  • Government-owned military installation housing is owned and maintained by the Department of Defense and saves you from paying rent and most utilities.
  • Privatized military installation housing is owned by a private-sector company. You can use your housing allowance to pay rent, but you will have to pay your own utilities.
  • Single or unaccompanied military installation housing? “the barracks” or “bachelor quarters”? is rent-free, but you may share a room or bathroom.
  • Renting a home off the installation gives you more choices, but make sure your lease allows you to get out early if you are reassigned or deployed.
  • Buying a house lets you select the size, location and amenities you want. However, you need to be prepared to sell or rent it quickly when your next PCS comes.

Confidential, Non-medical Counseling

  • Military OneSource offers free, confidential non-medical counseling to discuss adjustment difficulties or ways to manage relocation stress
  • You can connect with a counselor to schedule an appointment 24/7 over the phone, in person, via secure online live chat or via secure video sessions.
  • You are eligible for up to 12 sessions.

Military OneSource professionals can help you with every aspect of your move so you can seize your adventure.