In response to increased housing costs that have occurred as a result of COVID-19, the DOD has authorized an increase to 2021 BAH for 56 housing markets. Here is how you can apply if you are in one of those markets (listed below).
What you’ll need to get a BAH increase:
- Live in a qualified market or have moved to one after March 13th, 2020.
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- Demonstrate qualified monthly housing expenses as a result of COVID-19 that exceeded your monthly housing allowance.
A. This is for any month between March 2020 through December 2021.
B. Qualified expenses are explained below.
- Route your application through your Chain of Command
1. Applicable Housing Markets
Though housing costs and rates have increased since COVID-19, not all markets have moved the same. The DOD chose to apply this BAH increase to the markets whose costs have increased the most. Rates for all other markets will increase regularly next year. The average increase for 2022 BAH is 2.7%, though it varies dramatically between markets. Below is a list of the markets eligible for a temporary BAH increase:
2. Demonstrate Qualified Housing Expenses that Exceeded your BAH
If a service member in one of these markets has incurred monthly housing expenses that exceed the BAH rates for at least one month between March of 2020 and December of 2021, he or she can apply for the temporary increase.
You need to demonstrate that your housing increases are due to COVID related expenses. Sadly, your super sweet weight vest for your home gym or new mini fridge for your bar don’t count.
To verify these qualified expenses, you will need copies of all relevant documents as well as a copy of your most recent LES to verify that the costs exceed the current BAH rate.
3. Resources to Get Started
If you or one of your people qualifies for the BAH rate increase, then you’ll want get moving on the paperwork. Your Chain of Command is the best place to look for the request form, as they likely will have the template as well as command specific guidance and routing instructions. However, below are the official templates put forth by the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force as well as the DoD Q&A form if you’re having trouble getting started.
If you have qualified monthly housing expenses since March of 2020 that exceed your BAH then you can apply. The max increased BAH you can receive is from October 1st to the beginning of 2022 (the next three months).
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