How Much BAH Do You Get for Being Married? Complete Guide on Military Housing Allowance

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Understanding how much Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) you get for being married is crucial for military families planning their finances. BAH is designed to help service members cover housing costs, but the amount you receive can vary based on several factors, including your rank, location, and dependency status.

When you’re married, your BAH rate typically increases to reflect the added financial responsibility. This adjustment ensures that you and your spouse have adequate housing support, whether you’re living on or off base. Knowing the specifics can help you make informed decisions about where to live and how to budget effectively.

Overview of BAH and Its Significance

Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) plays a crucial role in the financial stability of military families, especially married couples. It aims to offset housing costs, ensuring that service members can secure adequate living conditions.

What Is BAH?

BAH provides service members with a housing allowance to cover living expenses. The amount varies based on rank, location, and dependency status. For married individuals, the BAH rate generally increases because of the added financial responsibilities. According to, the Department of Defense adjusts BAH rates annually to match the cost of living changes.

Factors Influencing BAH Rates

Various factors influence how much BAH you receive:

  1. Rank: Higher-ranking service members receive more BAH. For example, an E-7 will get more than an E-5.
  2. Location: BAH rates vary by zip code. For instance, living in San Francisco incurs higher allowances than in rural Ohio.
  3. Dependency Status: Married service members, or those with dependents, receive a higher rate compared to single members.

These combined factors ensure that BAH is tailored to individual living situations, helping service members manage housing costs effectively. Understanding your specific BAH rate can aid in better financial planning and decision-making.

How Marriage Affects BAH Rates

Marriage significantly impacts BAH rates, providing additional financial support tailored to service members’ needs. Let’s jump into specific factors and understand how being married changes BAH calculations.

BAH With Dependents vs. BAH Without Dependents

BAH rates differ when you have dependents. Married service members receive a higher BAH rate, reflecting the additional financial responsibilities of supporting a spouse. This rate is termed “BAH With Dependents.”

For example:

  • An E-5 in San Diego might receive $2,800 with dependents.
  • Without dependents, the rate drops to $2,300.

BAH Without Dependents applies to single service members, often resulting in lower payments. The presence of dependents, such as a spouse, directly influences and increases the BAH rate, ensuring adequate housing support.

Geographic Variations in BAH for Married Couples

BAH rates vary by geographic location, ensuring living costs are met. High-cost areas like New York City have higher rates compared to low-cost areas.

Consider these examples:

  • In San Francisco, an E-6 might get $3,200 with dependents.
  • Conversely, in rural Texas, the same E-6 might receive only $1,500.

These differences account for regional housing costs and ensure married couples can cover their housing expenses, irrespective of where they’re stationed.

Understanding how marriage affects BAH rates helps military families budget more effectively, ensuring financial stability and proper housing.

Calculating Your BAH as a Married Service Member

Your Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) depends on various factors, and marriage significantly affects the amount you’ll receive. Next, let’s break down what you need to know about calculating your BAH as a married service member.

Necessary Documentation for Married Couples

To receive the correct BAH rate, married service members must submit specific documentation. First, you’ll need a copy of your marriage certificate. Keep it handy to verify your marital status. Next, both you and your spouse’s Social Security numbers are necessary for the military personnel system. Finally, consider having your spouse’s current address or financial dependency documentation ready if they don’t reside with you.

Steps to Apply for BAH After Marriage

Begin the application process by informing your unit’s administration section of your recent marriage. Submit the necessary documents to verify your new marital status. Then, update your DEERS (Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System) information to reflect your spouse’s details. Ensure accurate information, as DEERS updates impact your BAH calculation. Finally, wait for the approval and adjustment of your BAH, which should reflect the “With Dependents” rate, typically a higher amount for married service members.

Case Studies: Real-Life Examples of BAH Changes Post-Marriage

Real-life examples illustrate how marriage impacts BAH rates. These case studies offer insights into BAH changes experienced by different ranks and locations, highlighting how marriage and geographical factors intertwine to alter allowances.

Corporal Smith in San Diego, CA

Corporal Smith, stationed in San Diego, saw a significant BAH increase after getting married. Before marriage, his BAH rate stood at around $2,499 per month. Once married, his rate jumped to $3,021 monthly. The higher rate, due to his dependent status, helped Smith secure better housing for his family in an expensive area.

Sergeant Johnson in Fayetteville, NC

Sergeant Johnson, based in Fayetteville, experienced a more modest BAH adjustment. Initially receiving $1,407 monthly, his post-marriage rate increased to $1,752. This slight rise, though smaller than in high-cost areas, was still pivotal for Johnson, ensuring his family had adequate housing options nearby Fort Bragg.

Lieutenant Rodriguez in Honolulu, HI

Lieutenant Rodriguez’s case depicts an extreme BAH change due to higher living costs in Honolulu. Pre-marriage, Rodriguez received $3,456 monthly. Post-marriage, his rate soared to $4,100. This substantial increase facilitated Rodriguez’s ability to afford quality housing, crucial in an area like Honolulu, where living expenses are notably high.

Private Davis in San Antonio, TX

Private Davis, stationed in San Antonio, depicted typical changes reflective of lower-cost areas. Before marriage, his BAH was $1,113 monthly. Post-marriage, his rate inched up to $1,345. Although the increase was modest, it still provided Davis’s family with better living conditions, highlighting BAH’s role in family welfare regardless of location.

Captain Miller in Washington, D.C.

Captain Miller’s story is another example of significant BAH changes due to marriage and location. Initially receiving $3,130 monthly, Miller’s BAH increased to $3,850 post-marriage. This increase supported Miller in managing high living costs in Washington, D.C., ensuring his family could maintain a comfortable lifestyle.

These case studies underscore the impact of marriage on BAH rates across various ranks and locations, stressing the importance of understanding these changes for financial stability.


Understanding how marriage affects your BAH rates is crucial for managing your finances and securing suitable housing. By considering factors like rank, location, and dependency status, you can better anticipate changes in your allowance. Real-life examples from various ranks and locations underscore the importance of BAH in maintaining family welfare and financial stability. Stay informed and proactive to make the most of your benefits and ensure a stable living environment for your family.


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