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NEWS | Oct. 31, 2017

Soldiers with dependents reminded to keep records up to date

By Devon L. Suits Fort George G. Meade Public Affairs

Soldiers who receive a basic allowance for housing and have dependents are reminded to keep their records up to date to prevent any disruptions in their Basic Allowance for Housing, or BAH, entitlements, according to experts within the Army’s Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1.

To help ensure the overall readiness of the force, the Army G-1 has notified 65,000 Soldiers that they needed to provide proof of dependency to justify their housing rates, according to J.D. Riley, deputy chief of the compensation and entitlements division, G-1.

According to Riley, examples of dependent documents include a marriage license, birth certificate, a court-ordered child support agreement, divorce decrees, and secondary dependency approval from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.

An “All Army Activities” message, or ALARACT, about the recertification of BAH entitlements is scheduled for release in November, Riley added. At that point, Soldiers will have 60 days to meet the suspense.

Identified Soldiers will need to bring their dependent documents to their unit’s human resources specialist – not their local finance office – to update their iPERMS record. Submitted paperwork should be identified with the word “audit” to guarantee that it receives a high priority, Riley said

Deployed Soldiers are exempt from this requirement; however, they will have 60 days upon return from post-deployment leave to update records.

After 60 days, Soldiers who do not provide the proper paperwork will see a reduction in BAH. At that point, they will need to start the process over by filling out a new BAH certification form and submitting their dependent documentation.

Riley said actions would be taken against any Soldiers who willfully take advantage of the system. Those Soldiers will be held liable for any additional entitlements they have received, he said.

In the end, the proactive approach taken by Army G-1 is about protecting a Soldier’s entitlements, Riley emphasized.

“When life events happen: divorce, marriage, the birth of children, it is so important for a Soldier to review their records,” he said.