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Home : News : News
NEWS | April 8, 2014

Air Force begins BAH recertification process

By Mike Joseph JBSA-Lackland Public Affairs

The Air Force began a service-wide recertification process of basic allowance for housing entitlements mandating that every Airman provide their servicing finance office with documentation for all dependents by Dec. 31.

The recertification is part of Air Force audit readiness for 2015 as required by the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act. The one-time process allows the Air Force to validate the $5.4 billon spent annually on basic allowance for housing entitlements and also ensures the money spent on BAH is fully auditable.

"When we say the Air Force is not audit compliant, that doesn't mean that money is missing or being misspent," said Doug Bennett, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Operations, in a recent Air Force News Service story. "Generally, it means that we lack the required documentation for our spending to be considered auditable. In the case of BAH, we need Airmen's marriage certificates, birth certificates for children and divorce decrees that require child support properly documented by our finance offices to ensure we can audit $5.4 billion in Air Force spending."

Airmen will be required to provide mandated documents to their servicing finance office or their housing allowance status will be reduced to single-rate. Deployed Airmen and those on extended leave or temporary duty will be given special consideration.

"The Joint Base San Antonio Financial Services Office will be contacting members every month if they are on the list for the required recertification," said 2nd Lt. Leonard Belo, 502nd Comptroller Squadron, Financial Services Flight deputy commander.

"If a member has not been contacted in their assigned month, they are still highly encouraged to proceed with the process at the finance office on their assigned location," he added.

Belo said JBSA has implemented the Air Force Accounting and Finance Office monthly schedule that uses the terminal digit (the last two digits) of Social Security numbers to determine when individuals need to provide documentation.

The first JBSA recertification process began March 1 and ended March 25 for Social Security numbers ending in 00-09. SSNs ending with 10-29 are due April 24 followed by 30-39, May 22; 40-49, June 24; 50-59, July 24; 60-69, Aug. 25; 70-79, Sept. 24; 80-89, Oct. 24; and 90-99, Nov. 19.

Members should bring all original documentation (marriage certificate, divorce decree, birth certificate, or Defense Finance and Account Service dependency determination) to their local finance office to complete Air Force Form 594. The form will be reviewed and signed by an authorized certifier.

Airmen are not required to make appointments and there is a walk-in JBSA finance office on each location.

Members deployed, on extended leave or on temporary duty assignments are not required to complete the process until 30 days after returning to home station.

"Deployed or TDY members should notify the finance office in order for us to update our listing and provide follow up service," Belo said. "Members in geographically separated units are not required to return to a JBSA office; they should use the nearest finance office to process recertification. If special circumstances arise, members should contact JBSA Financial Services for further guidance."

The push for revalidation of dependent documentation comes as the Air Force prepares to meet financial improvement and audit readiness requirements laid out in the National Defense Authorization Act. The Air Force currently retains dependent documentation for six years, which is insufficient to meet audit readiness requirements. This one-time revalidation will ensure Air Force compliance with audit requirements, according to Air Force officials.

"We understand this is a huge undertaking and may require research on a member's part to retrieve the required documents," Belo said. "We ask members to act as swiftly as possible to gather the necessary documents. Airmen are also allowed to complete the process earlier than their assigned time period."

For more information, call 652-1851, email or visit a local AF finance office. The finance office at JBSA Lackland is located in building 5616, Suite 1; on JBSA-Randolph, the finance office is in building 399, Suite 2; and on JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, the finance office is in building 4196.

The finance offices are open to customers Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.