Army officials are concerned that tens of thousands of soldiers are missing out on much-needed cash for their families because they haven’t updated their personnel records.
About 140,000 soldiers risk losing hundreds of dollars a month because they’re lacking the proper documentation to prove they’re eligible for Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) at the higher with-dependent rate.
According to the DoD’s BAH calculator, a sergeant with dependents stationed at Ft. Bragg, receives $1236 a month in BAH, compared with $1,053 without dependents. That’s a nearly $200 difference. In another example given by Army Times, a captain with dependents at Ft. Bragg would receive $144 more each month, than he would without dependents.
If you are uncertain about whether or not your records are up to date, you should first check your leave and earnings statement against iPERMS, or the Personnel Electronic Records Management System.
In 2013, the Army Secretary signed a memorandum directing Army personnel specialists to get soldier records into iPERMS and conduct annual records reviews. This required soldiers to meet annually with a human resources specialist to go over their records.
And that is the next step you should take. Go see your human resources specialist to make sure all of your documentation is in order. In many cases, the required paperwork could be as simple as a marriage license, a divorce decree or a birth certificate, Army officials said.
The Army also wants to ensure soldiers are not being overpaid due to inaccurate files. In these cases, the soldiers could end up owing the Army money and risk falling further into debt.
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