About 4,200 soldiers have until June 5 to update paperwork regarding their dependents, or their housing allowance at the “with-dependents” rate will end, officials said.
For five years, the Army has required supporting documentation for the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) at the “with-dependents” rate. The documents must be filed in the Army’s personnel records management system, iPERMS.
Officials at Human Resources Command and Defense Finance and Accounting Service have been working with units to make sure soldiers update their records. The Army has been warning soldiers about the requirement for months. In September 2016, out of 315,000 soldiers drawing BAH at the “with-dependents” rate, about 140,000, or 45 percent, were missing documents in their files.
As of May 21, all but about 4,200 soldiers had updated their records. Officials sent out a message in January that soldiers had until March 1 to submit the documents, but they’ve extended the deadline to June 5, officials announced May 21.
Deployed soldiers will receive an exception to the policy: They must submit the documentation within 60 days after any post-deployment leave, or risk having their allowance reduced, officials noted.
Every year, soldiers are required to submit a new DA form 5960 to their S1 or human resources professional, to be scanned into iPERMS.
If a soldier’s BAH is reduced, the “with-dependents” rate will be restored once the soldier’s documents are loaded into the system. They’ll also receive any back pay they lost, officials stated.
“The Army must prove that every soldier is entitled to all the payments they receive,” said Mike Mensch, policy proponent for HRC’s Army Soldier Records Branch, in a statement about the extended deadline.
“These reviews are needed to confirm current pay entitlements and help ensure Soldiers’ personnel records are complete,” Mensch said.
“Missing records can have a major impact on Soldiers’ benefits and pay when they separate or retire from service.”
Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.