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AV1AT0R

Specific Question Regarding BAH

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Hi,

This seems like the best subforum to post this question. I've been scouring the internet both here and on other sites. I've also tried to use DFAS but I'm DoD so it's only giving me DoD answers.

When I head out to UPT, my spouse is not going to come with me. Her job pays too well and someone's gotta watch the dogs. I've heard and seen here that I could collect BAH for the location where my spouse is instead of where I'll be. All I have to do is get a BAH waiver.

However, I've also read and seen here that this waiver is only available if my PCS is 30 days or less (or some other such excuse). Could someone please clarify this for me? I cannot seem to get a straight answer out of anyone.

On a related note, since I'm going to UPT without my spouse, will I have to live off base or am I stuck in the dorms? Again, I've seen it both ways. Vance Housing website says yeah I'm living off base and Laughlin and Columbus seem to say otherwise. Secondly, should I be on the dorms, I do not collect any BAH whatsoever, correct?

I'm hoping someone here might be able to shed some light on this. Nowhere else seems to explain it - at least the waiver part of my question.

Thank you very much!

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Not official, but my two cents. Don't push for getting BAH for spouse location, take the w/dependents BAH at wherever you get assigned and for the love of God live as close to base as you can find that is safe (class party house, is a great way to make friends). You will have super early mornings and a 30 min drive sucks.

Just my opinion as a UPT instructor, some others may disagree or have other opinions.

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You can live in the dorms and collect BAH from where your spouse lives - it requires a SAF level waiver. So you can try to make an argument as to why the AF should pay you her location BAH vs. yours, but you're at the mercy of SAF approval. Honestly I think you stand little chance of approval because the argument of "it's more convenient for us since she makes more money there" is probably not going to be strong enough to garner support from big blue. If it gets disapproved, you're only options are she moves with you or you collect BAH w/ dependent at the UPT location and pay for your rent and her's - which sounds like a bad financial move unless she's making shitloads of money. And even then, I'm a big fan of not choosing to be apart - you'll get plenty of involuntary time apart in the future.

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At CBM you should be able to live off base day 1 if you're married. Even single guys only live in the dorms for a super short time, if at all, before being allowed to go off base

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I figured I'd be able to jump right off base if I'm married - not that I'm dying to!

Not official, but my two cents. Don't push for getting BAH for spouse location, take the w/dependents BAH at wherever you get assigned and for the love of God live as close to base as you can find that is safe (class party house, is a great way to make friends). You will have super early mornings and a 30 min drive sucks.

Just my opinion as a UPT instructor, some others may disagree or have other opinions.

Well, I'm with you on this. I'd much rather live on base or super close to base. This way I can stay close to my classmates, save on gas, etc. Plus, then maybe I can make some friends and we all collectively get an apartment or something. I just see no need for a huge two bedroom house to myself. I don't have a lot of stuff to begin with let alone enough to fill an entire house, and I'm not gonna take half the furniture from my wife while I'm gone. A room and access to a kitchen would suffice.

You can live in the dorms and collect BAH from where your spouse lives - it requires a SAF level waiver. So you can try to make an argument as to why the AF should pay you her location BAH vs. yours, but you're at the mercy of SAF approval. Honestly I think you stand little chance of approval because the argument of "it's more convenient for us since she makes more money there" is probably not going to be strong enough to garner support from big blue. If it gets disapproved, you're only options are she moves with you or you collect BAH w/ dependent at the UPT location and pay for your rent and her's - which sounds like a bad financial move unless she's making shitloads of money. And even then, I'm a big fan of not choosing to be apart - you'll get plenty of involuntary time apart in the future.

I'd really love for my wife to join me. We just have a house where we live at the moment and also four animals. Finding someone to rent our place while we're gone sounds a bit of a hassle and then the addition of getting a place on/off base that allows animals (though I'm sure I could claim just the two dogs and hide the cats). In any case, it sounds like collecting BAH at my wife's location is exactly what I thought: too good to be true. I'd rather just pay my share of the mortgage while I'm gone and live in the dorm to eventually get a shared apartment or something. Any extra stress I can shed is my main goal.

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Are you tied to the area/have a desire to keep the house and rent it for years to come? It's not just a year at UPT, it's the following ten years as well - you could be living overseas for the next 10 years post-UPT, you could be 1/2 overseas, 1/2 living on the opposite coast, etc. So if she's going to live there during UPT, then I take that to mean you want to hold onto the property for rental income and/or you plan on returning to that house in 10-20 years. If that's not true, I suggest you sell the house early and avoid having to deal with it while on your 2nd, 3rd PCS, maybe from overseas, etc.

I know several dudes who love having rental properties and slum lord it up - good for them. Not my thing. Just think hard about which side of the fence you and your wife are on. It's only going to be a bigger pain in the ass as time goes on if you decide to not play the rental game.

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Are you tied to the area/have a desire to keep the house and rent it for years to come? It's not just a year at UPT, it's the following ten years as well - you could be living overseas for the next 10 years post-UPT, you could be 1/2 overseas, 1/2 living on the opposite coast, etc. So if she's going to live there during UPT, then I take that to mean you want to hold onto the property for rental income and/or you plan on returning to that house in 10-20 years. If that's not true, I suggest you sell the house early and avoid having to deal with it while on your 2nd, 3rd PCS, maybe from overseas, etc.

I know several dudes who love having rental properties and slum lord it up - good for them. Not my thing. Just think hard about which side of the fence you and your wife are on. It's only going to be a bigger pain in the ass as time goes on if you decide to not play the rental game.

oooooooooor he's guard and going right back where he came from.

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Waiver. If you are guard or reserve and own a house in the location you will be returning to, it is not too difficult to get a waiver since you have a mortgage and will be PCS'ing back.

Good question, and good prep for constantly raising your guard/reserve hand at UPT.

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I should have been more specific! Sorry.

oooooooooor he's guard and going right back where he came from.

Correct! That's why my wife wants to stay. No sense in her quitting her job or taking a year leave of absence (without pay!) just to come right back in a year.

Waiver. If you are guard or reserve and own a house in the location you will be returning to, it is not too difficult to get a waiver since you have a mortgage and will be PCS'ing back.

Good question, and good prep for constantly raising your guard/reserve hand at UPT.

I was thinking this would be my wording in my waiver. I would need to potentially cover both my housing at my PCS and where my spouse is. I figure at this point, it's more of a "doesn't hurt to ask" type of situation. The worst they could say is no.

Edited by AV1AT0R

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You can get the waiver to get BAH at your home location and you will live in the dorms. Several guys in my class are currently doing it.

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I was Guard, went to CBM. My wife stayed in Dallas. I submitted forms to have BAH from Dallas as my primary BAH (1500 vs 900 at CBM). It was approved and then I submitted family separation pay and had that approved. For us, the year sucked without seeing each other all the time, but the money was a nice consolation.

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You can get the waiver to get BAH at your home location and you will live in the dorms. Several guys in my class are currently doing it.

viper154, Do you know if the guard/reserve member has to own a house to get waiver approved? I ask because I rent a house and my wife will not be able to come with me to UPT because she is attending medical school.

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Related question - I'm in similar situation as topic starter. Live in south Texas, wife has a job getting paid $$$ and is finishing a masters so will stay put while I go to UPT. UPT at Laughlin about 2 hours away. I know I will be very busy and UPT will be the top priority, but is it reasonable for me to try to be home most weekends, let's say, Friday night through Sunday morning, so I can hit the books again Sunday afternoon? 

Edited by bb17

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Personally, I think that's very realistic. When I was at UPT, lunchtime Sunday until last duty Friday was 100% UPT. When I wasn't at the squadron studying I was in my office studying or at another students house studying. But Friday-Sunday was 0% UPT and very much needed decompression time.

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18 hours ago, bb17 said:

Related question - I'm in similar situation as topic starter. Live in south Texas, wife has a job getting paid $$$ and is finishing a masters so will stay put while I go to UPT. UPT at Laughlin about 2 hours away. I know I will be very busy and UPT will be the top priority, but is it reasonable for me to try to be home most weekends, let's say, Friday night through Sunday morning, so I can hit the books again Sunday afternoon? 

Yes. We had someone do something very similar. Try and spend some time with your class on weekends as well though. Best part of UPT besides the flying is the friends and good times spent outside the squadron. 

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Awesome - thanks for the input! And I'm definitely not antisocial so I am really looking forward to forging some awesome friendships while at UPT. 

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