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Department of Family Medicine

 
 
 
 
Home Family Medicine Service/Clinic Physical Examination Clinic Residency Program
Patient Information Newcomer Information Contact us  

Newcomer Information - Allowance

(Below are questions that previous incoming interns had concerning their move to Ha-wai'i and the Graduate Medical Office response to these questions. Please review the following to see if your question has been answered before.)

Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)

BAH is an allowance to offset the cost of housing when you do not receive or accept government-provided housing. (You are not required to accept government-provided housing. You do not get BAH if you accept Government housing.) Your BAH depends upon your location, pay grade and whether you have dependents. BAH rates are set by surveying the cost of rental properties in each geographic location. The rates are established such that members in each pay grade, independent of location, pay approximately the same out-of-pocket costs. Therefore, BAH rates in high-cost areas will be much greater than those in low-cost areas. Needless to say, Hawaii is a high cost area.

The following table was derived from a BAH rate query.


2009 Basic Allowance for Housing Rates
Grade / Rank: CPT / 0-3
Zip Code: 96859
Military Housing Area: HI 408 – Honolulu: County, HI
Monthly Allowance:
With dependents: $ 26270.00
Without dependents: $ 2191.00

The TLA you get is in addition to the BAH that you will receive. BAH starts the day that you report to Tripler.


Question:
Sorry to bother you again. But will we receive our BAH when we arrive or not until July 1st? Sorry if this has been answered somewhere else but I couldn't find it.

Response:
BAH is included in your initial paycheck which will be issued 1 July. But you also have the option of requesting an advance in pay upon your arrival.

Here is a nice website with links that explain potential entitlements. Based on the information on this website you may be entitled up to three month's of your basic pay in advance. (Note: Soldiers are frequently discouraged by their Commands from requesting more than one month's advance pay.) And it may be possible to request advance BAH. You may also be entitled to a dislocation allowance (DLA). You may inquire about these entitlements upon arrival.


Clothing/Uniform Allowance

Question:

1. Do we get a uniform allowance when we get there? The one we got wasn't enough for a full set and most of our old uniforms are now outdated- the old BDUs and the class A's.

2. Another question about pay... do we get a clothing allowance too, or was that a one time deal when I got it after I was originally commissioned?

Response:
The initial $400 uniform allowance for officers is usually a one-time deal. However, some officers may be entitled to an additional active duty uniform allowance of $200. Your eligibility will be reviewed when you in process.

Question:
Do we get a clothing allowance too, or was that a one time deal when I got it after I was originally commissioned?

Response:
The initial $400 uniform allowance for officers is usually a one-time deal. However, some officers may be entitled to an additional active duty uniform al-lowance of $200. Your eligibility will be reviewed when you in-process. Here's a link to the guidance about clothing allowances.


Cost of Living Allowance (COLA)

Overseas COLA is a supplement designed to equalize purchasing power between Soldiers stationed outside the continental United States (lower 48 states) and their counterparts in CONUS.

2009 Estimated Average Monthly COLA Payment
(Based on April 2009 data)

Without dependents: $560
With one dependent: $630
With two dependents: $700
With three dependents: $734
With four dependents: $804
With five dependents: $838

The COLA you get is in addition to the TLA and BAH that you will receive. COLA also starts the day that you report to Tripler.

Question:
Are we entitled to a cost of living allowance (COLA) in addition to BAH while in Hawai'i?

Response:
Yes, you will get COLA in addition to your BAH. Last year's COLA ranged from $462/month for unaccompanied personnel to $691/month for accompanied personnel with 5 dependents. Check out this Web site on military pay. It includes a link to a COLA calculator. Note: It won't calculate COLA for a date in the future.


Dislocation Allowance (DLA)

Question:
Do we get dislocation pay? They are coming to get all my household goods Monday...and they said they are taking no food products at all even if they are sealed and unopened. I thought dislocation pay was for that kind of thing to set up a new household given all the stuff you can't take with you.

Response:
Here's a link to frequently asked questions about dislocation allowance. The most frequently asked question is cited below:

Am I entitled to DLA when moving from my home of record to my first duty station?

By law there is no DLA allowance when the PCS is from your home (or the place from which you entered active duty) to your first permanent duty station (PDS) unless your dependents actually move in connection with the PCS. Translation: You do not get DLA if you are unaccompanied. (I do not understand the rationale for this rule.)

Question:
Am I entitled to DLA when moving from my home of record to my first duty station?

Response:
By law there is no DLA entitlement when the PCS is from your home (or the place where you entered active duty) to your first permanent duty station (PDS) unless your dependents actually move in connection with the PCS.

Question:
I was wondering how we go about getting our DLA. Is that also going to be done on the 2nd? I know that for an O-3 with dependents it is $2344.13. If we can get that soon, then we might not have to take out a pay advance. Please let me know.

Response:
It remains my understanding that you are not scheduled to be paid any of your entitlements until 1 July unless you request an advance in pay. However, I will reconfirm this with the Defense Military Pay Office.


Temporary Housing Allowance (TLA)

This allowance is authorized to partially reimburse military members upon initial arrival to overseas duty stations for expenses incurred while occupying temporary quarters or lodging. It is payable for specific periods, generally not to exceed 60 days, while awaiting assignment of Government Quarters or other permanent living accommoda-tions. If you are entering active duty TLA will not take effect until the report date on your orders.

The amount of TLA that you receive will depend on how many family members ac-company you, where you are staying and what it costs, and whether kitchen facilities are available. TLA is comprised of two parts—a lodging component and an allowance for your meals and incidental expenses. The daily amount you receive for lodging is limited to the actual lodging costs—you do not get to keep any unused portion. The amount for meals and incidental expenses is a set daily rate that is paid to you. The Defense Military Pay Office at Ft. Shafter, Bldg 123, telephone (808) 438-1875, will cal-culate how much TLA you receive.

Temporary Lodging Allowance Rates as of 1 June 2007

Daily Meal Rate

Service member with spouse; no other dependents: $112.00
Single or unaccompanied service member: $72.80
Dependents 12 and over: $39.20 per dependent
Dependents 11 and under $28.00 per dependent

Maximum Daily Lodging Rate

Service member with spouse; no other dependents: $177.00
Single or unaccompanied service member: $115.05
Dependents 12 and over: $61.95 per dependent
Dependents 11 and under $44.25 per dependent

Some TLA hotels have kitchen facilities. If you decide to stay at one of these facilities the amount of TLA that you receive for meals will be reduced 50%. Consult the list of TLA Hotels to see which ones have adequate kitchen facilities.

Question:
I have purchased a house in Kaneohe already so I don't think I need TLA. I need to make sure I get the BAH as soon as I get there. Will that happen automatically if I don't request TLA?

Response:
Your BAH automatically begins on your report date whether or not you apply for TLA.

Question:
When does my TLA end?

Response:
Your TLA ends on the day that Government quarters become available for occupancy or earlier if should you rent or purchase a home. If you are offered Government quarters and turn those down your TLA will stop. You will, however, continue to receive your BAH.

You may be able to get an extension of your TLA beyond the initial authorized period if you do not have permanent housing. These extensions must be coordinated through the same offices that authorize TLA to begin with.

The Army Hawaii Family Housing Office on Ft. Shafter, Bldg 344, Montgom-ery Drive, telephone (808) 275-3800, authorizes TLA for accompanied personnel. The Unaccompanied Personnel Housing Office on Schofield Barracks, Bldg 692, McCornack Street, telephone (808) 655-0535, authorizes TLA for unaccompanied personnel.

Question:
What is the turn-around time for TLA payments?

Response:
The turn-around time for TLA payments is usually 3 to 5 working days provided your paperwork is complete and you provided all necessary lodging receipts to the finance office.

Question:
If I decide to purchase, will my TLA stop on the closing date noted on my purchase documentation, even if I am not able to move in at that point? This will be important in determining a closing date for me if I decide to purchase.

Response:
The technical answer is that your TLA would stop on the closing date. However, you may be able to request an exception to policy to request an extension of your TLA, e.g., you are unable to occupy your home pending receipt of household goods. But there is no guarantee that it would be approved. And if you previously turned down an offer of government housing so that you could purchase a home the question would be moot because you would not longer be getting TLA.

Question:
One question for you just to clarify, if I will be accompanied but opt not to take on-post housing, will I still be granted the 60 days TLA (or TLA until I find an apartment)?

Response:
TLA stops once you turn down an offer of on-post housing. So the answer in this case is "no", you will not be granted TLA until you find a place to live off post.

Question:
You mentioned that unaccompanied interns would be granted 10 days of TLA authorization at central in-processing. How long are we allowed TLA (maximum) in the case that we don't find permanent housing within 10 days?

Response:
60 days.

Question:
I'm not really sure what TLA is... if it's extra funds in addition to BAH, or just an authorization of some sort. Will we be completely reimbursed for any TLA hotel stay, regardless of the price? or do we just pay for it with our BAH money?

Response:
TLA is in addition to BAH and is an allowance designed to offset the extra costs a service member incurs while living in temporary lodging. You get both allowances at the same time and both start the day that you report. Note: If you arrive on 31 May your expenses will likely be offset by an additional allowance for travel expenses, not TLA. The amount you receive for a TLA hotel stay depends on whether or not you have a statement of non-availability from The Inn at Schofield Barracks. If you do, then your entire lodging at a TLA hotel should be covered by your TLA as long as the hotel confirmed that it would only bill the TLA rate. Otherwise, you will end up footing the difference.

Question:
I am the intern who is going to live at home with my parents in Honolulu while we are allowed TLA (i.e. avoid the hotel/lodging headaches). I am still planning on collecting the per diem allowed through TLA. 1) Do I qualify for the per diem listed as "with kitchen" (about $30/day) or "without kitchen" (about $60/day)? 2) Do I need to fill out additional paperwork to receive the per diem since I won't be staying in Army lodging, or do I receive it automatically when my TLA begins? 3) You mentioned a mandatory appointment at Schofield for all interns needing to extend their TLA past one (1) week. Can we arrange this appointment after we arrive in Hawai'i and begin in-processing? It's difficult to do anything not knowing our schedule for orientation.

Response:
Our Defense Military Pay Office told us that you would be paid the "without kitchen" rate. Any processing of TLA will be taken care of after you arrive and there should be no additional paperwork other than a few forms that everyone requesting TLA has to fill out. There should be adequate time in the schedule for you to travel to Schofield Barracks for any administrative requirements that you need to take care of related to extending your TLA. All of this will have to be done after you arrive and begin in-processing.

Question:
I am from Honolulu and my whole family is there. I was planning on staying with my parents during the TLA period while I looked for housing. Will I still be eligible for the per diem even if I am not requesting TLA at a hotel? If I am not eligible for per diem, then I will just book TLA. What do you recommend?

Response:
You will be entitled to the per diem for meals. So I would stay with your family as long as you can tolerate them!

Question:
I know that you have received a lot of questions related to this topic, but just to be clear.... We can receive TLA for up to 60 days, but if on-base housing is available (which it most likely will be), TLA will expire immediately. Correct?

Response:
Yes. It expires the day that you should be able to occupy your quarters. You are given a maximum of five business days to move into quarters but TLA would be terminated earlier if the Housing Office is able to deliver loaner furniture sooner.



This page is maintained by the Department of Family Medicine, ATTN: MCHK-FM, Tripler Army Medical Center, 1 Jarrett White Road, Honolulu, Hawai'i 96859-5000. Phone: (808) 433-6174.