Military BAS Rates in 2023Updated May 11, 2023 Veterans Benefits
The past couple of years have been hard on Americans, thanks to the effects of the pandemic, rising inflation, and looming recession. Thankfully, military service members received some good news at the start of the year when the United States Department of Defense announced a significant increase in military BAS rates for 2023.
What Does BAS Stand For?
Military Basic Allowance for Subsistence, or BAS, is the monthly stipend provided to all military personnel who have completed their basic military training and their military pay.
Service members in the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Guard, and even Space Force receive it to partially offset the costs of their meals, groceries, and other food-related expenses.
Aside from active duty members, BAS is also provided to troops who are not deployed or currently on temporary duty on the field, thus consuming base resources by dining at the mess hall daily.
Like the military base housing allowances (BAH), the BAS is considered a separate benefit from their military pay. As it's not part of the base pay, it falls under non-taxable income.
However, unlike the BAH, whose benefits can be shared with members of military families, the BAS is not intended to offset the cost of family members' meals.
How Is BAS Different from BAS II?
BAS is given to all military service members. Meanwhile, BAS II is only provided to members who have had a permanent change of station and is also given whenever there is a lack of adequate food storage or preparation facilities and an equivalent of a military dining facility.
BAS II rates are a modified version of the BAS rate and are usually double the enlisted member rate.
Will There Be a BAS Increase in 2023?
Yes, there will. On January 1, 2023, the Defense Department announced an increase of 11% for basic allowance for subsistence — the highest increase in military allowances for subsistence in over two decades.
This announced BAS 11% increase rate joins another monumental increase for basic military allowances, following the 12.1% increase in military BAH rates 2023 last December 2022.
What Are the Military BAS Rates in 2023?
Starting January this year, the troops' food allowance historic increase of 11% will raise the monthly benefits military members receive as follows:
● Enlisted officer rates: $452.56
● Warrant officer rates: $311.88
BAS 2023 enlisted rates increased by $45.58 per month compared to 2022, while the warrant officer rates increased by $31.39. The rates are significantly higher than the 2010 officer rates, which were less than $220.
Meanwhile, BAS II rates will go up to $905.12 this 2023, compared to $813.96 in 2022.
Who Determines BAS?
The Department of Defense determines the BAS rates for each year, as with the basic allowance for housing and basic military pay. New rates are generally announced before the end or at the start of the calendar year rather than the fiscal year.
How Is BAS Calculated?
BAS is calculated based on current food prices and market rates. The Department of Defense uses a similar methodology in calculating base housing allowances.
This allowance is adjusted yearly, depending on increases in food prices or the food cost index compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Additionally, the food prices are calculated based on costs in a given zip code.
According to the Consumer Price Index, food prices were largely hit by inflation this year, going up 10.9% from October 2021 to October 2022.
Does BAS Vary From State To State Each Year?
Although the food prices and BAS calculations are based on costs in a given zip code, BAS rates do not vary from state to state. The rates only vary between enlisted members and officers, as well as from year to year.
Does the BAS Vary By Individual?
Technically, yes. The BAS allowances that officers receive are often a little over $100 less than what enlisted service members are given. Meanwhile, active duty service members who qualify for BAS II receive double the enlisted members' BAS rate.
How Do You Apply For BAS?
Unlike the BAH or the Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance, there is no need to fill out or submit a special application form to receive BAS.
How Do I Receive My BAS?
There are two ways for active duty military members to receive their BAS stipend. The allowance can either be paid directly together with their basic pay or provided through their meal card management system.
Is Every Veteran Eligible For BAS?
Unfortunately, no. Veterans are not eligible for the BAS stipend. Unlike BAH, which some veterans may qualify for through the Post-9/11 GI Bill, veterans cannot qualify for BAS. This is because BAS is considered a special benefit to help supplement the active duty members' meal costs, usually while they are on base.
If you are a military veteran and need assistance, other government programs are available.
One is the Veterans Readiness program, which provides monthly subsistence allowances based on student attendance rates and dependents.
If you have family members who lost their life while serving active duty, you may be eligible to receive additional monthly benefits to help supplement your food costs under the proposed Caring for Survivors Act 2023. Meanwhile, you may apply for Section 8 rental assistance or BAH via the GI Bill if you need housing or rent assistance.
How Can Benefits Help Me?
If you are a military veteran in need of assistance, Benefits may help you find other programs that can help. We can also help you figure out what benefits you qualify for, such as Supplemental Security Income, and how to get them, as well as give you local information on plans available in your area and assist you in applying for state or federal programs.
Trajector and Benefits.com are here to help you understand what government benefits you may be eligible for and, more importantly, ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve. Contact us today!
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