How much is Family Separation Pay?

A common question asked by both military members and their dependents when deployment or a long TDY or underway loom on the horizon, is how much is family separation pay? The allowance, otherwise known as Family Separation Allowance (FSA) is paid to active duty members with dependents and is paid when the member is away from his or her dependents due to military orders for more than 30 days which is the “Type II” allowance and is current paid at a rate of $250 per month.

What are the Types of Family Separation Allowance?

The two types of Family Separation Allowance are Type I and Type II. The Type I allowance is payable when the member is separated from his or her dependents and has to reside off-base. This essentially equates to an additional housing allowance to the BAH being received for the dependents that are “back home” during the forced separation for duty outside of the United States or in Alaska.

What are the Requirements for Type I Family Separation Allowance?

Besides being ordered to an overseas destination that the family cannot join, there are additional requirements that have to be met to earn Type I FSA. The rates paid for FSA Type I are the same as the Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) without dependents.
The requirements for Type I FSA are:
1 – The dependents cannot receive government funded transportation to the duty station or a place nearby.
2 – They can’t live near or at the new duty station.
3 – There are not suitable quarters or housing available for assignment to the member, and he or she is ordered to live off-base or post.

Family Separation Allowance Type II Requirements

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Shannon Barnwell/Released)

Similar to the FSA Type I entitlement, there are requirements to be met before qualifying for Type II pay. The main purpose of the entitlement is to provide additional compensation for the additional expenses incurred due to the family separation under one of the following conditions:
1 – The member is assigned to a ship or command embarked on a ship that is away from the homeport for more than 30 consecutive days.
2- Dependents are not authorized transportation at government expense and do not live near the members duty station or home port.
3 – The member is assigned TAD or TDY away from the permanent duty station for more than 30 days and the dependents are not living near or at the temporary duty location.
The current compensation for FSA Type II is $250 monthly.

How Does FSA Type II Work for Dual-Military Families?

Military members who are married to another military member can qualify for FSA Type II independent of having any civilian dependents provided they were residing together prior to being separated due to military orders. Only one of the two members can be paid for any month although both could be deployed. The payment will go to the member who received the orders resulting in the separation. If both of the members get orders to leave on the same day, then the payment goes to the senior member. If the member that is not receiving the pay remains eligible after the senior member returns home, then he or she may immediately start receiving the pay.

What are the Dependent Separation Requirements?

There are some cases when a dependent does not qualify a military member for FSA Part II entitlements. These include:
1 – The only dependent is a legally separated spouse or children in the legal custody of another person. The exception to this is when the member has join physical and legal custody of the children who staying with a family member or provider during the deployment.
2 – The only dependent is in an institution for more than a year or indefinite timeframe to exceed one year.
3 – The dependent parent does not live in a dwelling or home that the military member maintains for mutual use when circumstances allow.

References

DFAS Regulations for FSA
https://www.dfas.mil/militarymembers/payentitlements/fsa.html
FSA DD 1561 Application Form
https://www.dfas.mil/dam/jcr:47a55764-521b-40bd-89f9-fe4b15ecce7b/dd1561.pdf

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