Is my Soldier entitled to Family Separation Allowance (FSA)? | – Leader Development for Army Professionals

Is my Soldier entitled to Family Separation Allowance (FSA)?

I have a Soldier who is receiving FSA, but I have been told that his family is with him at his TCS location. What are the qualifiers? This Soldier went to finance and got back-pay for the last 9 months, and FSA is reflected on his LES. Is it dangerous to handle this at the lower level by compelling the Solder to return to finance and pay the money back?

The answer is it depends. To make a determination more specific information would be required. What type of FSA is it? How long has the family member been with the Soldier? What is the intent of the Family member with regard to staying in the area? Is the family member authorized in the area? If the Soldier is fraudulently collecting the benefit it needs to be stopped. There are several ways in which the Soldier may still be entitled to collect the benefit if a family member is present. I would encourage you to visit the following links as they can provide clarification based on the specifics of the situation.

MyArmyBenefits has published a fact sheet sheet about Family Separation Allowance for Active Duty Army Soldiers. I encourage you to read the article. If you determine the Soldier is not authorized to receive the benefit, contact your local JAG and/or IG and ask them to review your findings. If the JAG is in agreement with your findings, they can help you prepare a counseling, write a letter of reprimand, or take other action as deemed appropriate. It is also important to determine if the Soldier is willingly attempting to defraud the government.

By arming yourself with the facts and coordinating with JAG/IG you can formulate a plan to approach the Soldier in an intelligent manner. I would not approach them until you have gathered all available facts and determined a potential course of action.

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posted on 09/23/2011 under Q&A
Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training.

Disclaimer: Though all content posted on is reviewed by our qualified subject matter experts, you should not make decisions based solely on the information contained in this post. Use information from multiple sources when making important professional decisions. This is not an official government website.

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    Yes you will get per diem for your TDY. You’ll probably get proportional and incidentals since you will be on post and have the opportunity to eat at the chow hall on post. Which looks like $27 a day, though you may get the gov’t meal rate which could be less like $17 a day.
    You will continue to get your BAH while you are TDY. You will get your per diem paid out after you return to your home post and file a travel voucher with your finance unit. Save a couple copies of your orders. If you are married and are gone for more than 31 days you qualify for family separation pay which is about $250 make sure you fill out that form too other wise you won’t get it. Good luck.

  • Ryan

    I am being sent to JRTC at Ft Polk, I am stationed at Ft Campbell with my family. We are being told we will be there for 33 days and they plan on deducting our BAS even though we are on seperate rations. Am I entitled TDY pay and FSA for being at training for over 30 days away from family?

    • Mark Gerecht

      Ryan, in the past when Soldier’s deployed post 9-11 they were authorized to keep their BAS or FSSA. I have included an Extract of AR 37-104 which states this entitlement ended in 2006 but it may still be valid as the regulation has not been updated since 2005. It is possible that since there is a big budget crisis the entitlement could have been revoked. You might want to check with your local finance office for alternatives, the IG may be able to provide assistant with regard to regulatory information on the subject if a finance office is not available at your installation.
      11–4. Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance
      a. General Provisions. The Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance (FSSA) was established 1 May 2001 and will terminate 30 September 2006. The purpose of the allowance is to supplement an individual’s BAS to a level
      sufficient to remove a member’s household from, or obviate the need for benefits under, the food stamp program. Officer and enlisted members may be eligible for FSSA. The FSSA is paid as a monthly rate not to exceed $500. The
      FSSA is a non-taxable allowance payable in addition to all other pays and allowances.
      b. Eligibility. The FSSA allowance is payable to any officer or enlisted member of the Army who meets all the following criteria:
      (1) Is serving on active duty and receiving BAS.
      (2) Has a gross household income that would make the member eligible for assistance under the U.S. Department of Agriculture food stamp program for a given household size.
      (3) Has made application for and been certified, at a specific payment level, by the appropriate office.

      11–5. Authorization of Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance
      a. All applications for FSSA will be processed through the soldier’s chain of command.
      b. The soldier’s commander will certify a soldier’s entitlement to FSSA and will forward an approved DA Form 4187, with the specific dollar amount stated (must be even dollar amount not to exceed $500), to the local DMPO/FO.
      A copy of the DA Form 4187 will be also be sent to the following e-mail address: DFAS–IN.FSSA@DFAS.MIL
      c. When a soldier is promoted or has a permanent change of station move, the DMPO/FO will issue a message to the e-mail address in paragraph 11–5b, above notifying them to STOP the FSSA. Once the message is sent, the DA
      Form 4187 will be put into a suspense file awaiting verification of a transaction by others (TBO) input on the daily transaction register (DTR). Once the transaction is verified, a copy of the DA Form 4187, a copy of the DTR, and any
      other supporting paperwork, will be filed at the field site. This documentation is required on site for post payment audit. Note that disposition instructions of this paperwork are to be determined. All actions which may require a STOP
      of FSSA can be found in the DODFMR, Vol. 7A, chapter 25.
      d. All FSSA allowances must be re-certified annually on 1 February of each year.

      Did you find this information useful? We appreciate your feedback!

    • Mackie


      In adition to what Mark stated above, below is a link to ALARACT 105/2010, BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE (BAS) COLLECTIONS. This message reinforces to commanders, G1’s, S1’s, and military pay offices that the law and Army regulation require collection for meals provided to Soldiers who are receiving full BAS under field conditions. This requirement is not optional. Unit commanders are responsible to initiate actions to collect reimbursement for meals provided to Soldiers receiving BAS during field training and to develop controls to monitor these collections. See the message for more information.

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