BAH recertification begins this month

  • Published
  • By Brian Shreve
  • Robins Public Affairs
A military-wide recertification of those service members and their families receiving Basic Allowances for Housing is scheduled to begin this month and extend through the end of this year, affecting roughly 3,000 Airmen at Robins alone.

This one-time recertification concerns the with-dependent rate entitlement of BAH, which includes military members married to civilian spouses and any children or parents claimed as dependents.

The review began with last year's audit by the Department of Defense in which it was discovered that in many cases, supporting documents for BAH recipients were not on file or had not been properly certified.

"Part of this review is to say our systems and our transactions are transparent," said Jeffrey McClain, 78th Comptroller Squadron Financial Management chief. "It's to show that for each transaction, the supporting documentation is there."

The BAH is a process by which military members are entitled to a housing allowance based upon their dependency status location of residency.

Along with supporting documents such as birth or marriage certificates, divorce decrees or dependency determination letters, all affected personnel will be required to complete the AF 594, or BAH form.

McClain added that it will not be necessary for Airmen to provide their original documents - copies would suffice - and that the AF 594 must contain a wet signature and cannot be digitally signed.

Certifiers from the 78th Comptroller Squadron's Financial Services Offices are scheduling visits to each unit to recertify documents, rather than requiring airmen to bring their paperwork to the FSO; Squadron First Sergeants will serve as conduits to those within their units who need to have their documents recertified.

The FSO began Thursday by notifying First Sergeants to schedule the unit visits, which will be held between March and July.

In what may already prove to be a "daunting piece," according to McClain, reviewing documents from the Airmen at their duty stations will aid in time efficiency, as well as productivity by not keeping personnel from their work.

He said he hopes this method will also alleviate frustrations that could arise with this larger process, this being the first time recertification has been carried out en masse. Anyone who prefers to visit the FSO to have their documentation reviewed, however, will still be allowed to do so.

"Parking is very limited here," said McClain. "So we don't want 3,000 people coming in all at one time. Based upon the time frame we have to get all these people certified in the entire Air Force, and even here at Robins, this is the best way to do it for a lot of reasons."

In addition, the FSO team will conduct a mass recertification monthly at the base theater for personnel who missed the unit visits or those who wish to complete the process early.

Beginning in August, airmen who did not have the supporting documents recertified by that time will be notified via email and will be required to deliver the documents to the FSO within 30 days.

Airmen who fail to respond within the 30 days will have their BAH reduced to the without-dependent rate.