2024 Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) RatesUpdated: August 2, 2023
Looking forward to 2024, service members of the U.S. Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, and Space Force will receive a 3.4% Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) increase. This raise will go into effect on January 1, 2024.
With that additional 3.4%, officers are projected to be given $322.28 a month, and enlisted service members are expected to receive $467.95. Those set at the BAS II monthly rate will most likely receive $935.90, which is calculated by doubling the number of enlisted service members.
Are you wondering, “What is Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS)?” Unsure about the differences between BAS and BAS II rates? Let’s dive into the details to help you gain a better understanding of these terms.
What is Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS)?
Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) was established to provide financial assistance to military personnel for grocery expenses. Each year, the Department of Defense calculates BAS rates to ensure service members are adequately compensated for the increasing cost of goods caused by inflation.
Unlike some military benefits, BAS is not used to pay directly for groceries at the store or meals at a restaurant. Military members are responsible for managing their own food expenses, and BAS is an added benefit that partially offsets the cost of food depending on the area.
It’s important to note that some military installations are in areas with proportionally high grocery and meal costs. Service members stationed in these areas with higher costs of living may be eligible to receive a cost-of-living allowance (COLA) as added support.
Is BAS Taxable?
Fortunately, military benefits such as BAS and even BAH are considered non-taxable income. This means the government does not ask for military members to report this income on their tax returns, as that would ultimately reduce the amount of money they would actually receive.
What is BAS II?
The Basic Allowance for Subsistence II (BAS II) is a program that provides extra financial support to military members residing in single/unaccompanied quarters without access to government-issued meals. This allowance is specifically allocated to help cover additional food expenses.
Typically, BAS II is only given to those who are PCSing to serve unaccompanied, and the rate is twice as much as the enlisted BAS rate. Therefore, BAS II is a benefit that is provided after great consideration, and it requires authorization from the Secretary of the Military Department.
2024 BAS Calculation
Very similar to how Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates are calculated, Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) is based on an analysis of how much groceries have increased over the year within a given area.
For instance, the U.S. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that groceries were 4.7% higher in June than they were at the same time last year. Additionally, restaurant food purchases were an astounding 7.7% higher.
With food prices on an upward trajectory, the USDA anticipates military members will need more money to comfortably pay for groceries in the upcoming year. Thus, a 3.4% increase was approved.
Since the purpose of BAS is to support military members who are actively serving, there are restrictions that may prevent some service members from receiving the benefit.
Military members who are going through basic training or officer training are not eligible for BAS. One exception is officers who are going through training that also have continuous prior enlisted service may be eligible for BAS.
Furthermore, those who are taking excess leave or educational leave may not be considered for this benefit. Military members who are absent without official leave, also known as AWOL, understandably do not receive this benefit.
Yearly BAS Rates for Military Members
|Year||Proposed Increase||Actual Increase||Enlisted Rate||Officer Rate||BAS II|