A MOAA-backed provision authorizing the first increase in Family Separation Allowance (FSA) in more than 20 years became law as part of annual defense authorization legislation, but DoD has yet to enact the pay boost.
Military families make immense sacrifices every day – especially when servicemembers are deployed or on assignments away from home. Congress created the FSA to add a monthly payment, currently $250, to defray extra expenses; language in the FY 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allows DoD to raise that rate to as high as $400 a month.
MOAA testified before the House Armed Services Committee’s Servicemember Quality of Life Panel last year and highlighted the need for increasing FSA. This increase is long overdue, especially given today's high inflation and cost of living. The current allowance is simply inadequate.
“Military spouses already carry an extra load when their servicemember is deployed,” said Jen Goodale, MOAA's director of Government Relations for Military Family and Survivor Policy. “An increased Family Separation Allowance will help relieve some financial strain so families can focus on supporting each other through challenging separations.”
MOAA reached out to DoD to inquire about the status of the FSA increase but has not received any additional information about DoD’s plans. MOAA urged DoD to swiftly use its new authority to fully increase the FSA to $400 per month: After two decades without an increase, there is no justification for further delays.
MOAA will continue applying pressure on lawmakers and DoD leaders to deliver this improved support that separated military families deserve.
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