MOAA Urges DoD to Authorize Immediate Increase in Family Separation Pay

MOAA Urges DoD to Authorize Immediate Increase in Family Separation Pay
A sailor assigned to the Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Washington (SSN-787) embraces his family during the boat’s homecoming at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., on Dec. 15, 2023. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Cameron Stoner/Navy)

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.


[RELATED: Read About MOAA’s Earlier Work to Advance This Issue]


“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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About the Author

Cory Titus
Cory Titus

Titus separated from the Army in 2017 as a captain and is MOAA's Director of Veteran Benefits and Guard/Reserve Affairs. He is currently studying social entrepreneurship at George Mason University with a focus on improving military financial education.