Last year, inside the massive, annual defense policy bill was a measure aimed at making long exercises and deployments easier on families — a hike in the “Family Separation Allowance” — but, for reasons that remain unclear, the Pentagon has yet to implement the bump in pay.
The allowance, also known as FSA, is typically an extra monthly $250 that a service member is paid “to defray a reasonable amount of extra expenses” that come with a separation from their dependents that lasts more than 30 days.
Under the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, signed into law in December, the Pentagon is now allowed to increase the allowance to as much as $400. Specifically, the bill says the payment must be “not less than $250, and not more than $400.”
According to an internal Army newsletter that was sent out to soldiers Friday and reviewed by Military.com, the service described the change in the NDAA as “discretionary” and cited unnamed Defense Department guidance that meant “no increase is being implemented.”
Military.com reached out to the Pentagon, and a defense official said in an emailed statement Tuesday that they have “not made any decision to change the monthly amount of Family Separation Allowance at this time.”
The official's statement also noted that Congress gave the Pentagon “flexibility over time to…