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Military Family Separation Allowance

Mississippi service members are entitled to military allowance packages, which give them tax-free compensation for living costs. Allowances provide financial assistance for any services or facilities not provided by the military, including housing, subsistence, cost of living, clothing, overseas housing and family separation. Service members with dependents may qualify for a Family Separation Allowance (FSA) depending on their circumstances. To be eligible for FSA, service members must be subject to an enforced family separation under one of four conditions.

The first condition of entitlement to FSA is when transportation of a service member's dependents to the permanent duty station is not an authorized government expense and the dependents no not already live nearby. The second is when transportation is an authorized government expense but the service member has chosen to embark on an unaccompanied tour of duty due to medical reasons. The third is when a service member is aboard a ship that is away from the homeport for more than 30 continuous days. The final condition is when a service member is away from the permanent station for more than 30 continuous days on temporary duty and their dependents are not residing at the temporary station.

FSA provides service members with up to $250 a month and payments will begin to accrue from the day of departure until the day of return to the home station. Service members must complete a Statement to Substantiate Payment of Family Separation Allowance (DD Form 1561) to verify eligibility.

If a service member's only dependent is a legally separated spouse or child in legal custody of another person, the service member may not be eligible for FSA unless the service member has joint child custody and the child would have resided with the service member but for the current assignment. Therefore, in cases of military divorce, service members may still receive FSA to help support their dependents while they are on unaccompanied tours of duty.

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