What is Form DA-5960?
Being a member of the military is no joke. Because of the nature of your job and the rate of your salary, there might be services that would seem inaccessible to you at first glance--for example, housing. It could be difficult for you to acquire housing that is affordable and accessible, especially since housing rates, especially those in cities, could be really expensive.
But you do not have to worry! If you are a member of the military, you are entitled to the many benefits offered to you. When it comes to housing, the military, through the Defense Finance Accounting Service (DFAS), is more than willing to offer you assistance, whether it be housing allowances or access to military housing facilities.
To avail of this benefit, you would have to fill out Form DA-5960 or the Authorization to Start, Stop, or Change Basic Allowance for Quarters (BAQ), and/or Variable Housing Allowance Form. The DA Form 5960 is used by military members to apply for assistance concerning their BAQ and/or VHA.
Why do I have to submit this form?
You have to submit this form to apply for assistance for housing allowances or expenses.
If you have not applied for an allowance yet, you have to submit this form so that the military could start officially releasing your payment.
If you have already applied for an allowance, you are required to submit this form routinely. It is so that the military could adjust your pay record.
If there are changes to your circumstance that may affect your expenses, you are also required to report that update to the military so that they could adjust your pay. According to the DFAS, these instances may be the following:
- Termination of family-type housing
- Assignment to family-type housing
- Married, divorced, or birth of child
- Legal separation or court-ordered child support
- Spouse enlisted or discharged from military
- Child enlisted to military
The DFAS is open to assisting you with your expenses, whatever your situation may be.
How to fill out Form DA-5960?
The form is only a page long. You would have to fill out and submit three copies of this form. Make sure to provide all the information that is asked from you in this form. Nondisclosure of any information may result in nonpayment of your BAQ and/or VHA.
Input your full legal name in the space provided.
2. Social Security Number
The Army identifies you for pay purposes via your SSN. Therefore, this is important information you have to provide. Never leave it blank. Your form will not be processed if you do not provide your SSN.
Input here your current rank in the military.
4. Type of Action
You are asked about the intention in filling out this form. You are presented with the choices Start, Cancel, Change, Report, Correct, Stop, and Recertification. Mark with an “X” the box that corresponds to your answer.
5. Duty Location
Input here your complete unit address.
Input here the effective date of action.
7. BAQ Type
You are asked about the BAQ Type. You are presented with the choices With Dependents, Without Dependents, and Partial (if you are single and paying for child support). Mark with an “X” the box that corresponds to your answer.
8. Marital/ Dependency Status
You are asked about your marital or dependency status. You are presented with the choices Single, Married, Divorced, Legally Separated, and Dependent Child. Mark with an “X” the box that corresponds to your answer.
a. If you checked Divorced or Legally Separated: You will be asked to provide information about your former spouse. Fill out blocks 1, 2, and 3 located just below the choices for Marital Dependency Status.
b. If you checked the box for Dependent Child:
- Block 4: You will be asked about who you are in custody of. Mark with “X” your answer.
- Block 5: If you checked “Other” on Block 4, you will have to provide proof of dependency (DD Form 137)
- Block 6: If you receive child support from another military member, complete blocks 1, 2, and 3.
9. Quarters Assignment/Availability
You are asked to define your quarters’ assignment or availability. You are presented with the choices Adequate, Inadequate, Transient, and Not Available. Mark with an “X” the box that corresponds to your answer.
- Adequate: if you are assigned to government quarters
- Inadequate: see blocks 1, 2, and 4 for additional information you have to provide.
- Transient: see block 3 for additional information you have to provide
- Not Available: if you are residing off-post.
Provide here the details about your dependents or the people you’re sharing your quarters with. Input here their name, complete current address, relationship, and the date of birth of your children.
11. Certification of Dependent Support
In this section, you are to certify that you will provide adequate support for the dependents you have mentioned in Item 10. Write your INITIALS in the boxes provided (Read the form for the full statement of certification).
12. Expenses, if authorized, I am Requesting VHA Based On
In this section, you are asked to indicate information about your monthly expenditure and the monthly expenditures of your dependents, if any.
13. Member’s signature
Affix your signature in the box provided. Your signature is important. You will not be paid your BAH on time if you fail to sign this form.
Input the date you filled out this form.
15. Certifying Officer’s Signature
Do not input anything here. The certifying officer, which is any commanding officer, will input his or her signature here to certify your accomplished Form DA-5960.
How do I submit Form DA-5960?
Submit your accomplished Form 5960 (and, if applicable, other documents supporting dependency) to your unit’s personnel actions office (S1) or human resources office. The receiving personnel will be responsible in submitting the documents to the DFAS.
It is recommended that you keep a copy of your signed forms for your future reference.