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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 19169
Experience:  Lawyer and current JAG officer.
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I have two homes. one in NY one in PA. I lived for 6 years

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I have two homes. one in NY one in PA. I lived for 6 years in my NY home, now days, most of the time I spent on PA, but I stay in NY few days a week and weekends. My family is there. I intend to go back to NY once I pay off the home in NY which will be in a year or so. While I get deployed to Afghanistan, My wife kids want to go to Ecuador where her parents live. For (BAH) basic housing allowance purpose.. which address should I provide? IN NY I pay a mortgage, utilities, insurance, etc same thing in PA. All my bank statements, bills, my will and power of attorney have the NY address. My license is from NY. My car registration is PA. I let my elder parents stay at my home in NY, they help out with money. but I control and pay every bill and everything that is in that house. issue here is about legal residence? domicile? dependents location? what if they go to ecuador? there is no BAH rate for Ecuador :) difference is (PA)2000 vs (NY)3400 per month. It is not worthy to get in trouble for that difference. My home of record is also Queens NY, I live there at the time of enlistment but that is not used for BAH determination. but indeed, NY is where I intend to go back once the time is right.

Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I have nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines, including JAG.


NY is where you intend to go back, once the time is right, but you're not living there full time now. Neither will your family.


Claiming NY now, when it is not yet your intention to actually be full time there, is a good way to get into trouble. Claim the home that you are currently in when you get deployed, in NJ.



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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

When you say "claim the home You are currently in when you get deployed"


I will get deployed at the end of June. I WILL for sure be in my home in Queens NY from May 4th until the day I go into Active Duty. My wife and kids will go to Ecuador middle of May. So At the time that I go into AD, My primary home will be my home in NY. does it change your advise? thank you



Yes, but is that your permanent home?


I just got done court martialing someone based on BAH fraud. It was for something very similar to this. Now, it is true that your facts are slightly better than the other person's facts, but not good enough. The military very well can claim that you are going to NY to 'tailor' your BAH right before you leave for a deployment.


If your family were moving to NY, you'd be fine.


I wish I could tell you that you could do this with no trouble, but I can do it. I can't give you advice that may very well result in your being in serious trouble.


So no, I am not changing my advice here.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you.. I will listen to you and will bring this forward to the unit. I even spoke to a Division Lawyer, he was of little help.


But one thing if for sure.. if I move to NY from May 4th until deployment is NOT to tailor it... but this is very real and TRUE>> it is because the Unit that I will be training with (Annual training/entire month of May) is very very close to my home in Queens, Like 5 miles from it. I have no intent to drive 90 miles each way, everyday. So if I stay at my Queens, NY home is because I have Annual training there and my home is 5 miles away. With my family in Ecuador I 'll have no reason to go to PA.

Yes, but moving for the purpose of just an annual training is not indicative of a permanent move.


Again, with your family not moving there, your command can disbelieve you here.


Even if JAG doesn't think there is enough to go forward with a court martial, command can do plenty of other administrative things to make your life bad.


Talk to your command. See what they think. If they agree, then fine.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I talked to HHD Cdr, she told me I will be fine. she suggested I talked to the JAG lawyer at DIV. I did. he went ahead and did my "last will" with NY as the State.

I will double check again with them though.. last thing I need is to be having problems due to this. but at the same time if I am legally eligible for a higher benefit, why not.

Sure, if you've run this by your command, you should be fine.


It would be your command that would have to initiate any sort of action against you, and if it is cleared with them, you would be legally clear.


I certainly want you to get as much as you can. I've been deployed, I know how that is. You should get paid, but I just wanted to make sure you were safe in the process.


Take care.