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Servicemembers in Germany, Italy and the Benelux could change how much money they get to cover the costs of utilities and other household expenses.

The annual Overseas Housing Allowance Utility Survey, used to determine the amount those living off post receive for utility expenses, begins Thursday, along with a survey that will determine servicemembers’ move-in housing allowance for the next three years.

Servicemembers who live off post and receive an overseas housing allowance can participate in the online surveys, found at https://www.perdiem.osd.mil/oha/survey/feboha.html.

“The key thing we need to advertise to people is we need to ensure enough people take the survey to provide a valid survey that can be used to appropriately adjust those allowances,” said Maj. Randy Johnson, deputy finance operations director for the 266th Finance Command. “Like any survey, the more people that take it, the more accurate your data is going to be.”

The utility and recurring maintenance allowance is a monthly stipend that covers the costs of such things as electricity, water, heating fuel, trash and sewer, as well as minor home repairs. The move-in housing allowance is a one-time payment that covers many of the costs associated with moving in, such as appliance purchases and getting utilities turned on.

To complete the surveys, participants should use actual bills or records of utility expenses and maintenance expenses for the last 12 months, as well as their actual move-in costs, according to the per diem committee.

Unlike the housing allowance, servicemembers receive the same amount for utilities, regardless of rank.

The survey does not apply to civilians.


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