Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance (FSSA) program is a voluntary financial benefits program for military families, intended to increase a service member’s income in order to remove their household from eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly the food stamp program).
FSSA was established May 1, 2001, to supplement a service member’s BAS and to remove or prevent the need for assistance under the Food Stamp Program. All active duty members, including those serving outside of the United States, may apply for FSSA.
The program is especially designed to help large military family households.
Officer and enlisted members entitled to BAS may also qualify for FSSA. FSSA is payable at a monthly rate as determined by the Military Service concerned under the guidance provided by the Secretary of Defense, and may not exceed $1,100. FSSA is a nontaxable allowance payable in addition to all other pays and allowances.
To be eligible for FSSA a member must be on active duty and receiving BAS, meet the gross income guidelines for household size as determined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and must have applied and been certified at a certain payment level by the appropriate office. Members must re-certify annually in February and upon the advent of any of the following: promotion, acceptance of a Permanent Change in Station (PCS), increase in household income by $100 or change in family size.
When re-certifying, it is important for members to adhere to the reapplication period time-lines so that their entitlement does not lapse. Members may reapply for FSSA up to 30 days before and 30 days after an event requiring re-certification without a lapse in entitlement. Reapplication after 30 days of an event that would otherwise terminate entitlement will be treated as an initial application.
To learn more about the FSSA entitlement, see the DoDFMR Vol. 7A, Chapter 25, Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS), paragraph 2502 at: defenselink.mil/comptroller/fmr/07a/07a_25.pdf