R 211900Z DEC 22
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC MRA MPO//
SUBJ/IMPLEMENTATION AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE BASIC NEEDS ALLOWANCE (BNA) FOR ACTIVE-DUTY MARINES//
AMPN/REF A IS THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE INSTRUCTION (DODI 1341.15), BASIC NEEDS ALLOWANCE (BNA) POLICY. REF B IS THE MARINE CORPS TOTAL FORCE SYSTEM PERSONNEL REPORTING INSTRUCTIONS USER MANUAL//
POC/C. V. GRUBB/CIV/MRA(MPO)/EMAIL: HQMC_MPO@usmc.mil/TEL: 703-784-9388//
POC/M. GORDON/MAJ/MRA(MPO)/EMAIL: HQMC_MPO@usmc.mil/TEL: 703-784-9386//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. Purpose. To announce the Marine Corps policy for the implementation of the Basic Needs Allowance (BNA). The BNA helps ensure Marines and their families can secure affordable basic needs.
2. Background. In accordance with reference (a), the BNA program provides a monthly allowance to Marines who voluntarily apply for BNA and whose gross household income (GHI) and household size places them below 130% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) for their permanent duty station (PDS) location. Units located in OCONUS areas (excluding Hawaii and Alaska) must use the FPGs for the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia. BNA is payable to eligible Marines for months beginning on and after January 1, 2023.
3. BNA Screening. In accordance with reference (a) all Marines will be screened for BNA eligibility per the criteria outlined within paragraph 4. Prescreened Marines who are potentially identified as being eligible for BNA will be notified via Marine On-Line (MOL) as well as by their S-1 offices and commanding officers.
4. Eligibility. A Marine may be determined to be eligible for BNA if they meet the following criteria:
a. The Marine is on active duty with dependents who are enrolled as dependents in Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) and reported within the Marine Corps Total Force System (MCTFS).
b. The Marine has completed entry-level training (ELT). Note: New accession Marines cannot apply until they have arrived at their first PDS. Any training location with a scheduled period of instruction (POI) of 20 or more weeks is considered a PDS.
c. In accordance with reference (a), a Marine serving within the Reserve Component (RC), must be executing active-duty orders for a minimum duration of 180 consecutive days or more to qualify.
d. Initial Screening Criteria: The Gross Household Income (GHI) of the Marine during the most recent calendar year did not exceed an amount equal to 130% of the FPG as most recently published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the location of the Marine and the number of dependents residing within the primary household of the Marine. More information relating to the FPG can be found at https:(slash)(slash)www.hhs.gov/. Example: to determine eligibility for BNA beginning January 2023 all applicants must compare their 2022 GHI against 130% of the 2022 FPG.
e. Recertification Screening Criteria: Special attention should be utilized when determining the Marine’s continued eligibility. When as a result of an increase in pay, current monthly GHI, on an annualized basis, is greater than 130% of FPG for the year immediately preceding, the member becomes ineligible. Example: a 2023 BNA payment, requires comparing the Marine’s total household monthly income (x12) in 2023 against 130% of 2022 FPG.
5. Notification. Command S-1 offices will notify pre-screened Marines no later than 30 days after receipt of the MOL pre-screen advisory, utilizing the NAVMC 118-11, Administrative Remarks (page 11). An example page 11 can be found within the MOL, Electronic Personnel Action Request (EPAR) module under Pay, Basic Needs Allowance (BNA), as well as on the HQMC Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Military Policy Branch (MPO) website at https:(slash)(slash)www.manpower.usmc.mil/webcenter/portal/MPO/pages_compensation/. When the Marine is notified via page 11, the Marine then has 180 days to submit a BNA application, or they are deemed ineligible. The Marine will remain ineligible until the next annual screening cycle, or when a recertification event occurs per paragraph 14. New accession Marines that have been identified as potentially eligible for BNA have 180 days to apply for BNA after arrival at their first PDS.
a. Marines who are notified of potential eligibility should seek assistance from their local installation Personal Financial Management Specialists (PFMs) prior to applying. More information and how to contact a PFM may be found at https:(slash)(slash)usmc-mccs.org/services/career/personal-financial-management/.
6. Process for submitting BNA applications. Marines may apply for BNA regardless of prescreening notification.
a. Marines will utilize the MOL EPAR module dropdown identified as Pay, Basic Needs Allowance (BNA) to submit the BNA application with supporting documentation to their O-5 commanding officer or cognizant special courts-martial convening authority (SCMCA). If the Marine does not have access to the MOL EPAR module, the S-1 office will assist the Marine by utilizing the EPAR module described above to obtain the BNA application and complete the routing process on behalf of the Marine.
7. Supporting documents to be included with the initial and annual recertification BNA applications are at a minimum: a copy of the Marine’s current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), when available, the Marine’s previous calendar year filed income tax return, civilian pay stubs, W-2s, including income documents derived from each member of the household and any documentation reflecting income from government food assistance programs, i.e., the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
8. Application Adjudication. Authority to adjudicate BNA applications rests with the applicant’s O-5 commanding officer or SCMCA. This authority cannot be delegated below the O-5 commanding officer/SCMCA level. Adjudication will result in one of three statuses: certification, determination of ineligibility, or incomplete application.
9. After adjudication of the BNA application package, the Marine will be notified of one of the following results:
a. The Marine is eligible and certified to receive BNA. Adjudicated application must include the total BNA monthly amount with calculation method used per paragraph 14.a of this MARADMIN.
b. The Marine’s eligibility could not be adjudicated. Provide the justification for inability to adjudicate within the applicant’s BNA package. For example, insufficient GHI documentation provided.
c. The Marine is ineligible. Provide the justification for ineligibility within the applicant’s BNA package. For example, Marine exceeds GHI.
10. Upon determination of eligibility and certification of BNA, the Marine must select to receive or decline BNA. Documentation of the Marine’s election will be captured within the BNA application. An example template of the BNA application and adjudication is available within the MOL EPAR module, Pay, Basic Needs Allowance.
11. Upon the Marine’s decision to receive BNA, counseling of the following will occur:
a. While in receipt of BNA; any increase in income such that the Marine’s or any member of the household's current monthly income, on an annualized basis, exceeds 130% of FPG, must be reported to the Unit/S-1 office.
b. Receipt of BNA may affect eligibility for Federal assistance food programs such as subsided school lunch programs, WIC, and SNAP.
c. BNA is taxable income pursuant to Section 61 of Title 26, U.S.C.
d. The Marine may discontinue BNA at any time.
12. Special BNA eligibility considerations. Marines who are receiving BNA and become ineligible due to their GHI surpassing 130% of the previous year FPG based on their household size, will have their BNA terminated no later than 60 days after date of ineligibility. For example, a Marine is promoted and becomes ineligible for BNA due to the pay grade increase, the Marine will continue to receive BNA for 60 days after the date of promotion. Additional example, a Marine formerly found ineligible, who had an increase in family size could potentially be eligible for BNA.
a. Marines in receipt of BNA are responsible for reporting any changes in GHI or family size to their S-1
b. A decrease in GHI as a result of a fine, forfeiture, or reduction in rank imposed as a part of disciplinary action will not be used to increase the amount of BNA for a Marine.
13. Dual military couples. Dual military couples may be eligible for BNA, however, only one allowance may be received. Dual military couples must jointly elect which member will receive the monthly allowance.
14. Recertification requirements. Several routine events may require recertification of BNA. Recalculation of the monthly BNA payment amount is required in such cases for Marines to maintain eligibility. Examples of these routine events include but are not limited to:
b. Annual basic pay increases.
c. Basic pay increase due to years of service (YOS).
d. Start, stop, or change in rate of special or incentive pays.
e. Assignment to family type government quarters.
f. Execution of permanent change of station orders.
g. Annual FPG rate changes.
h. Income changes for other members of the household.
i. Changes to cost-of-living allowance (COLA).
j. Start, stop, or change in rate of bonus payments.
15. Computation of BNA allowance. The BNA application will reflect the Marine’s monthly BNA amount by utilizing the method below.
a. (1.3) x (FPG for year in which allowance is paid) minus (GHI for previous calendar year)) divided by 12. For example, (for a payment in 2023, subtract GHI in 2022 from 130% of FPG in 2023 and divide by 12), the difference will be the monthly BNA amount. An example of the calculation method can be located on page 3 of the BNA application package located within the MOL EPAR module. Additionally, upon release of the 2023 FPG an automated BNA calculator will be available for use on the MPO website at https: (slash)(slash)www.manpower.usmc.mil/webcenter/portal/MPO/pages_compensation.
b. If a Marine is certified for BNA for less than a full month, BNA must be prorated based upon the established eligibility date. Proration must be computed at the rate of 1/30th of the monthly BNA amount for each day of certification during the month.
c. Retroactive payments of BNA for periods prior to the certification date are not authorized.
d. Unit/S-1 offices will send the authorization to pay BNA to the servicing Personnel Administration Center (PAC). To ensure continuous receipt of BNA, this will be a monthly enduring requirement of the unit/S-1 office (until the Marine is no longer eligible for BNA).
16. Personnel Administration Centers (PACs) or Reporting Unit Instructions. The certifying personnel officer must report transaction type code (TTC) 694/693 per instructions in reference (b) to credit the BNA. Eligible Marines will be paid the monthly BNA within 30 calendar days of receipt of the certified application.
17. Leave and Earning Statement (LES). BNA payments will appear on the Marine’s monthly LES as “Basic Needs Allowance”.
18. Reconsideration and appeal of BNA determinations.
a. A Marine whose initial BNA application request is disapproved due to insufficient documentation may re-submit their request with additional supporting documents for reconsideration.
b. Marines may appeal the commander’s disapproval to Headquarters United States Marine Corps, M&RA(MPO) via their chain of command. The Marine's appeal must be routed utilizing the Administrative Action Form (AA Form)(5216) NAVMC 10274 along with substantive information as to why the Marine believes the commander’s decision was in error or unjust. Appeals with endorsement will be forwarded via email to HQMC_MPO@usmc.mil.
19. Reporting requirements. Commanders will maintain BNA records, by month, of the total number of Marines notified via page 11 as being potentially eligible for BNA. In addition to the details of the Commander’s outcome of all adjudications. An example, of a BNA monthly report is available for use on the MPO website. These reports must be provided monthly to HQMC, MPO via HQMC_MPO@usmc.mil.
a. Copies of all signed page 11s and completed BNA applications will be forwarded to the member’s OMPF via SMB.Manpower.MMRPemail@example.com.
20. BNA Tools. To assist Commanders and Marines, several BNA toolscan be located at https:(slash)(slash)www.manpower.usmc.mil/ webcenter/portal/MPO/pages_compensation/ and within the MOL EPAR module. Available tools include, BNA Application Template, BNA Allowance Calculator, BNA Infographics, BNA Monthly Reports Template and page 11 template.
21. This MARADMIN is applicable to the Marine Corps Total Force.
22. Release authorized by Lieutenant General James F. Glynn, Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.//