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The Mountaineer Online



Army Families may qualify for program to pay for food


Judee K. Kelly

Financial Readiness Program Manager
Many Americans find it difficult to make their grocery budget cover rapidly rising costs of feeding their Family. Army Families, like any other, often experience that same difficulty.
To help those Army Families, programs like Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance, or FSSA, have been put in place.
Although not a food stamp program and available to personnel in all branches of the armed services, FSSA provides an allowance to Soldiers to help them fund their Family’s food costs. Soldiers who have not qualified in the past for this type of assistance will be pleased to discover that the FSSA program recently was updated with lower qualification requirements and higher allowances being offered.
The steps to apply are not difficult. Soldiers who think they may qualify can visit https://www. dmdc.osd.mil/fssa/ to complete an application. After completing the application, Soldiers will be immediately informed about whe-ther they qualify, as well as the dollar amount for which the Family qualifies.
The FSSA website is accessible only to active-duty service members, National Guard and Reserve members on active-duty status. FSSA instructions, policy and guidance for eligibility can be found on the FSSA website on the Resources Tab.
Eligibility is based on the income for all members of the household and the number of people living in the household. For example, if there are five people living in the household, total income must be below $2,927 per month (when living in one of the 48 contiguous states) to be eligible.
Soldiers who qualify should print the completed application from the website and contact Army Community Service at 772-6556 / 6557 to schedule an appointment with one of the Finan- cial Readiness advisers.
After attending this appointment, the Soldier will take the completed packet to his or her command for certification and proper routing to the local Finance Office.
The Finance Office staff will then submit the forms to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), which will ensure the approved additional FSSA amount is included in the Soldier’s pay.
This entitlement will be backdated to the date that the application was submitted, so the sooner Soldiers apply, the sooner they may see an increase in their monthly pay.
For more information, call 772-6357 or visit the Fort Drum Financial Readiness office at the Army Community Service Building, 4330 Conway Road.





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