Basic Allowance for Subsistence Law and Legal Definition

Basic allowance for subsistence refers to a military entitlement granted to offset costs for a member's meals. It is a continuation of the military tradition of providing room and board as part of a service member's pay. It constitutes large portions of a soldier's total income and is not taxable.

In order to avail the benefit of basic allowance for subsistence, one must be a member of the uniformed service who is entitled to basic pay and must be on active duty, or in full-time training, training duty with pay, or other full-time duty provided for by law. [Sweeney v. United States, 1974 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7353 (D. Ga. 1974)].