Q. Dear Military Spouse, Do more dependants equal more pay? I heard that the more dependants (kids) you have, the more the military will pay you. Is this true? Kim B.
A. This is pure crap! One of the biggest myths is that the more Dependants you have, the more pay you will receive. This is simply not true. You only receive more pay when you gain a Dependant, you do not receive more money for each additional Dependant you gain. The specific pay that goes up is your BAH. You will now receive BAH with Dependants.
If you are married, you already have a dependant (your spouse). If you and your spouse have a child, you would then have two dependants (your spouse & child) you will not get more money for having a second dependant as you are already receiving the increased BAH pay (BAH with Dependants).
However, you may see a slight take home pay increase due to less taxes being taken out. When you are single, your tax withholding rate is single (which means they withhold the most tax). Usually when you get married you can change this to married with one dependant which means there will be less tax withheld. However, some choose to change it to Married but withhold at the single higher rate. With each additional dependant you have you have the option to change the amount of dependants you claim on your W4. The more dependants you claim the less tax that will be withheld from your pay and therefore more that you will take home every month. This however, is usually not a huge amount, and may explain why your buddy with the same amount of years and rank as you but who has more dependants is seeing more take home pay every month.
So to recap, you will not get paid more for each additional dependant you have. The only time you will see your pay increase due to dependant size will be when you gain a dependant for the first time (such as getting married or if you are single, then having a baby).