USFK launches OHA survey for those living off base

USFK launches OHA survey for those living off base

by Capt. Enoch Stohry
USFK

Here’s how you can have a direct impact on your Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA), specifically for your monthly recurring maintenance utility and maintenance expenses, to include your one-time move-in housing allowance otherwise known as MIHA.

Currently, if you are a recipient of OHA or MIHA in Korea, an official survey is currently open and live where you can take part and give your feedback.

This survey is not to be confused with and is unrelated to your monthly rental allowance.

The Utility/Recurring Maintenance Allowance is paid monthly to defray expenses paid directly to utility companies and expenses incurred from recurring maintenance and minor repairs for the leased residence. Expense data gathered from members receiving OHA and paying their own utility bills determines this allowance, set to cover the 80th percentile of reported costs. Members with utilities paid by the landlord do not receive this allowance; it is added to the rental allowance. Members without dependents and paying their own utilities, are entitled to 75 percent of the rate set for members with dependents.

MIHA partially defrays move-in costs associated with occupying privately leased quarters. The MIHA/Miscellaneous allowance is an up-front, lump sum payment that reflects average expenditures to make dwellings habitable (e.g., transformers, supplemental heating equipment, wardrobes, electricity connection). Members with and without dependents receive the full allowance with their first OHA rental payment. This allowance does not cover any moving-out costs.
Both of these allowances are updated directly via your feedback on the survey so ensure that your voice is heard with the expenses that you incur so that you are fairly compensated.

Question. Who is this survey for and where do we find it?

If you are a recipient of OHA in Korea residing in private housing you are eligible to take the survey.
If you go to google on your web browser and just type in “OHA Survey” it’ll be that first official link that pops up. Follow the prompt specific to Korea to take the survey and it’s that easy.

For the utility expenses portion, gather your bills, receipts, and/or records of utility and recurring maintenance expenses incurred within the last 12 months and compute a MONTHLY AVERAGE for each of these expenses.

For the move-in allowance, gather your receipts for all expenses incurred when initially moving into your residence.

One of the great things about this particular survey is that it allows you to save your progress via your DoDID number. The survey is completely voluntary and this is simply used for both verifying you are an OHA recipient as well as allowing you to save your progress. You may go through the survey and realize that you need to gather some receipts or track down some bills. With this capability you won’t have to start all over again.

All responses are kept strictly confidential and no individual statistics are reported at all.

Another great thing about this survey along with being able to save your progress and come back, is that it has a comments section where you can communicate expenses incurred that there were not questions about.

You may save the survey, obtain additional information, and resume the survey at any time during the survey time-frame. Please note that incomplete surveys cannot be used as this might result in underreporting of utility/recurring maintenance and move-in expenses.

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