Great news for soldiers and their families who have a permanent change of station coming up, either in the near future or a few years down the road. As of October 10th, the Army is now allowing you to get your dislocation allowance in advance of your PCS move. Even if you have a government charge card, you are eligible for this advance. So you won’t have to worry about fronting any large costs in your lead-up to moving.
What is a dislocation allowance?
In case that phrase is new to you, a quick explanation: in preparation for moving your home to a new base and town, you’ll most likely have to make a few payments for moving expenses. Probably long before you pack up and hit the road. A dislocation allowance, or DLA, is government reimbursement for those necessary costs you incur in the process moving. Any soldier not living in on-base government housing (ie: the barracks) is eligible. You can easily apply for one via your current installation’s finance office. Current rates and details are posted and regularly updated by the Defense Travel Management Office.
What does the new policy mean?
Starting in 2014, all PCS travel and relocation costs had to be paid for with a government charge card. Intended to simply the payment process and keep soldiers from spending their own money, it proved a flawed system. In some cases soldiers still ended up having to pay out of pocket and go through a sometimes complicated reimbursement process later. Now, with the DLA available in advance, soldiers can get the money they’ll need ahead of time. So there’s no worry of any loss of personal assets or savings, temporary or otherwise.
This new PCS allowance advance may sound like a minor change, and one that may not affect you and your family for years. But it’s little improvements like this that help ease and improve the always-difficult process of PCS-ing. And any news that improves the lives of soldiers and their families, no matter how minor, is news worth spreading.