Moving to a new home can certainly be an exciting yet stressful and expensive process. From purchasing packing supplies to protecting your personal goods to paying for a moving company or driving across the country (coffee and drive throughs can add up), there’s a lot to do, pay for, and it is important to stay organized. Since the military requires you to PCS every 1-4 years they have dedicated programs and financial benefits to help ease you and your family through the process. So we’ve compiled the latest PCS entitlements and Dislocation Allowance (DLA) Rates that you will need for your upcoming orders.
More like this: Military Move: An In-Depth Guide & Expert Tips
Every couple of years, no matter what, you’ll have to relocate to a new base or assignment. And in order to help ease the financial impact, the military offers a number of PCS entitlements which we’ve outlined for you below.
1. Dislocation Allowance
Often abbreviated as DLA, your Dislocation Allowance is a flat sum meant to cover the incidental and extra expenses of moving on PCS orders. It’s based on your pay grade and dependent status. You don’t receive this automatically, you’ll need to be proactive in submitting a claim to your base travel office as part of your PCS process. There’s also an additional benefit called a Secondary DLA which is for those whose PCS or move orders change after they’ve already relocated.
If you’re wondering how much you’ll be eligible for as part of an upcoming move, check out the current 2020 DLA rates.
2. Travel Per Diem
Any time you travel on government orders, you’re entitled to per diem. And that includes PCS-ing. Whether you’re just moving across the state to the next nearest base or headed off for a few years at an OCONUS station, you’ll receive a daily allowance for each day you’re on the road (or in the air). So your meals, snacks, and other incidentals while you and your family are on the go will be covered. Check out the Defense Travel Management Office’s per diem calculator to see what you can expect during your next PCS or trip on orders.
More like this: What is OCONUS and How Do I PCS There?
3. Mileage Reimbursement
If you’re driving yourself or your family in your own vehicle during your PCS move, those miles are definitely going to add up. As will the cost of gas to drive them. Luckily, the DoD will reimburse you for the distance you have to travel on orders. The mileage reimbursement rates offered by the DTMO will really help offset the cost of traveling via your own car or truck. They even offer mileage rates for aircraft, if you happen to be flying a private plane or helicopter to your next station.
4. Personally Procured Move
While you do have the option to let the military hire movers to get your things to your next base/home, a lot of people choose to do the work (or the hiring of movers) themselves. A Personally Procured Move (PPM, also sometimes referred to as a Do-It-Yourself or DITY move) lets you control every aspect of the moving process. And, based on the weight of household goods you’re transporting, the government will reimburse 95% of the estimated cost of your move. So if it ends up costing you less, you get to keep that money.
Expert Tip – don’t get caught with pricey overages for your upcoming PCS move. As of August 2013, the minimum excess cost is approximately $100.00 per hundred pounds over the maximum military weight allowance.
More like this: 5 Tips For A Better DITY Move
While your next PCS move will be anything but easy, these entitlements mean you won’t have to break the bank in the process. You might even come out of it actually making some extra cash. And while many of these, like mileage or per diem, are only paid during or after you complete your move, you may be able to get an advance on your PPM payment or DLA if you qualify. For more information, you can check out the Department of Defense’s moving website and their entitlements overview. Or check with your base’s travel office.
Make sure to visit your new installation’s page on MyBaseGuide – where you can find what’s going on, the best schools to local foodie favorites, and more.