Moving to a new home every few years is an exciting yet stressful part of being in the military. That means that it’s vital for you to understand your PCS entitlements before you head off to your next great adventure. From purchasing packing supplies to protecting your personal goods to paying for a moving company or driving across the country (coffee and fast food can add up, after all), there’s a lot to do and to pay for. That’s why it is so 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 through the process. To help out even more, we’ve compiled information about the latest PCS entitlements, Dislocation Allowance (DLA) Rates, and more that you will need for your upcoming orders.
Know what PCS entitlements you’re looking for? Jump right to that info by clicking the links below.
- Dislocation Allowance (DLA)
- Per Diem Pay
- Mileage Reimbursement
- Personally Procured Move (PPM)/Do-It-Yourself Move (DITY)
- PCS Entitlements Calculator
More like this: Military Move: An In-Depth Guide & Expert Tips
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. You don’t receive this automatically. Instead, you’ll need to be proactive in submitting a claim to your current installation’s travel office as part of your PCS process. There’s also an additional benefit called a Secondary DLA, which is for those military members whose PCS orders change after they’ve already relocated.
Your 2022 Dislocation Allowance will depend on several factors, including your current rank and if you have any dependents. Military members with dependents usually see anywhere from $700 -$1,000 extra in DLA. Lucky for you, rates for 2022 DLA went up by a decent amount, so if you’re PCSing in 2022, you can expect a little bit extra from the military.
If you’re wondering precisely how much you’ll be eligible for as part of an upcoming move, check out the just-released rates for your 2022 Dislocation Allowance, effective January 1st, 2022.
2. Per Diem
Your next set of PCS entitlements comes in the form of a daily allowance. Any time you travel on government orders, including PCS moves, you’re entitled to per diem pay. Per diem is how the military reimburses you for daily costs associated with a move, like lodging and meals.
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.
2022 rates didn’t see much of a change over 2021 per diem rates. According to gsa.gov, meal and incidental rates average out to be $59, whereas lodging goes unchanged at $96.
3. Mileage Reimbursement
If you’re driving yourself or your family in your own vehicle during your PCS move, those miles will start to add up almost instantaneously, as will the cost of gas to drive them. Luckily, the DoD will reimburse you for the distance you have to travel on PCS orders. The mileage reimbursement rates offered by the Defense Travel Management Office 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, and motorcycles, if you’re a two-wheel type of Servicemember.
Mileage reimbursement is paid out on a per-mile basis. That means that you’ll get a certain amount of money for each mile traveled, which also means you need to keep a close eye on your odometer as you travel. For example, last year, someone on TDY traveling to their station via motorcycle would receive $0.54 per mile, while someone driving for a PCS would receive $0.16 per mile.
You can find the most recently updated 2022 mileage reimbursement information here.
4. Personally Procured Move
While you do have the option to let the military hire movers to get your things to your next base for your PCS, a lot of people choose to do the work themselves. A Personally Procured Move (PPM), which is also 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 the household goods you’re transporting, the government will reimburse you for up to 95% of the estimated cost of your move. So if it ends up costing you less, you get to keep that money.
A PPM has benefits and drawbacks. On one hand, you don’t have to rely on someone else to safely transport your household goods across the country to your new station. On the other hand, it takes a lot more time, effort, and planning to move your home all by yourself across the country every few years. Your choice will depend on how much effort you’re willing to put in and what you think is the best choice for you and your family.
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 per hundred pounds over the maximum military weight allowance (or $1 for every pound you go over). So make sure what you’re transporting is under your weight allowance.
Don’t know how your weight allowance works? Learn everything you need to know here: What is Your PCS Weight Allowance? In-Depth Guide & 6 Tips
PCS Entitlements Calculator
With all of these PCS entitlements, it can be a little difficult to understand how much money you’re going to get and what exactly that will end up covering during your move in the long run. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools on the internet that can help you with budgeting for your PCS move, including a PCS entitlements calculator that will lay everything out for you in a simple and easy-to-digest way.
Click here for official PCS entitlements calculators for several types of PCS entitlements that our military families love.
By now, you know your next PCS move will be anything but easy. However, knowing all about your PCS entitlements can make the financial process a lot more manageable. And when your finances are easier to handle, everything else seems smoother by comparison.
You might even come out of your next military move 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. You should also check in with your base’s travel office to get more specific information on your PCS entitlements.