Moving in general can be stressful, especially for military members and their families. Having your household belongings prepared and making appointments with reliable services is crucial to a stress free move.
First determine what type of moving expenses you are covered for your move:
- Personal and Dependent Travel: The government will take care of travel costs.
- Household Goods: The government gives you a weight limit based on your family size and rank. You are then allowed to ship that amount of your belongings to your new station
- Dislocation Allowance: DLA will reimburse you for some aspects of your relocation expenses. Although it is not the full cost, it does help.
- Temporary Lodging Reimbursement: This program reimburses you for any money spent on temporary housing or house hunting.
If you are eligible for 3 or 4, be certain to get and keep receipts for all moving expenses. This is important once tax time comes around because only your profit from the allowance or reimbursement will be taxed. Keeping track of all moving-related expenses will maximize your profit.
Once your move type and location are determined, you will have to make some choices regarding how your belongings are shipped to your new destination. Upon receiving your total weight allowance (depending on your rank), servicemembers and their families have a choice as to the means for moving the household goods:
- Rental truck. You rent a truck in which the price is based on mileage and weight. You are responsible for loading, driving, unloading, and unpacking your belongings.
- Commercial van. Basically, with this option, you are paying for somebody from the van company to drive. You are responsible for packing, loading, unpacking, and unloading the vehicle.
- Your own vehicle. If you use your own transportation, it must be a “cargo” type vehicle, rather than a vehicle designed for passenger transportation. If you are borrowing a vehicle from somebody, you must present a written permission form from the owner.
- Government arranged HHG shipment. Your belongings can be authorized for shipment that the government pays for. This can help transport very heavy appliances such as, furniture or air conditioning.
Throughout your move stay in contact with your Personal Property Officer and military move coordinator to be sure you understand what type of benefits you are eligible for and how to effectively utilize it.