Preparing for a move can be daunting, whether it’s down the street, a few states away, across the country, or out of the country! Besides the practical part of actually moving your stuff and getting life set up in a new town, did you know that PCS (permanent change of station) entitles you to certain benefits? These involve both your valuable time and money! Learn more below.
House Hunting Leave
Like all leave, this must be approved by the commanding officer, but if you need some time to look for a new home, consider using this permissive TDY rather than personal leave. This can be authorized up to 10 calendar days. If your PCS is within the same local area, you will not be entitled to this leave.
Travel Days & Per Diem
Divide your distance traveling (in miles) by 350 to get the number of days you will be allotted to travel. You should be reimbursed per diem for your travel days, which helps cover the cost of meals, incidentals and lodging while traveling. Check here for local area per diem rates. You are also entitled an additional percentage of per diem for dependents traveling with you.
Up to 4 additional days of proceed time can be taken in certain situations. See the instruction here as to when this is applicable. If leave is taken in conjunction with your PCS you are entitled to proceed time (4 days). This is not authorized for local moves, initial, final or temporary orders.
Dislocation Allowance (DLA) is a flat rate reimbursement that varies based on rank and dependents to help with the costs of moving a household.
Temporary Lodging Expense
Up to 10 days of temporary lodging expense (TLE) can be reimbursed depending how far you are moving. For example, if you arrived at your new duty station and your new home was not available yet, you could use TLE to help pay for the Navy Lodge until you could move in. If you are moving overseas you can be entitled to Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) which can defray the cost of temporary lodging for up to 60 days upon arrival and 10 days upon departure.
Monetary Allowance in Lieu of Transportation
If you drive to your new duty station, you are entitled to Monetary Allowance in Lieu of Transportation (MALT). The rate as of Jan 1, 2022, is 18 cents per mile.
Most of the above expenses will be reimbursed by the travel claim done by the service member after the move. Some payments can be requested in advance, including basic pay, BAH, OHA and TLE. For CONUS moves you can request up to 3 months of basic pay and BAH. For OCONUS moves you can request 12 months of OHA. These pays are paid back as an interest-free loan over the next 12 months. TLE can also be requested in advance, but it needs to be backed up by receipts after the fact with the travel claim.
For more PCS resources, click here.