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OCONUS Moves – Benefits
Moving outside the continental United States can be exciting, and may come with a few challenges. Military OneSource is ready with support, 24/7 anywhere in the world. Access comprehensive moving tools and services and information to help you understand the benefits and resources available to help you master your OCONUS move so you can enjoy your overseas experience.
Learn more about planning your OCONUS move, and review the following benefits and resources. If you have any questions, you can contact a Military OneSource moving expert by phone or live chat. For questions about new procedures and safety guidelines due to COVID-19, contact your installation personnel support office.
Benefits and resources
In addition to support offered by your installation Relocation Assistance Program, here are some benefits and resources available when you are moving OCONUS:
- Command sponsorship is the permission needed for your family to accompany you overseas. You should apply for command sponsorship as soon as you receive your PCS orders. If approved, you’ll receive an additional allowance, reimbursement for moving expenses and more weight in your moving shipment. Follow all instructions carefully when applying and keep strict records of your expenses once approved.
- The military sponsorship program is different from command sponsorship. The sponsorship program helps service members and families settle into a new duty station. It is available to all service members and families no matter where you are moving to, and can be especially helpful if you are moving to a new country. Your unit will assign you a sponsor, typically a service member of similar rank and family status, to help you learn the ropes at your new location. Learn more about how sponsorship can help you settle into your new home.
- Overseas Housing Allowance, or OHA, may be available to offset the cost of living off-base. It is based on rank and dependents and is available to unaccompanied service members only if government housing is unavailable. Contact your installation housing office for more details and help with applying for OHA. You can also visit the Defense Travel Management Office for an OHA calculator.
- Family Separation Allowance, or FSA, is paid when your family members can’t live with you at your permanent duty station – most commonly when transportation isn’t authorized, housing is unavailable, you’re aboard a ship, or your family can’t move because of a medical condition. This allowance is paid as a flat, monthly rate. Check with your installation housing office or the Defense Finance and Accounting Service for more FSA details.
- Dislocation Allowance, or DLA, can help with miscellaneous moving costs. It is generally paid once per PCS. It is not paid of you are reassigned to government quarters or are unaccompanied. Visit the Defense Finance and Accounting Service for more information about DLA, or contact your installation Finance Office.
- Move-in Housing Allowance, or MIHA, helps cover the cost of miscellaneous expenses like appliances, lease taxes, or one-time rental or security-related expenses. It varies by currency rate and location. Check with your installation housing office for more details about MIHA.
- Family Supplemental Subsistence Allowance, or FSSA, is a Defense Department program that supplements an eligible active service member’s household income. FSSA is only available for service members who are serving outside the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands or Guam. Eligibility is based on household size and income, and maximum payment is $1,100 per month.
For more information about the FSSA program or any other assistance, contact your installation personal financial management services office. Other helpful resources include:
- Understanding the Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance download from the Defense Department Office of Financial Readiness
- DD Form 2857, Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance Application
- Advances are available to cover the cost of moving. You can apply for an advance of basic pay to cover:
- Basic allowance for housing
- Overseas housing allowance
- Moving-related expenses
- Travel allowances (varies by service branch)
Before taking an advance, be sure to do your homework. Your installation personal financial managers and counselors can provide information about advance pay, financial aid organizations, emergency assistance and more. Learn more about personal financial management counseling options offered through your Military and Family Support Center.
- Confidential, non-medical counseling – Military OneSource offers free, confidential non-medical counseling to discuss adjustment difficulties for adults and children, ways to manage relocation stress and more. You can connect with a counselor to schedule an appointment 24/7 over the phone, in person, via secure online live chat or via secure video sessions. You are eligible for up to 12 sessions.
One of the benefits of military life is the unique opportunity to experience different parts of the world – the chance to live in diverse cultures and environments. Let Military OneSource connect you with the benefits and resources that can help you master your PCS and enjoy your overseas experience.