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Moving & PCS – Benefits
Moves are part of military life – an opportunity to experience new places, people and challenges. No matter where you’re headed next, Military OneSource can help you understand your financial and logistical options to help you make smart decisions. Here are some of the PCS benefits you can enjoy as a service member.
Travel and relocation allowances
The Defense Department provides travel and relocation allowances to help you with moving expenses.
- Per Diem reimburses you for meals, incidentals and lodging while you are traveling to your new duty station. For current rates, visit the Defense Travel Management Office Per Diem Rates Query page.
- Monetary Allowance in Lieu of Transportation, or MALT, is used as mileage reimbursement when you or your family drive to your new duty station.
- Dislocation allowance, or DLA, partially reimburses you for miscellaneous moving costs and is usually paid once per PCS.
- Advances in basic pay or allowances such as, Basic Allowance for Housing or Overseas Housing Allowance can be requested to help cover moving related expenses. Before taking an advance, be sure you understand the ins and outs.
Temporary lodging allowance and expense
- Temporary Lodging Allowance, or TLA, partially defrays the cost of temporary lodging and meals while you wait for OCONUS housing, for a maximum of 60 days upon arrival and 10 days when leaving. Some exceptions can apply.
- Temporary Lodging Expense, or TLE, partially reimburses the cost of temporary lodging and meals during CONUS moves and is payable for five or ten days, depending on circumstances.
DOD travel perks
Service members and families can also take advantage of these travel perks:
- DOD Dine Smart Traveler Rewards is a program that allows DOD travelers to earn points every time they use their Government Travel Charge Cards to pay for meals at participating restaurants while on official travel. Rewards points can then be redeemed for gift cards. With a one-time enrollment, your Government Travel Charge Card is linked to the Traveler Rewards program, and your points are automatically tracked. Since DOD policy requires travelers to use GTCCs for all official travel expenses, including meals, it’s easy to participate. The program includes an available mobile app to find nearby participating restaurants. Learn more about DOD Dine Smart.
- TSA PreCheck is free for DOD civilians and service members. This includes reservists, National Guardsmen, members of the Coast Guard, and students at the U.S. service academies. When booking travel, service members just need to insert their CAC ID number in the Known Traveler Field and they automatically qualify for TSA PreCheck. This works for official travel, like PCS, or for leisure travel. Dependents ages 12 and under can go through airport security with a participating traveler.
Shipment of household goods
The government pays for you to ship your household goods. Weight limits are based on your rank and dependent status. For more information, view PCS and NTS Weight Allowances (Table 5-37) or TDY HHG Weight Allowances (Table 2-25).
- Unaccompanied baggage, or UB, is separated from other household goods and shipped via an expedited mode because it is needed immediately or soon after arrival. This may consist of personal clothing, essential kitchen items or collapsible items such as cribs or playpens. Unaccompanied baggage is part of the member’s weight allowance and typically occurs with an OCONUS move.
- For questions regarding shipment of household goods, use MilitaryINSTALLATIONS to find the contact information for your local transportation office.
Personal financial management programs
The experts at your local personal financial management services office can help you with budget planning and financial guidance. They offer one-on-one counseling, classes, education and additional information to help service members and their families successfully manage their personal financial responsibilities. Learn more about personal financial management counseling options.
Defense Travel Management Office
Visit the Defense Travel Management Office for current allowance calculators and tables, per diem rates and tools to help you plan your move. Here you can also learn more about the Government Travel Charge Card program, explore DOD Dine Smart Traveler Rewards (including how to enroll, download the mobile app and locate participating restaurants) and understand the one-time TSA PreCheck opt-in process for DOD civilian travelers.
Relocation Assistance Program
Your local Relocation Assistance Program can connect you with:
- Information on housing and moving allowances
- Assistance with home buying and renting
- Information about household goods shipments and storage
- Child care
- Exceptional Family Member Program support
- Spouse employment assistance
- Community resources, referrals and more
Confidential, non-medical counseling
Military OneSource offers free, confidential non-medical counseling for service members and families to discuss adjustment difficulties, ways to manage relocation stress, parenting challenges and more. Learn more about non-medical counseling services.
- 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.