Military Travel (PCS) Move Entitlements

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The U.S. Army/Flickr

Military members who make Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves from one duty station to another are authorized many entitlements. Below is a quick glance of the major entitlements authorized in conjunction with moving from one duty assignment to another.

House Hunting Prior to a Move

Military members are allowed a permissive TDY (Temporary Duty) for up to 10 days in conjunction with a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move between and within the 50 states & District of Columbia.

By "Permissive TDY" that means there is no transportation or per diem paid, but members are not charged for leave.

Military members may request (from their commander) this permissive TDY anytime after they receive their written reassignment orders. However, because there is no travel entitlement, most military members elect to use this benefit, after signing out of their old base, but before signing into their new base. In other words, they plan to arrive at their new base 10 days early, which then gives them 10 days for house-hunting, which is not charged as leave.

The "house-hunting" entitlement only applies for members who will not be living in the barracks/dormitories after arrival at the new assignment.

Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE)

TLE is designed to partially offset lodging and meal expenses when a member and/or dependents need to occupy temporary lodging in CONUS (Continental United States) in connection with a PCS.

The member receives reimbursement (for member and family members) for temporary lodging and meal expenses, up to $180 per day.

If the member is moving from one CONUS base to another, he/she is authorized up to 10 days TLE, either at the losing duty station or at the new duty station (or any combination, up to 10 days total).

If the member is moving from CONUS to overseas, they can only receive up to five days TLE at the losing duty station. If the member is moving from Overseas to CONUS, they can receive up to 10 days TLE at the new CONUS duty station after arrival.

TLE is not paid for lodging made during the actual travel days from one duty station to another (that's an entirely different animal, called "per diem," rather it's for temporary lodging (in the states) at the old duty station, before departure, or at the new duty station, after arrival.

The legal authority for TLE is 37 USC 404a. For more information about TLE, see the TLE FAQ Page, on the Military Per Diem, Transportation, and Allowance Committee Web Site.

Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA)

What TLE is to CONUS, TLA is to overseas. Up to 60 days (can be extended) may be paid for temporary lodging expenses and meal expenses after a military member (and his/her family) arrive at a new overseas location, while awaiting housing. Up to 10 days of TLA can be paid for temporary lodging expenses in the overseas location, prior to departure.

The legal authority for TLA is 37 USC 405. For more information about TLA, see the TLA FAQ Page, on the Military Per Diem, Transportation, and Allowance Committee Web Site.

Dislocation Allowance

Military members may be entitled to a Dislocation Allowance (DLA) when relocating their household due to a PCS. DLA is intended to partially reimburse relocation expenses not otherwise reimbursed. For more information and current rates, see our DLA Information Page.

The legal authority for Dislocation Allowance is 37 USC 407.

Per Diem for PCS Travel

Military members receive a "per diem" allowance, which is designed to partially reimburse for lodging and meal expenses when traveling from one duty station to another.

When traveling by Privately Owned Conveyance (POC), military members are paid a flat rate of $85.00 per day for each day of authorized travel used. When the member travels cy commercial means, they are paid the established per diem rate, (under "Lodging Plus") for the new Permanent Duty Station (PDS), or the rate for the delay point if the member stops overnight.

Per diem for dependents is 3/4 of the member's applicable rate for each dependent 12 years old or older and 1/2 of the member's rate for each dependent under 12 years.

The legal authority for PCS Per Diem is 37 USC 404.

Travel By Privately Owned Conveyance (POC)

When members elect to travel to their new duty station by POC (auto), they are entitled to receive a mileage allowance, in lieu of cost of airline ticket. The reimbursement rate depends on the number of authorized travelers in the vehicle. For complete information, see our PCS/TDY Travel Mileage Rates Information Page.

The legal authority for POC Travel is 37 USC 404(d)

Dependent Travel Within CONUS By Other Than POC

Within CONUS dependents may be authorized to travel by commercial means (air, rail, bus), unless they elect to travel by POC, from the old PDS to the new PDS. The military member can be reimbursed for this travel, up to what it would have cost the military to purchase an airline ticket.

The legal authority for Commercial Travel of Dependents within the CONUS is 37 USC 406(a).

Dependent Travel Outside CONUS 

Dependents can travel to overseas assignment locations, either via military aircraft, or by commercial means. Warning: If one purchases their own commercial airline tickets for travel to an overseas assignment location, one may only be reimbursed if the aircraft is an American-Flag Carrier, if any AMCs fly to that location. The only time one can be reimbursed for flying on a commercial foreign carrier is if no AMC services that overseas location.

The legal authority for dependent travel outside of the CONUS is 37 USC 404.

Household Goods Transportation

Military members can ship Household Goods from their old duty station to their new duty station. Authorized up to 18,000 pounds, but varies by grade & whether or not the member is with or without dependents. See our Household Goods Weight Table for more information.

In addition to allowing the military to arrange for movement of Household Goods, the member can elect to move it themselves, and receive reimbursement if the move is within the CONUS. For details, see our article about "Do-It-Yourself," or "DITY" Moves.

The legal authority for Household Goods Transportation is 37 USC 406.

Damage Claims

A member has 2 years from the date of HHG delivery to make a claim. Claims are processed through the Personal Property Office responsible for the area where the HHG were delivered. Claims are limited to $40,000 depreciated value of the shipment regardless of weight. At his own expense, the member may purchase full replacement coverage. The additional cost is based on the weight of the HHG shipment.

Limited Household Goods Transportation Overseas

If the military member's orders state that government furnishings are provided at the overseas location, the member's Household Good Weight Shipping Allowance is limited to 2,500 pounds or 25 percent of HHG weight allowance, plus nonavailable items. Additional items (up to the weight allowance) is allowed to be placed in Nontemporary Storage.

The legal authority for limited Household Goods transportation is set by various military service regulations.

Non-Temporary Storage of Household Goods 

Military members can elect to have the military store all, or part of their Household Goods on a permanent basis during the assignment, up to their maximum weight allowance.

The legal authority for Nontemporary Storage of Household Goods is 37 USC 406(d).

Additional Consumables Allowance 

This is a separate allowance for annual shipment of up to 1,250 pounds per year of consumable items. Weight is in addition to  the household goods weight limit.

The legal authority for additional consumables allowance is 37 USC 406(b)(1)(D).

Mobile Home Transportation

When moved by  a commercial transporter, reimbursement includes carrier charges, road fares & tolls, permits & charges for the pilot car. If towed by POC, reimbursement is for actual costs. For self-propelled mobile home, reimbursement is at 36.5 cents per mile. May be transported by GBL. Reimbursement is limited to what it would have cost the Government to transport member's maximum HHG weight allowance.

Transportation of Mobile Home is in lieu of HHG transportation and is authorized only within CONUS, within Alaska, & between CONUS & Alaska.

The legal authority for Mobile Home Transportation is 37 USC 409.

Transportation of Privately Owned Vehicles (POV)

Military members can ship POVs in conjunction with many overseas assignments (and, of course, can ship them back to the CONUS, upon completion of the assignment). The military services can apply restrictions on this entitlement. For example, for assignments to Korea, military members must be "command sponsored" (allowed to be accompanied by family members), or must be in the grade of E-7 or above, in order to ship a vehicle.

Members may also be authorized shipment for a replacement POV during any 4-year period, while assigned overseas.

Members are also authorized mileage reimbursement when driving the vehicle to the authorized port for shipment, and when picking up the vehicle from the authorized receiving port.

There is only limited authority for POV shipment within CONUS. Shipment within the CONUS is authorized only when medically unable to drive, homeport change, or not enough time to drive.

The legal authority for POV shipment is 10 USC 2634(h)10 USC 2634, and 37 USC 406(h).

POV Storage

A member is authorized storage of a POV when (a) ordered to an overseas assignment to which POV transportation isn't permitted, or (b) sent TDY on a contingency operation, for more than 30 days.

The legal authority for POV storage is 10 USC 2634.

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