According to Department of Defense statistics, a permanent change of station (PCS) move costs an average of about $12,000. But, most of that, or maybe even all of it, is covered by the various relocation entitlements provided to you. Here are the basic entitlements:
Monetary Allowance in Lieu of Transportation (MALT). Service members receive MALT, commonly just called “mileage,” when they drive their own vehicle to a new assignment. It is paid on a per-mile basis for the official distance. Your commanding officer at your current duty station must grant approval prior to your travel if you wish to be reimbursed for driving two or more privately owned vehicles to your new duty station.
Per Diem. Service members entitled to MALT will also receive a flat per diem payment for each day of authorized travel for themselves and their family members. The maximum number of days for which per diem may be paid is calculated by dividing the official distance by 350 miles per day. The rates are as follows:
- The service member receives 100% of the authorized amount.
- Authorized travelers 12 years of age and over receive 75% of the authorized amount.
- Authorized travelers under 12 years of age receive 50% of the authorized amount.
Dislocation Allowance (DLA) is intended to help with miscellaneous moving costs such as deposits and utility connection fees, and is generally paid once per PCS move. Although it is generally not paid for local moves, DLA is available both Continental United States (CONUS) and Outside Continental United States (OCONUS). It is not paid if you were assigned to government quarters and not accompanied by family members.
Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE). For CONUS moves, TLE is meant to partially offset the cost of lodging and meals when you need temporary housing. It is payable for up to 10 days. For CONUS-to-OCONUS moves it is limited to five days.
Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA). If arriving OCONUS, TLA is used to pay for temporary lodging while waiting for housing to become available. It is paid for a maximum of 60 days.