Paying for PCS: Know your Entitlements
When moving you will be given a list of the amount and type of items you are allowed to move. This is generally referred to as your entitlements. Your local transportation office will talk you through your specific entitlements during your individual counseling session, but the information below provides an overview of what will be covered.
Note: First time movers, separating service members and retirees must contact their local personal property office to obtain information on their specific entitlements.
Your moving allowance
Moving allowance generally refers to the overall weight of your household goods. The rank specified on your job/travel orders will be used to determine your total weight allowance. In general, as your rank increases, your moving allowance also increases. Any cost to move additional items/weight above your moving allowance will be charged to you after delivery, so work hard to make sure you stay within your weight allowance.
Permanent Change of Station, or PCS, weight allowances
The average weight allowances for a PCS are based on rank, dependency status and move type. Special circumstances, like moving overseas/OCONUS, a retirement move, or a separation move may have extra entitlements and/or limitations. Each branch of service may also offer different allowances too, so be sure to check with your local transportation office to confirm these amounts. Use the MilitaryINSTALLATIONS tool to find your local transportation office contact information. View the PCS and NTS Weight Allowances (Table 5-37).
Temporary Duty, or TDY, weight allowances
If you are going on a TDY, your approving official may authorize you to ship a small amount of household goods, to include some of your professional gear and medical equipment. The weight allowances in the chart below are in addition to any unaccompanied or accompanied baggage. Furthermore, in the event the TDY location becomes the permanent duty station, this would mean that the TDY weight allowance would also be an additional allowance to any PCS weight entitlements. View the TDY HHG Weight Allowances (Table 2-25).
Note: Civilian employees with authorization from the approving official on an extended TDY assignment may ship up to 350 pounds. This unaccompanied baggage is limited to additional clothing, personal effects and equipment directly related to the mission, locality or unusual conditions of the assignment.
What am I allowed to bring?
In addition to weight, there are guidelines or allowances for special items/things. The information below is designed to help you understand these allowances and provide more direction.
Special entitlement information
While a considerable effort was taken to ensure the following information is accurate, ultimately, the Joint Travel Regulation is the authority for entitlements for all service members and civilians. Check with your branch of service or agency for supplemental regulations or guidance in addition to the JTR. If you run into a situation where you need clarification on any of these points, or just want to make sure you understand the official rules, you should reach out to your local transportation office.
For OCONUS moves: Certain OCONUS locations have additional restrictions due to customs restrictions or base policy. If you are traveling OCONUS, contact your local transportation office to double check this guidance.
TLE - Temporary Lodging Expense
TLA - Temporary Lodging Allowances
MALT - Mileage Allowances
DLA - Dislocation Allowances
Overseas COLA - Overseas Cost of Living Allowance
CONUS COLA - Overseas Living Expense
Per Diem Allowances - Per Day Allowances
Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE)
TLE is designed to offset the cost of lodging and meals when a service member and dependents need temporary housing in connection to a PCS.
The service member (with dependents) will receive reimbursement for temporary lodging and meal expenses, up to $290 per day.
If the member is moving from one CONUS base to another, he/she is authorized up to 10 days TLE.
**TLE is not paid for lodging during the actual travel days from one duty station to another (that's entirely different, 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.
Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA)
Applies to a special allowance for service members when they first depart or arrive OCONUS (outside the Continental United States) to offset the expenses for temporary housing needs.
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 (family) arrive at a new overseas duty station, while awaiting housing. Up to 10 days of TLA can be paid for temporary lodging expenses in the overseas location, prior to departure.
Mileage Allowance- MALT
When a service member elects to drive their POV (privately owned vehicle) to a new duty station, this allowance is based on mileage.
Monetary Allowance in Lieu of Transportation (MALT)
MALT is used as mileage reimbursement for service members and their dependents during a PCS move. When a member and dependents relocate on a service member’s PCS move, MALT reimbursement is authorized for two POCs, if used. MALT is paid on a per-mile basis for the official distance of each portion of the travel. The MALT Rate per authorized POC is $.18/mile for PCS travel beginning on or after January 1, 2022.
Dislocation Allowance- DLA
The purpose of DLA is to partially reimburse a member for the expenses incurred in relocating the household on a PCS, ordered for the government's convenience, or incident to an evacuation. this allowance is in addition to all other allowances authorized in this Joint Federal Travel Regulation (JFTR) and may be paid in advance.
Overseas Cost of Living Allowance- CONUS COLA
The cost of living allowance or COLA, is paid to service members to partially offset high cost when stationed overseas (including Alaska and Hawaii). COLA helps maintain purchasing power, so you can purchase the same goods and services overseas as in CONUS. It does not reimburse expenses, but is designed to offset higher overseas prices of goods and services. It does not compensate for remoteness, hardship, or non-availability of goods and services.
This is a daily allowance to service members and their families traveling to a new duty station. Rates can range from a standard CONUS rate of $99 per day to over $400 per day for OCONUS rates.
You can can check COLA and Per Diem rates at http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/perdiemCalc.cfm
*some information was adapted from https://www.militaryonesource.mil/moving-housing/moving/planning-your-move/military-pcs-entitlements/