Army PCS and the money you should get.

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in Army info, Noobness | 0 comments

Housing

You just got orders, what now?! Well first thing you should do, is get on the housing list if you intend to live on post. A lot of people don’t realize that as soon as you have orders in hand, you can get on that list, you don’t need to wait until right before you PCS. I just wanted to throw that info out there in case some of you didn’t know.

What I really want to talk about though, is the money that you should get to help with your move. Useful info, when PCSing, the army considers one travel day to be 400 miles. So say you’re pcsing from Ft. Stewart, GA to Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonia TX, it’s roughly 1100 miles from one post to the other, so the army will give you 3 days of travel time. You’ll want to remember that later on in this article. The info that I’m giving you is for Conus moves, I have not personally done an Oconus move so I don’t want to give that info out, but if we ever do one I will totally report back!

Now for the good stuff!

There are several different allowances that the Army gives when one PCS’s. The first that we’ll talk about is DLA. DLA stands for Dislocation Allowance and is meant to offset the cost of settling into a new home. DLA Sheet. Depending on the post that you are going to/leaving, you might be able to get your DLA before you PCS, although more and more posts are doing away with that option since more and more people have to use the Government Travel Card during a PCS. If you can’t get advance DLA, then you can expect it to take about 2-4 weeks after inprocessing for the money to hit your account. Make sure that you request DLA if it’s not offered to you.

Next we will talk about Per Diem. Per Diem is the money that you get to help you move, it’s meant to offset the cost of food, and lodging while traveling. Each year the per diem rates can change, this link will show you the current rates, Per Diem. The service member gets 100% of the rate, the spouse and children 12 and over get 75%, children under 12 get 50% of the rate. You will get that rate for the service member as well as each dependent for each day of travel.

Quick example, The Skidoosh family consists of the service member, one spouse and two children, one that is over age 12 and one that is under, and they are allotted 3 days of travel. You’ll get 100% of the standard conus rate for the service member which is $140, then you will get 75% for the spouse and 75% for the child over 12, which is $105 each equaling $210, and finally you’ll get 50% for the child under 12, which is $70. Each day of travel will be $420, so the total Per Diem that you would get for 3 days of travel is $1260.

Keep Receipts!

Yay money! So we’ve gone over DLA, and Per Diem. Now is a great time to make sure you all understand the importance of keeping EVERY SINGLE RECEIPT! When the service member inprocesses, he/she will need all receipts in order to be reimbursed. When we PCS, we put together a folder that we use for all important papers, copies of orders and receipts we acquire while traveling, that way everything is in one place and my husband just takes the entire folder with him for each day of processing. We keep all of the papers from the movers, because we are all about the army moving us, and the papers from the housing company if we lived on post.

Moving on! Next is MALT, Monetary Allowance in Lieu of Transportation, which is given to offset the cost of gas going from one post to the other. You will be reimbursed for up to two cars, and like Per Diem, the rate can change each year. Right now, the rate is .24 cents per mile. So the Skidoosh family has 2 cars and they are traveling 1100 miles for their pcs, so they can expect to get $264 per car, for a total of $528. Easy peasy.

So I’m excited to tell you guys about this next gem, which I think isn’t very well known. Who here has heard of TLE? I know a lot of you probably have, and you think you know all about it, but did you know that TLE can be used both before and after PCS? Did you know that as soon as your HHG (house hold goods) are packed up by the movers, TLE kicks in? I bet you didn’t, and if you did then yay you, smartie pants that has done your research! So, TLE is meant to offset the cost of food and lodging when you are displaced, meaning once your things are packed up and you can’t live your daily life, you can get TLE.

Now, TLE is pretty confusing, and the army uses some kind of super secret formula so it’s really hard to figure up exactly how much you’ll get unfortunately, you’ll want the service member to ask the secret society to figure it up for you. If you have a big family, like I do, then you’ll most likely meet the cap which is $290 per day. Some people have to use all the TLE after they leave the old post and once they get to the new post, because they don’t have a home yet. If you’re going from one post and you already have your home on the other side, you can use some of the TLE before you leave. So if your HHG is packed up, you can use TLE to pay for lodging and food. If you’re in a hotel room that has a fridge and a stove, then you will get partial TLE, which again is a complicated formula and I wish that I was able to figure it up for you, but I’m not a part of the super secret society that figures up TLE.  It’s always recommended that you utilize the on post hotel if possible. KEEP RECEIPTS! The 10 days that you are allotted can be used however you need. If you need 3 days at the old post and 5 days at the gaining post, you can do that.

Seriously, KEEP THEM!

So to summarize. KEEP RECEIPTS, 10 days max which can be used however you need either at the losing installation or the gaining, it’s meant to offset the cost of food and lodging as soon as your HHG is packed up and also before your HHG has been delivered. Isn’t that awesome?! So when you get to your new home, if you don’t have your HHG yet, grab a hotel room, the army will pay for it! If you’re using the government travel card, then you can put the room and your food on that card and expect that it will be reimbursed to you when the service member inprocesses.

I really hope that this info has helped you, families that are moving on military orders should not struggle to pay for the move, so I wrote this to ensure that you’re getting every single dollar that you can. If you guys have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment and I will get it answered, if I don’t know, I will find someone that does! I intend to do more blogs on making military life as a spouse easier, so please come back to me!

Have a magical PCS!

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