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PCS Overview

A soldier and his wife during a move.

PCS Move Overview

If you are in receipt of Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders you should know what transportation allowances you are eligible for. A PCS move is basically a move between one duty station and another, or between your final duty station and home of record upon retirement or discharge. There are many types of PCS orders, each with their own special rules and regulations, some of these include: accompanied or unaccompanied PCS overseas, PCS to same geographic area, change of a ship's homeport or unit's location, PCS with temporary duty en route, etc. We will cover the basic allowances you can expect to see in most situations to help you understand what you can expect when you receive PCS orders.

The government will pay most costs associated with your move, if there are any costs not reimbursed you may be able to claim them on your taxes. You can receive many of these travel allowances before the move or you may be issued a travel card to help keep you from paying the high cost of moving out-of-pocket.

The most common reimbursed travel allowances include:

Personal & dependent travel - The government will provide you and your dependents transportation from one duty station to another. They will either issue you a ticket for a common carrier (air, rail, etc.), or provide you money to travel via your privately owned vehicle (POV). They will also pay you per diem, which includes a meals and lodging allowance, for the number of authorized travel days between locations.

Household goods and vehicle shipment - You are authorized to ship your personal belongings from one duty station to another. The government authorizes you a weight limit based on your rank and family status. You may also be authorized to ship or store your personal vehicle depending on where your orders are to.

Dislocation allowance - Dislocation allowance will partially reimburse you for expenses incurred in relocation.

Temporary lodging reimbursement - The government will partially reimburse you for the additional costs you may incur when house hunting or living in temporary quarters in conjunction with a move through either Temporary Lodging Allowance or Temporary Lodging Expense.

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