Your Personally Procured Move (PPM)

A servicemember carrying a box

The Personally Procured Move (also known as the Do-It-Yourself (DITY) move) allows you to be reimbursed by the government for moving your belongings yourself. You're eligible if you make a Permanent Change of Station (PCS), Temporary Duty (TDY), or Temporary Additional Duty (TAD) move, or separate, retire, or move to or from government quarters under orders.The program is voluntary.

Advantages of the PPM Move

At first glance, the PPM Program may seem to be more trouble than it's worth -- after all, you have to take care of your own moving arrangements and expenses, rather than have the government do it for you (for some, keeping track of all the receipts is a major hassle by itself). But if you do a little planning and put forth a bit of effort, doing a PPM move offers significant advantages over a normal military move. For example:

  • Money, Money, Money. In the PPM Program, you receive a government payment of 95 percent of what it would cost the government to move you. In addition, you receive the standard travel allowances for you and your family. If you end up spending less than the 95 percent payment the government provides, you get to keep the rest. This may sound difficult, but if you take advantage of moving company discounts and other special offers, you'll find that you can make money for yourself. You should especially consider a PPM move if you have a limited amount of items that need shipping or moving -- you may be able to take care of all the packing and transport yourself.
  • Time, Time, Time. When you receive orders to move to another area, you're authorized permissive TDY or travel time in order to take care of all your moving arrangements. With PPM, you'll receive additional time to handle your move -- time that you can use to relax if you're efficient about planning your move.
  • Total Control. While it's nice to do without the headaches of planning a move, many military personnel had less-than-ideal experiences when the government took care of their moves. With the PPM program, you're in control every step of the way, from deciding which moving services you want to how much of the actual move you want to handle yourself.

If you're ready to take advantage of the PPM program, you can follow our easy guide for a smooth move:

Step 1. Apply for the PPM move by scheduling an appointment with your base Personal Property Transportation Office (PTO) -- this is your opportunity to ask specific questions about your move and get the low-down on the PPM program. A PTO representative will provide you with all forms and instructions you need. You can check out our base guides section for more information on your new location.

You can only do the move after you have been authorized by your PTO. If you make a partial PPM move (i.e., only shipping a certain amount of household goods), make sure you work out all the details with your PTO representative. Note that you will not receive full government payment for your PPM move until after your move.

Step 2. Decide on your type of move. Will you be doing this all yourself? Will you have packers help? Will you have a moving company take care of the actual transport? Nail down these arrangements as soon as possible.

Step 3. Arrange for any rental equipment or moving services you need. You can either do it all yourself, have a professional handle tasks, or some of both. Packing materials can be purchased from commercial suppliers, online, or at big box stores. Your PTO can often recommend stores and services in your old and new locations, or you can search online.

Step 4. Confirm your insurance coverage. Make sure you are up to date on your car and accident insurance. If you use a trailer, check your auto insurance policy to make sure you're covered. State laws regarding liability for accidents during a PPM move vary, so if you're involved in an accident while performing a PPM move, you should contact the legal office at the military installation nearest the accident site as soon as possible.

Step 5. Pick up your operating allowance from your local payroll office.

Step 6. When your vehicle (whether you own it or are renting) is ready, calculate the total weight of what you are moving. You should weigh your vehicle both fully loaded and unloaded. This is extremely important, as your PPM payment will be based on this weight ticket. To calculate the weight of your shipment, follow this formula:

  • Loaded Weight = Your vehicle with a full tank of gas + all of your property loaded + no drivers or passengers inside
  • Empty Weight = Your vehicle with a full tank of gas + no drivers or passengers inside
  • Loaded Weight - Empty Weight = Net Weight of Property

Each weight ticket should have the following information:

  • Name, grade, Social Security number
  • Name/location of scales
  • Vehicle/trailer identification
  • Date of weighing
  • Weigh Master's signature

Step 7. Get receipts for all moving expenses. All costs associated with the move are not taxable, and will be deducted from the allowance you receive from the move to determine your actual financial profit. Only your profit will be taxed, so be sure to keep track of everything to maximize your profit. Authorized expenses include:

  • Payment for rental vehicles/trailers
  • Packing materials
  • Moving equipment (including hand trucks and dollies)
  • Gas and oil expenses
  • Highway tolls, weight tickets and any other transportation expense directly related to the PPM move

Step 8. Make your move, and submit your settlement. Once you complete your actual move, you have 45 days to submit a claim for full payment of your PPM allowance. This should include the following:

  • Empty and loaded weight tickets (two copies of each)
  • PPM Move certification (attach all receipts for moving expenses)
  • PPM Move expense sheet
  • Change of Station Orders
  • Advance operating allowance paperwork (if you are renting a truck or trailer)
  • Vehicle/trailer rental contract (if you are renting a truck or trailer)
  • Any service-specific forms you PTO requires

More specific details can be obtained from the Personal Property Transportation office at your installation.

Important PPM Notes:

  • Your base transportation office must approve a PPM. Without approval your payment could be limited or denied.
  • Any actual moving costs that exceed the government cost will be at your expense, including overweight costs or expenses not covered.
  • An advance allowance may be permitted to help defray up-front costs. Regulations differ by service branch; check with your base transportation office.
  • Some expenses are not authorized. These include tow dolly rental, insurance fees and sales tax. Again, check with your transportation office for specifics.
  • Temporary storage may be available with a PPM. Check with your transportation office for more information.
  • Be sure to file any loss or damage claims directly with your commercial moving company before you file with the government. Claims are usually not paid unless the loss or damage was due to circumstances beyond your control, such as an accident.
  • Payments more than your actual moving costs may be taxable. Read IRS Publication 521 for more information.


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