If you're ready to take advantage of the PPM program, make sure you follow the steps below:
1. Apply for the PPM move by scheduling an appointment with your base Personal Property Office (PPO). This is your opportunity to ask specific questions about your move and get the lowdown on the PPM program. A PTO representative will provide you with all forms and instructions you need. Foremost among these is the DD Form 2278 (Application for Move and Counseling Checklist). Other forms you may need to fill out or provide include:
- Standard Form 1038 -- Advance of Funds Application and Account (for advanced operating allowance
- Certified empty weight ticket for each shipment with name, your Social Security number and signature of weight master
- Certified loaded weight ticket for each shipment with name, your Social Security number and signature of weight master
- Original DD Form 1351-2 -- Travel voucher or subvoucher (ask your PTO representative if you have specific questions about this form
- Copy of registration for your boat(s) and/or trailer(s) if applicable
Only after applying for and being authorized for a PPM move can you proceed with the move. If you make a partial PPM move (i.e., only shipping a certain amount of household goods), make sure you work out the details with your PTO representative. Note that you will not receive full government payment for your PPM move until after your move.
2. Decide on your type of move. Will you be doing this 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.
Related: 6 Military Move Discounts
3. Arrange for any rental equipment or moving services you need. You either can do it all yourself, have a professional handle it or a combination of both. Packing materials can be purchased from commercial suppliers.
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.
5. Pick up your operating allowance from your local dispersing office.
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 scale
- Vehicle/trailer identification
- Date of weighing
- Weigh master's signature
- Legible imprint of weight
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/trailer
- Packing material
- Moving equipment (including hand trucks and dollies)
- Gas and oil expense
- Highway tolls, weight tickets and any other transportation expense directly related to the PPM move
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)
- DD Form 2278
- PPM move certification (attach all receipts for moving expenses)
- PPM move expense sheet
- Change of station order
- Advance operating allowance paperwork (if you are renting a truck or trailer)
- Vehicle/trailer rental contract (if you are renting a truck or trailer)
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 pay for upfront 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 usually are 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.
Keep Up-to-Date for Your Next PCS
Get the inside information from those who know. Get PCS help and all the news and benefits information you need delivered straight to your inbox. Subscribe to Military.com now.