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Relocation Assistance Program

Work-Life Division

HSWL Regional Practice Seattle


Relocation graphic

What exactly does that Mean? Being a part of the military almost automatically means moving. Almost every set of PCS (Permanent Change of Station) orders means packing up and moving yourself, your family and your belongings to a new duty station. Why is this such a big deal? Well, for starters, any major event (and moving is a major event) causes stress for the entire family. Left alone and not dealt with, stress can build to the breaking point and cause health/emotional problems. Children are affected in the same manner as adults. There are things you can to head off such problems:

Planning is the key to a good move. Get all the information you can about your new duty station and surrounding area before making the move. Involve the whole family - even small children. Let them help with finding information, sit down as a group and discuss it and plan ahead.

Preparing is the next most important step. Find out (if you aren’t sure) what steps to follow. Your Relocation Assistance Manager is a great resource to tap into. She can help you with information, check lists, and one-on-one counseling to help you make the best preparations. Make a check list and follow it for best results. Find out what all your entitlements are before making a move - it will help you in the financial planning.

Travel pay and allowances: There are different types of allowances you may be eligible for. To find out if you qualify, check with your Personnel Office.

(a) Dislocation Allowance - active duty personnel with families are entitled to this allowance to offset some of the costs of closing one home and setting up another. These costs include rent deposits, utility hookups, etc. This allowance is equal to two and one half (2 1/2) months’ BAQ.

(b) Mileage in Lieu of Transportation (MALT)- when service members drive to a new assignment. The service member receives 15 cents per mile if traveling alone; 17 cents if traveling with one family member; 19 cents with 2 family members and 20 cents with 3 or more family members.

(c) Advance Pay - amount up to 3 months pay and is normally repaid in equal installments over 12 months. In certain cases, repayment can be spread to 24 months.

(d) Per Diem - Along with DLA (dislocation allowance) and MALT, food and lodging costs are reimbursed at a daily rate for you and your family members. Service members receive $50 per day plus $37.50 per day for their spouse and each family member over 12 years of age and $25 for family members under 12.

(e) Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE) - this allowance is for PCS transfers with in the United States and provides up to $110 a day for ten (10) days to offset temporary housing costs incurred locally before departing the old duty station or after reporting to a new station.

(f) Additional benefits - in addition to the above, permissive travel for house hunting can be authorized by your Commanding Officer. This free time off is not to be executed by TAD orders and cannot exceed 10 days, five of which can be work days. Proceed time (an administrative absence not charged as leave, normally 4 days) can be granted to personnel ordered to or from ships, or mobile units having a sea/shore rotation code of 2 or 4, to or from an "all others tour", and to or from overseas accompanied tours.

Arrival at the new duty station means adjusting to the new environment, new schools, new community, etc. No matter how hard the military tries to smooth the way, it’s the family that must cope with adjustments to a new place. An entire social life, for parents and children, have been left behind, along with a familiarity with the local area, its stores, its services and so on. Families who successfully move a lot learn to create and keep family traditions that don’t change from place to place. Rules, bedtimes, a favorite TV program that everyone watches together, a special supper on Sundays, whatever - these traditions provide continuity and security.

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Last Modified 2/4/2016