Receiving Permanent Change of Station or PCS orders is the beginning of relocating for military personnel and their families. As a member of the Armed Forces, the PCS contains allowances and entitlements to support the relocation process.
There are three types of allowances available once you receive your PCS:
The BAH is an allowance to offset the cost of housing if you are not moving into government provided housing. The allowance is not a set amount. It is based off of location, pay, and dependants in your family.
The OHA is an allowance to offset the cost of housing if you are living overseas, but not on base. The allowance is not a set amount. It is based off of rank and dependants. It is also determined by rental costs, utilities costs, and maintenance costs in the area.
The DLA is an allowance for moving expenses. The DLA is available each time you receive a PCS move requirement. It is based on ranking and dependants.
In addition to the three described allowances, you may be eligible for monetary Allowance in Lieu of Transportation, Move-In Housing Allowance, Temporary Lodging Allowance and Per Diem Allowance.
The Armed Forces provides assistance with certain moving costs. Personally Owned Vehicles can be shipped overseas at the government’s expense. You may also procure commercial moving services and be reimbursed up to 100% of the cost.
As soon as you receive your PCS, it is important to contact your branch’s Transportation Office. The Transportation Office counsels you on the aspects of military relocation. They will help you determine which allowances to utilize, what type of move you should utilize (government provided vs. moving yourself), and vehicle shipping. The Transportation Office can also assist you with determining the transportation arrangements for your pet family members.