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PCS Allowances and Entitlements

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Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH): is an allowance to offset the cost of housing when you do not receive government-provided housing. Your BAH depends upon your location, pay grade and whether you have dependents. BAH rates are set by surveying the cost of rental properties in each geographic location. The rates are established such that members in each pay grade, independent of location, pay approximately the same out-of-pocket expenses.

Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA): is an allowance to offset the cost of housing for Service members living off base overseas. Rates are determined by rank and whether or not the military member has dependents. OHA rates have three components rental ceiling, utilities/recurring maintenance allowance and move in housing allowance (MIHA).

Dislocation Allowance (DLA): is intended to help with miscellaneous moving costs. In general, it is paid once per PCS move. DLA is available CONUS and OCONUS. It is based on your rank and dependent status. DLA is not available from home to your first duty station; when assigned to government quarters, without family members, at new duty station; when transferred to a nearby duty station, unless a local move of household goods has been pre-authorized; and when separating or retiring from the military.

  • DLA is NOT PAID on the last move.
  • DLA is not paid on a local move, unless movement of household goods has been authorized.
  • DLA is not paid if the service member is assigned to government quarters at the new duty station and is not accompanied by family members.

Monetary Allowance in Lieu of Transportation (MALT) "mileage": is the amount paid when a member and/or the member's family drive to their new duty station, based on the Official Military Table of Distances. MALT is available CONUS and OCONUS. It is figured on a table of miles times the number of travelers and approval is needed before MALT can be paid for more than 2 vehicles. May be advanced at 80% before the move, and is paid by travel voucher.

Move-In Housing Allowance (MIHA):  is designed to reimburse you for overseas costs associated with living in privately-owned or privately-leased quarters. It addresses 3 specific needs: one-time rent-related expenses, modification of homes for security protection and the initial cost of making a home habitable. The State Department determines whether a location is "high threat".  This is available OCONUS only. MIHA rates change with currency rates and location so see your base relocation manager.

Per Diem Allowance: is designed to reimburse you and your family for the costs associated with meals and lodging when you travel to your new duty station. Per Diem is available for both CONUS and OCONUS moves.  Per diem rates for car travel are based on a flat rate. The military uses 350 miles per day as the standard one-day travel distance to compute per diem rates. To determine the number of days per diem, take the Official Government Mileage between duty stations and divide by 350. An additional day of travel is allowed if the remainder is 51 miles or more.

Per diem rates vary by age. Each family member is entitled to a different percentage of the applicable per diem rate on the days they are eligible. The total per diem reimbursement on your move is the sum of the allowable per diem for each family member.

  • Service Member--100% of rate
  • Spouse--75% of rate
  • Children over 12--75% of rate
  • Children under 12--50% of rate


Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA): is designed to partly offset the cost of temporary housing and meals incurred while waiting for permanent lodging. TLA is available OCONUS only. TLA is calculated according to a formula that factors in the military member's pay grade, number of family members, actual quarters cost, the availability of cooking facilities and the local per diem rate.  TLA starts the same date as the member's overseas housing allowance and usually has a 60 day maximum when arriving and a 10 day maximum when departing an installation.

  • In calculating the TLA, a single Service member is entitled to up to 65% of either the cost of meals and incidental expenses or the local per diem rate.  A Service member and one family member are entitled to up to 100% of the local per diem rate. Add another 25% for each additional family member under 12 and 35% for each family member 12 and over.

Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE): is designed to partly reimburse relocating members and families for the cost of meals and lodging incurred when temporary housing is needed.  TLE is CONUS only. The formula used to calculate TLE includes member's pay grade, number of family members, actual quarters cost, availability of cooking facilities and the local per diem rate. The maximum TLE rate is $180.00 per day. The maximum amount of time you can claim TLE is up to 10 days for CONUS to CONUS moves and up to 5 days for CONUS to OCONUS moves. Ask your family center relocation manager for help in figuring out your TLE.

PCS Travel Advances: When making a PCS move, Service members can request advance payment of 80% of the DLA, MALT, and per diem amounts. The remainder will be paid upon processing of the travel voucher filed after the move is completed.  This money does not have to be repaid, if the proper paperwork is completed.  It can go a long way toward paying the initial cost of setting up household in the new location.

  • Advances may typically be requested ten days before signing out of the losing unit.  The funds will be deposited into the Service member's checking account, so do not close the account when leaving the installation.
  • If an advance is not requested, entitlements will be paid after completing the move and filing the travel voucher, and payment can take several weeks.

Advance Pay: If absolutely necessary, Service members can receive an advance of basic pay, overseas housing allowance, and basic allowance for housing when making a PCS move. Keep in mind that all of these advances are simply an interest-free loan and are repaid by deductions from pay.  Repayment can create an additional financial burden just after the PCS move, at a time when finances are already stressed. Therefore, the use of advance pay is not encouraged unless circumstances require it.

Advance Basic Pay: is an interest-free loan you can get when you make a permanent change of station move. The collateral is your military salary and you repay advance basic pay in 12 equal installments.  Advance Basic Pay is available for both CONUS and OCONUS moves. A member may draw up to 3 months basic pay in advance, interest free. Your base pay and finance offices can provide more details specific to your situation.

Advance Basic Allowance for Housing: is an advance against your normal BAH to help you cope with the costs of rental housing off base. This is available for CONUS and OCONUS moves. For CONUS moves up to 3 months' BAH is available and for OCONUS moves up to 12 months' BAH is available. Note: unit commanders must authorize advances in BAH. Payback requirements are determined by the length of the tour.

Advance Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA): is an advance against any projected OHA to cover the difference between the cost of economy rental housing and the BAH. Except in unusual cases, advances are limited to 12 months OHA. OHA should not exceed one year's allowances.


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