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All you need to know about dislocation allowance

There are thousands of military families in the US and most of them move often. This is because the member of the family that is in the military often times has to work in different cities around the county. This is what you sign up for when you join the military. And this isn’t something everyone can handle financially. Even though the military pay might be good, it most definitely doesn’t mean that everyone can afford and wants to pay the full price of moving because of work. And this is a completely fair way to look at this situation. You shouldn’t spend most of the money you earn on moving in order to work. This is why the dislocation allowance exists. And we are here to tell you everything you need to know about the dislocation allowance.

What exactly is the dislocation allowance?

Not everyone was aware that dislocation allowance exists so there might be people who don’t know anything about this. But that’s what we are here for. Simply put, a dislocation allowance is when the government pays a certain amount of the cost of the move to a military member. As mentioned, military families move oftentimes. Once or twice you might be able to afford the relocation. But the third time you might not. Or you simply don’t see the reason why you should finance the whole relocation as it is relocation because of work. That’s when you should ask for a dislocation allowance.

A document for the dislocation allowance.
You can receive a certain amount of money if moving because you are in the military.

Who can request this?

One of the most asked questions about getting a dislocation allowance is who can actually request this and receive it. And you will be thrilled to find out that any service member is eligible to receive the dislocation allowance. But have in mind that dislocation allowance can only be given to service members who are moving on PCS orders and members who are not assigned to live in single-type government housing such as barracks.

This also depends on how big your pay is. If your pay grade is below E-5 and you are assigned to live in single-type government housing, you are not eligible for receiving dislocation allowance. You also can’t get a dislocation allowance if you are moving your civilian home. Your civilian home is the home you lived in when you first signed up for active duty. You also won’t be able to receive DLA (short for dislocation allowance) when moving because you are leaving active-duty service. But not to worry, there are plenty of other different ways to move on a budget such as by hiring State to State Move moving company. 

A man and a woman in uniforms.
Anyone from any branch of the military will receive a DLA if moving on PCS orders.

How much is the dislocation allowance?

The second most asked question is of course how big this allowance that you are getting. This is also something that is determined by the amount of money you get paid while in the military. This is something you can certainly figure out on your own based on DLA rates. You can get more information about these rates from the Defense Travel Management Office. It lists rates based on pay grade and dependent status.

But no matter how big your DLA is and how much your move is going to cost, hiring movers and packers is the best thing you can do. As you probably don’t have a lot of free time on your hands, this is the best way to make sure your relocation is as least stressful as possible.

How and where to apply for DLA?

In order to receive DLA, you have to file the right forms. You have to do this with your installation’s Finance Office. You can file these forms both before and after relocating, it’s completely up to you.

When will you receive the money?

This is also something that defers from one branch of the military to another. It also depends on when you apply. But a general rule of thumb is around 30 days after filling out all the forms and filling them. This is why you have to think about this before moving if you are short with money. That is why budget planning is very important when you are relocating.

But receiving DLA is possible even after moving. And most of the time, members receive DLA after the relocation. If you are really short with money, you can visit your installation’s Finance Office two weeks before the move and request for your commander’s approval for you to receive a part of the money in advance. Usually, if the commander approves, you can receive up to 80% of the money in advance and the remaining 20% after your relocation is over. This is very helpful when you end up having a last-minute relocation.

A planner.
No matter when you apply, you will receive the full sum of money after moving.

Is international relocation included?

As military members sometimes have to move abroad, the very next question in line is whether you can receive DLA when moving internationally. And the answer is yes, you can. Again, only if it is PCS moving. Make sure you hire professionals to have your PCS relocation done hassle-free. International moving isn’t easy so you are definitely going to need help, especially if moving from the US to Europe

How many DLAs can you receive?

Another very commonly asked question is how many allowances can you receive. And normally you can get one dislocation allowance per fiscal year but there are some exceptions. When PCS orders are changed or canceled by your command, you might receive a smaller secondary DLA. But in order to receive it, you need to have completed your relocation to a new installation before the PCS orders are changed or revoked.

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