Being issued a permanent change of station (PCS) is part of life in the military. Unlike temporary duty assignments, it’s a long-term assignment that can last up to four years. For a Service member, that means having to relocate and move, which presents its own unique set of challenges and hurdles.
If you’re issued a PCS, it’s important to seek military relocation assistance and find out what benefits you’re entitled to. These will help you make the transition from your old station to the next one, wherever your next assignment may be. And if it’s your first time, familiarize yourself with the basics through the PCS move checklist below.
- PCS– Permanent Shange of Station. This can occur every few years in a Service member’s career.
- CONUS – Contiguous United States. This consists of the 48 adjoining U.S. states on the North American continent. CONUS excludes Alaska and Hawaii, as well as American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and Puerto Rico.
- OCONUS – Outside of Continental United States. This refers to states that are not part of continental U.S. such as Alaska, Hawaii, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico. OCONUS does not include foreign countries.
- TLE – Temporary Lodging Expenses. One of the military benefits Service members may avail of during PCS in CONUS. This is a type of reimbursement that covers lodging and meal expenses shouldered by Service members and their families.
- TLA – Temporary Lodging Allowance. Service members may avail of this military benefit during PCS in OCONUS. TLA covers lodging and meal expenses for the Service member and their families up to 60 days as they search or wait for permanent housing.
Do you qualify for TLE?
If you’re in a PCS within the United States, you are entitled to a reimbursement of up to and no more than $290 a day, for up to 10 days, for a percentage of the per diem rate of the location of the temporary housing.
To avail of this benefit, seek out Government quarters. If none are available in the area, provide a non-availability confirmation number before you for the TLE.
Take note that you can’t collect the TLE if you’re staying with relatives or friends during the period.
Do you qualify for TLA?
If you’re issued a PCS to Alaska, Hawaii, or one of the U.S. territories, you’re entitled to get TLA. This allowance will help you cover lodging and meal expenses while you search for permanent housing.
Once you get to your new station, you’re authorized for 60 days TLA. You can also avail temporary lodging allowance 10 days upon your departure from an OCONUS station. But first, verify with your commanding station that you are actively seeking permanent housing every 15 days. This way, you’ll be able to continue receiving the allowance.
TLE and TLA percentage table
Below is a handy guide to how much you may be reimbursed (for TLE) or how much allowance they are entitled to (for TLA), based on the number of dependents they may have in their household according to the Defense Travel Management Office.
|Number of eligible individuals living in temporary quarters||Applicable percentage|
|1 individual (Service member or 1 dependent)||65%|
|2 individuals (Service member and 1 dependent, or 2 dependents)||100%|
|Each additional dependent 12 years old or older||35%|
|Each additional dependent younger than 12 years old||25%|
A few helpful reminders
Whether you’re entitled to TLE or TLA, it’s always wise to keep all receipts and sales invoices during the process of a PCS move. You might encounter some issues when availing the reimbursement or remitting the allowance without presenting receipts. Careful filing and meticulous recording of every expense is the key to making the most of your TLE and/or TLA.
Doing the math can also save you a lot of hassle down the line especially if you’re being reassigned OCONUS. This resource can help you calculate the per diem in the selected area. Taking out the guesswork when it comes to amounts that may be covered can free a lot of time needed for house-hunting.
Are you in the middle of making a PCS move? You may be on the lookout for military moving services or need a military relocation realtor here in Las Vegas. I’m ready to help. Call me at 702.419.3212 or send an email at Loralee(dotted)Wood(at)CBVegas(dotted)com to learn more about your options in Las Vegas real estate.