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Permanent Change of Station - Now What?

June 6th, 2011 - 3:24 PM

Permanent change of station— now what?

"Permanent change of station" is a term that applies to members of the military being relocated due to their job.  Making a permanent change of station can apply to anything from moving within the same state, to being relocated to a base around the world.

Moving to a new geographical area
U-Pack can help you move virtually anywhere in the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska; plus Canada or Puerto Rico.  If you're making a permanent change of station to a new geographical area within the U.S., check out the general guidelines provided by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.  Keep in mind these steps can be different, depending on what your specific move looks like.

Making a permanent change of station? You may qualify for a house hunting trip
If your new duty location is over 75 miles away from your current location, you might be authorized to take a 10-day long house hunting trip.  The 10 days allotted would include travel time, and would be used to search for a new residence in the city you are moving to. You may also be eligible for reimbursement of travel expenses, but this is determined on a case-by-case basis.  More information about who might be eligible for reimbursement of travel and transportation expenses can be determined by contacting your Transportation Management Office (TMO).

If you expect it to take you a little longer to find your new home, temporary storage is usually available for permanent change of station moves.  90 days is the norm, but longer may be approved depending on your circumstances. Military offices usually allow storage either at the beginning or end of your move.  Companies like U-Pack provide storage in the same moving trailer or moving container your items are loaded into, which makes moving storage easy to coordinate.

"Temporary quarters" subsistence expenses
For some permanent change of station moves, the military will pay for the transition time while searching for your new home.  These expenses can include a variety of things, but the most common are:

  • Hotel fees
  • Temporary apartment/home rent
  • Meals
  • Laundry
  • Groceries

Temporary subsistence expenses are usually not covered for more than 60 days.  To find out if you are eligible for reimbursement,, complete a travel voucher or subvoucher and follow up with your TMO to see what steps are necessary.

Shipping your household goods
Your permanent change of station has been confirmed, and you have a moving date in mind. Now what? Many opt to complete a DITY move, where you are reimbursed by the military for your moving expenses. If your move costs are lower than your moving allowance, you get to pocket the remaining cash. To find out the total allowance you're entitled to, you'll need to meet with your TMO office.  Find your local office by calling 1-800-756-MTMC (6862).

Real estate expenses incurred from a permanent change of station
Other expenses that may be eligible for reimbursement are typically a result of real estate transactions.  If you are currently renting your home or apartment and are required to break your lease in order to move, you'll probably incur a penalty charge. This is just one example of a fee that could qualify for reimbursement. Other real estate expenses could include broker's fees, inspections, and other related expenses. The same travel voucher/subvoucher can be used to apply for reimbursement of these expenses.

Hopefully this has given you an idea of what to expect with your permanent change of station.  The final authority will come from your TMO, so be sure to check in with them in advance of your move and along of the way.

Need help coordinating a move for your permanent change of station? Get a free moving quote online or call us at 800-413-4799.