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What Are PCS Entitlements?


As a servicemember, you know that relocations — or a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) — are part of the agreement. However, that doesn’t make moving less stressful.

What can help ease some of the mental and financial strain is staying organized and understanding your PCS entitlements so that you can make the most of each move.

The military offers servicemembers several entitlements to help offset the cost, and the pressure, involved with relocating. Take a look at your options:

Dislocation Allowance

Also known as DLA, dislocation allowance is a flat sum designed to cover your incidental and extra expenses associated with fulfilling your PCS orders. The amount of your allowance depends on your pay grade and your dependent status. Dislocation allowance is intended to pay for some miscellaneous costs related to moving that aren’t reimbursed otherwise, such as utilities or rent deposits. It likely will not cover all of your expenses.

It’s important to note that this payment is not given to you automatically. You must proactively submit a claim to your base travel office in order to take advantage of it.

Also, if your PCS orders change after you’ve relocated, you may also be entitled to the Secondary DLA benefit.

To learn more about how much you may be eligible for allowances related to an upcoming move, check out the current 2020 DLA rates.

Travel per Diem

As a servicemember, you are entitled to per diem compensation any time you travel, including relocations. You will receive travel pay for each day you are on the road, including meals, lodging, and other incidentals for you and your family. You can use the Defense Travel Management Office’s per diem calculator to determine what your per diem allowance will be. Rates vary based on the state, county, or country where you are traveling.

Mileage Reimbursement

Another entitlement you may receive is reimbursement for every mile you drive on orders, including for relocations. Take a look at the DTMO’s mileage reimbursement rates to determine how much you can expect to get. Rates are available for cars, motorcycles, and private planes. Reimbursement amounts change regularly, so be sure to double-check right before your move if you want to know the exact amount you’ll be receiving per mile.

Moving Costs

When it comes to your actual move itself, you have two choices: The military will hire movers for you through the Relocation Assistance Program, or you can do it yourself. Moving yourself is referred to as a Personally Procured Move (PPM) or a Do It Yourself (DITY) move. Even with the DITY move, the government reimburses 95% of the estimated cost of your move based on the weight of your belongings — up to the military allowance — letting you keep the difference if it costs less to do it yourself. The government also provides $25,000 in moving insurance in case of an accident.

VA Home Loans

While not a PCS entitlement, should you decide to purchase a home in your new community, be sure to talk to a mortgage expert who can help you qualify for a VA Home Loan, which provides significant advantages over traditional home loans. The biggest cost saver is that you are not required to place a down payment on your house.

Although no PCS is easy, these entitlements can at least remove the financial burden that comes with any relocation. You should talk with your base’s travel office to ensure you take full advantage of the moving entitlements for which you qualify.

Simplify Your Relocation with Financial Advice from AAFMAA

Moving can be an overwhelming process. Don’t add unexpected finances to the list of stressors. AAFMAA’s financial experts can help you understand and utilize your PCS entitlements to ensure your move doesn’t break the bank.

Call 1-910-390-1873 or email MemberBenefits@aafmaa.com today to speak with one of our Membership Coordinators and learn more about how AAFMAA can help.

Common Questions

Yes, your AAFMAA policy will cover a death related to COVID-19 if you are an existing AAFMAA Member with a policy issued more than two years ago or prior to a COVID-19 diagnosis, even within the first two years the policy is owned. The only exclusion on AAFMAA policies is death by suicide within the first two years.

However it is important to note that death claims made against an underwritten policy issued within the last two years are contestable, regardless of the cause of death. Contestable death claims are reviewed and subject to denial if we find undisclosed material information that would have changed the outcome of the policy issuance decision.

Yes, if you are applying for a policy that requires medical underwriting, you must disclose a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Not doing so would be considered material misrepresentation and could result in your policy being voided.

As mentioned above, death claims made against an underwritten policy issued within the last two years are contestable, regardless of the cause of death. Additionally, you don’t have to die for a material misrepresentation to void your contract. The policy can be voided at any point within the first two years if AAFMAA finds that you provided incorrect information about your health history and that the correct information would have prevented us from issuing the policy.

If you were diagnosed with having contracted COVID-19 prior to applying for life insurance and you failed to disclose that diagnosis on your application, your death claim could be denied. This is because, if you had disclosed your COVID-19 diagnosis, we would have followed current industry guidelines and possibly postponed acceptance of your application. In this case, your policy would be voided and your survivors would only receive a refund of the premiums you had paid.

No, the COVID-19 vaccine is classified as a typical wellness check, for which we do not require disclosures and do not deny death claims. We strongly suggest that our Members follow CDC recommendations and receive the COVID-19 vaccination as soon as they are eligible.

Industry guidelines indicate that a COVID-19 diagnosis may postpone acceptance of your application for a period of three weeks to 1 year following recovery, depending on the severity of symptoms and treatment. This timeline is subject to change as new information becomes available and industry guidelines are adjusted accordingly. Those who experience a full recovery may be considered for issue before 12 months, while serious cases (such as those which required a ventilator) may be postponed for longer.

No. Receiving a COVID-19 vaccination will not affect the acceptance of your application.

No, AAFMAA cannot change your premiums or your health classification on a policy you currently hold. Your premiums and health classification will remain the same, even if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or you are at a higher risk of exposure due to your job, living situation, or recent travel, or if you get one of the COVID-19 vaccinations approved for emergency use by the USFDA.