Military Times

2012 Benefits Handbook

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Service members with permanent change-of-station orders can receive advance pay and allowances with their commander's approval. These include advances on basic pay and Basic Allowance for Housing. Members can receive up to three months of basic pay at either their old or new duty station.

Advance pay and housing allowances are repaid as paycheck deductions.

Finance officials recommend asking for a minimum amount when requesting an advance for an overseas move because of the potential for heavy losses due to exchange-rate fluctuations. The member is not compensated for such losses in the case of an advance.

Retiring and separating service members are not eligible for advance pay.


Married service members receive a dislocation allowance when they relocate because other allowances usually fall short of the full cost of moving. It may be paid in advance.

For 2012, the allowance, based on rank and whether a member has dependents, ranges from $867.98 to $4,351.37.

Single service members receive the allowance only when they are not assigned permanently to government quarters.

The allowance is not available to service members ordered from home to their first duty station; assigned to government quarters without family members at a new duty station; transferred to a nearby duty station, unless the service has authorized a local move of the member's household goods as a direct result of the PCS; or separating or retiring.

Contact: Go to and click on "Pay Charts," then "Dislocation Allowance."

Stateside. Local finance offices issue advance housing allowances if money is needed for rental housing within the U.S. The allowances are in addition to any advance pay or dislocation allowance already received. Commanders must authorize the housing advance.

Service members moving anywhere in the continental U.S. and requesting this allowance usually draw one month's worth of the Basic Allowance for Housing, so long as the advance payment does not exceed anticipated rental costs.

Three months' advance housing allowance is the maximum amount that can be drawn.

To get advance housing allowance, service members must already have found housing and must provide a copy of the rental agreement to document the housing costs. The advance may not be given more than three working days before, or more than 30 days after, the date that payment must be made under the agreement.

Overseas. Service members moving overseas can draw up to three months of Overseas Housing Allowance. In rare cases, larger advances are possible. Homeowners are not entitled to these advances.


A 2008 law allows the military services to pay for a local household goods move for military renters forced to move because they are living in homes that have been foreclosed on. Service members in these situations should immediately check with their legal assistance office.


Service members receive a monetary allowance in lieu of transportation (MALT) when they drive to a new assignment. The amount depends on the official mileage between old and new duty stations. MALT also is paid to members going overseas if they drive from their stateside location to the port of embarkation for a transcontinental plane or ship and from the port of debarkation to the new duty station.

MALT for those on permanent change-of-station travel is 23 cents per mile.

Family members authorized to travel by car without the service member also receive MALT at the same rate. Family members traveling in a second vehicle during a PCS also are eligible for payment.

A third vehicle may be authorized under certain conditions.

Mileage data, maintained by each service, are available through local transportation offices. The actual distance driven might not equal the official distance.


A move-in housing allowance is available to members moving into their first quarters for an overseas assignment, if they also receive an Overseas Housing Allowance. There are three kinds of move-in housing allowance:

Miscellaneous. A fixed-rate payment reflecting average costs incurred in a geographic region to make a home habitable. It changes with inflation and currency exchange rates.

Rent. Covers all reasonable rent-related expenses that are fixed, one-time charges, such as real estate agents' fees for helping renters find housing.

Security. Covers expenses for security-related enhancements when quarters must be modified to minimize exposure to terrorist or criminal threat.

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