Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Money Gems
“Doesn’t the government pay for your move?”
“They why do you have out-of-pocket costs?”
Well-meaning nonmilitary folks assume our complete moving costs are covered. This is simply not true. While the bulk of the expenses are covered, such as, moving household goods from one part of the world to another, out-of-pocket moving expenses can wreak havoc on your budget.
Here are some money-saving gems to keep in mind to help reduce out-of-pocket expenses:
Do you work or volunteer? Prior to moving you can identify any professional materials for your career or volunteer activities and set them aside. You can have up to 500 pounds of spouse pro-gear that doesn’t count against your total household weight allowance. Keep in mind the “gear” doesn’t include items for resale, such as products sold from home. Your service member must identify your spouse pro-gear when setting up a move. It cannot be claimed after your goods have been packed and weighed.
Did you have to quit your job because of your PCS move? You may be eligible to apply for unemployment compensation, which can help your family bridge the financial gap after a move. Nearly every state provides unemployment compensation benefits to working military spouses. You’ll need to establish basic eligibility, such as working the required number of hours, and indicate your reason for moving is because of a spouse’s military PCS orders. Keep in mind that you’ll file your unemployment claim in the state where you last worked, not where you are moving to. Some states will pay benefits to a spouse who moves overseas, others will not. You’ll need to review the unemployment eligibility requirements in your last state of employment.
Did your household goods arrive late? If your goods arrived after the Required Delivery Date (RDD) reflected on your government bill of lading (GBL or BL), then you are entitled to file an “inconvenience claim” with your transportation service provider (TSP). The claim will cover short term out-of-pocket expenses such as food, lodging, temporary furniture, etc. If you are having trouble with your transportation provider, be sure to call your local moving office for help.
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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