The most common way of receiving travel pay from the military is through a voucher. According to the Department of Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the turnaround processing time for travel vouchers is 6 business days. The payment is deposited into your financial institution account once approved.
All service members have access to the VA travel pay benefits, but the type of coverage you have will depend on your status and ranking. You can travel via a common carrier (airplane, train, etc.) or your privately owned vehicle. The government can either provide you with the ticket or reimburse you later. Both you and your dependents may also receive a per diem, but again, there are several stipulations per officer.
Limitations of Travel Pay from the Military
Service members are entitled to travel pay from the military for their Permanent Change of Station (PCS), but there can be some restrictions. Since the government will cover your move’s cost, the transportation management office will calculate the maximum weight allowed for you. This depends on your rank, pay grade, and the number of dependents. Thus, the cost varies from case to case.
There are different types of PCS entitlements for active duty military service members and those who are separating or retiring service members. Each comes with its own travel payment classification. There is a monetary allowance in lieu of transportation, per diem, temporary lodging expenses, dislocation allowance, personally procured moves, dependent travel, and advance payments. Consequently, you can receive your travel payments through cash advancements or reimbursements. It will all depend on your position in the military and what benefits you are entitled to when it comes to your PCS move.
On the other hand, the travel pay does not have to be just for Permanent Change of Station orders. It can also be just to cover regular travel expenses for the job. If you have to use your own transportation, it is possible to seek reimbursements for the travel expenses as long as it is justified. For this reason, you must always keep records and receipts of your expenses. Even if you are unsure if it can be reimbursed, it is just better to have a record of it. You never know. Perhaps it is included.
When it comes to veterans, it is important to double-check with the Department of Veterans Affairs to see what is reimbursable or not. The VA will have some eligibility requirements available on their website, wherein you can also determine if they cover your dependents or caregiver to help you. This typically relates to general health care travel or special transportation reimbursement, so make sure to find out the expenses that can be reimbursed.
As you can see, there are several types of travel pay from the military. Always make sure to check what your coverage and requirements are so that you can avail of it with no issues.