You’ll want to get your finances sorted out when going through PCS or a permanent change of station. Moving isn’t just about looking for suitable realtors and condos to buy. Making sure you have your travel expenses in order can be a lifesaver.
There are two options that you’ll have when traveling from your old station to your new one. You can use a privately owned vehicle or use a common carrier. The way you get reimbursed will depend on the travel method of your choice. We’ll discuss each method and its rules separately.
When traveling using a privately owned vehicle, you will be paid mileage. The rate is adjusted every year so don’t worry about being reimbursed unfairly. The Defense Table of Official Distances is what determines the official distance between both stations. You could be illegible for additional reimbursement for each vehicle if you need to use more than one to get to your new station. Tolls paid during the trip will also be covered.
The second option is to travel using a common carrier. When that’s the case, you’ll require a ticket provided by the government for your transportation. On the off chance that you don’t receive this ticket, you will be reimbursed for the fees you pay along the way. You will receive per diem, and so will your dependents, for travel time.
It’s important to keep receipts regardless of your method of choice. When traveling through a common carrier, you should make sure to keep receipts if you don’t have a ticket issued by the government. Receipts are even more important when traveling using a privately owned vehicle. They’re the only way to help you get reimbursed from the military.
Your dependents should be reimbursed if they’re authorized to travel separately. For instance, if they will only travel after you return from deployment, they should receive full travel allowances at the 100% rate. Another special situation is when a military member separates from active duty and is authorized to travel to their home of record. In this situation, reimbursement is also possible.
Payment in the military isn’t usually delayed. Most members receive a payment within three days from when an Authorizing Official approves their travel vouchers and information. The important thing is to have all vouchers, receipts, and tickets. Losing these tiny pieces of paper could cost you. The only way to guarantee your right to reimbursement is to provide documentation of the money you spent.
Having everything in check is a small price to pay. In return, you’ll get reimbursed for a trip that could prove costly without funding. You’ll have enough on your mind during PCS and worrying about finances isn’t something that should be on your to-do list. Focus on keeping everything in a folder or wallet so that you have everything in one place when it’s time to submit them. The value of being reimbursed is worth staying organized.