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Military Dislocation Allowance – The Best Kept Secret About Moving


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Unfortunately, many young members of the military do not understand all of the allowances and entitlements that they are authorized to receive from its finance system when they move from one duty location to another. This is especially true during the first permanent change of station, or PCS move as it is referred to in the military. One of the best kept secrets about moving duty locations is that many members of the military qualify for dislocation allowance.

What Is Dislocation Allowance?

Dislocation allowance, also known as DLA, is meant to reimburse a member of the military for part of their expenses that they incur while moving. Dislocation allowance was established with the specific goal of helping members of the military with relocation expenses, such as: first and last months’ rent, establishing local electricity, restarting phone or television service, and other expenses.

Who Qualifies For Dislocation Allowance?

Members of the military, regardless of rank, when they are accompanied on moves by their dependents, will receive dislocation allowance at the “with dependent” rate. Dislocation allowance is available to members of the military who are either single or have dependents, and the military pay and allowances are broken down into two categories depending on whether or not dependents are involved. Only single members of the military in the rank of staff sergeant (E-6 in the army) or above are eligible to receive dislocation allowance. This is because younger soldiers are required to live in the barracks on the base and do not need to establish new finances, such as: rent, electric, water, gas, etc. Single soldiers over the rank of E-6 receive dislocation allowance at the “without dependent” rate.

Important Things To Consider With Dislocation Allowance

You can request an advance of dislocation allowance before you leave your assignment. Members of the military receive 80% of their entitled allowance during this time, and they will receive the remainder upon arrival at their new unit. This is a good metric to use in order to keep control over costs, and members of the military should strive to not go over the 80% of this advance.

Dislocation allowance also has great military travel pay for service members. Requesting an advance can provide you with a cushion needed to set up your new household. For more information about the specifics of the dislocation allowance, members of the military can visit the Defense Department’s Travel website.

Hank Coleman is a Captain in the U.S. Army, freelance writer, and the founder of several personal finance websites such as Military Money Might and Money Q&A. His writing has been featured on The Motley Fool,, and many others. You can follow him on Twitter at @HankColeman.