This is a common question when it comes to military families PCS’ing.

The proper answer is as follows directly from the DOD Travel site:
“The purpose of DLA is to partially reimburse a member, with or without dependents, for the expenses incurred in relocating the member’s household on a PCS, housing moves ordered for the Government’s convenience, or incident to an evacuation. This allowance is in addition to all other allowances authorized in this Joint Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR) and may be paid in advance.”

Now in Army Wife 101’s terms:

DLA (Dislocation Allowance) is for the setup of your new home. The government realizes that once again they are uprooting you from your life and that moving into a new home ,stocking cabinets and buying curtains and so on is not free. To assist you in completing these tasks in your new home they provide you with an allowance. This allowance varies based on rank. You can find the DLA amount for your spouse’s rank by visiting here. E-5 and below allowances at the current time are $1958.02.

DLA does NOT have to be repaid !

Unfortunately sometimes the DLA doesn’t always necessarily get to go towards the household. Things my DLA has paid for in the past include a rental car and lodging while PCS’ing within the US where our hotel cost were out of pocket until we were reimbursed.

As of lately I have seen many spouses say they haven’t received DLA and they are not sure why. It is important to drill into your husband’s head to remember to properly fill out paperwork at finance briefings when outprocessing from an old duty station , or improcessing at a new one. The fact of the matter is many times finance also known as S-1 is not so quick to remind you to apply for your DLA so it is up to your spouse to inquire about it.

For First Time PCS’ers With Spouses Coming out of AIT:¬† Please not that Advance DLA will not be provided to soldiers coming from AIT on their first PCS. You or your spouse will need to wait until they inprocess and go through their finance briefs to request DLA.

Also it is important to know that soldiers PCS’ing for the first time with dependents on orders DO receive DLA

From DOD Travel site ” By law there is no DLA when the PCS is from your home (or the place from which you entered active duty) to your first permanent duty station (PDS) unless your dependents actually move in connection with the PCS.

For Those Not on their First PCS :Your spouse has the option to request advance DLA which is about 80% before going to the next duty station. He may do this during outprocessing briefings with finance.

The wait time for DLA on average is 1-2 weeks, but please keep in mind the Army tends to do their own thing sometimes and wait times will vary in each situation.

So I’ll end this little short little lesson by saying that the next time (or the first time) you PCS and are worried about having some extra money or how your gonna pay for that rental car while waiting for your car to arrive at your new duty station, take comfort in knowing that your DLA should be is on it’s way.

References:

FAQ’s About DLA

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Krystel is the mom of two and an Army Wife. In addition to Army Wife 101 she is the Co-Founder of SoFluential.com a digital media agency that connects brands with the military market. She has appeared on MSNBC ,FOX LA and formerly was a weekly contributor to HLN's "Raising America". She has written for various outlets including Sheknows and Lifetime and is a big fan of cupcakes and french fries.

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