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During spring and summer, many military members are required to move because they received Permanent Change of Station orders. And that can very quickly create a hectic situation.

Often, moving isn’t especially inexpensive, but there are an array of options service members may have available to them that they can tap to make sure the transition to their new station goes as smoothly as possible, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Defense.

The first thing you should do when you receive a PCS order is seek out your installation relocation office to determine what allowances you will be able to receive, as well as get in touch with several agencies that can help ease your transition. The office will also be able to give you a lot of other helpful information and aid you in planning your move.

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Depending upon where your new station is located – either within the U.S. or outside it – you will have a number of different allowances, but it’s important to remember you may not receive all of them, the report said. An installation housing office will help you determine exactly which you qualify for, and whether there is any government housing available to you when you move. If not, it can also help you to find private housing or arrange temporary lodging until more permanent arrangements can be made.

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Further, it may be able to help you better understand exactly what does and does not qualify for the various housing allowances you may be able to receive, the report said. For example, there are a wide variety of “household goods” that qualify to be moved, as well as many that do not. In addition, service members moving overseas may ship one personally owned vehicle at government expense, but that vehicle must be for personal use only.

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Finally, all moving-related transactions should be made through the DOD’s official worldwide moving site, Move.mil, the report said. Working with your transportation office as early in the process as possible is also recommended.

Moving can be a hectic time that can throw a lot of your finances into disarray, so it’s important that you stay on top of everything and keep close tabs on all payments so nothing slips through the cracks.

Image: Cherie A. Thurlby, via Flickr

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