Will the Military Pay for My Wife to Move? Everything You Need to Know

by | Military Finance | 1 comment

Moving can be a challenging job, especially when you’re in the military and have to relocate frequently. One of the most pressing questions you might have is whether the military will cover the costs for your spouse’s move. Understanding the military’s policies on relocation benefits can save you time, money, and stress.

In this text, we’ll break down the specifics of military relocation benefits and what you need to know about moving your spouse. From Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders to entitlements and reimbursements, you’ll get a clear picture of what to expect and how to make the process as smooth as possible.

Understanding Military Relocation Benefits

Military relocation benefits help ease the financial burden of moving, especially for families. These benefits ensure that your spouse’s move is smooth when Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders arrive.

Eligibility Criteria for Relocation Assistance

Military spouses qualify for relocation assistance under specific conditions. Active-duty service members, whether enlisted or officers, are eligible if they receive PCS orders. Such orders must be issued for more than 90 days of duty. Situations include moving from one duty station to another, moving due to an Active Guard Reserve program, or reassignment within the continental United States (CONUS) or overseas (OCONUS).

Documentation is crucial. Orders, moving authorizations, and family member proofs are mandatory when applying for relocation benefits. The service member’s rank, length of service, and type of orders can also affect eligibility.

Types of Moving Expenses Covered

The military covers various moving expenses to ease the process. These include:

  1. Transportation: Gov-arranged moves or reimbursement for self-moves cover transportation costs. This involves shipping household goods, personal vehicles, and unaccompanied baggage.
  2. Dislocation Allowance (DLA): DLA assists with costs associated with setting up a new home. It covers temporary lodging, utility deposits, and other incidentals.
  3. Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE): TLE reimburses for temporary housing expenses incurred before moving into permanent accommodation, limited to 10 days within CONUS.
  4. Per Diem: The per diem rate covers daily travel and lodging expenses for the service member and dependents during the move.
  5. Miscellaneous Expenses: Additional costs like pet transportation, special item shipping, and rental car expenses fall under miscellaneous expenses if justified and documented.

Military relocation benefits not only support logistical ease but also provide financial stability during the transition. Understanding these benefits ensures a smoother, more predictable moving experience for your spouse.

Keep these criteria and covered expenses in mind to take full advantage of available support.

Exploring Spousal Support During Military Moves

Transitioning during military relocations? You’re probably wondering about financial support and resources available for your family, especially your spouse. Understanding these benefits clears confusion and makes the process less stressful.

Financial Support for Military Spouses

Military spouses are eligible for various financial aids during moves. These benefits help tackle the bulk of moving expenses and provide a smoother transition. Common financial support includes:

1. Transportation: The military covers travel costs for your spouse under PCS orders. Coverage includes airfare or mileage for personal vehicles. For example, if you’re driving cross-country, mileage reimbursement aids with gas expenses.

2. Dislocation Allowance (DLA): DLA offsets relocation costs not covered by other allowances. This assistance is vital, especially when unexpected expenses arise, such as emergency lodging or purchasing new household items.

3. Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE): TLE assists with temporary housing costs at your new station while you await permanent housing. This allowance usually covers 10 days but varies based on location. For instance, if stationed overseas, TLE conditions differ.

4. Per Diem: Per diem provides daily allowances for meals and incidental expenses during travel to a new duty station. These rates differ based on destination, covering essential daily spending.

5. Miscellaneous Expenses: The military reimburses costs for various incidentals. Things like pet transportation or utility setup fees qualify under these reimbursements, ensuring your out-of-pocket expenses remain minimal.

Resources and Contacts for Moving Assistance

Exploring the extensive support network available aids significantly during relocations. Several resources provide guidance and real-time assistance:

1. Military OneSource: This comprehensive platform offers 24/7 support. Reaching out to them provides advice on virtually any relocation-related issue, from financial planning to logistical guidance.

2. Relocation Assistance Programs (RAP): RAP at installation housing offices offers various services, including one-on-one counseling and informational workshops. Utilizing this program ensures you’re well-prepared for the move.

3. Chain of Command: Always communicate with your immediate superior officers. They’re often privy to the latest updates and can expedite certain processes by connecting you to the right personnel.

4. Military Family Life Counselors (MFLC): MFLC provides confidential counseling services. An often-overlooked resource, they offer emotional support, ensuring your family’s mental well-being during the transition.

5. Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP): If your spouse has special needs, EFMP coordinators provide tailored resources and support to ensure the move accommodates every requirement.

Understanding financial supports and leveraging available resources significantly eases the complexity of military relocations. With these tools at your disposal, you ensure a smoother transition for your spouse.

Key Steps to Access Military Relocation Benefits

Exploring military relocation benefits involves several important steps. Ensuring you understand and follow these steps maximizes the support available for your move.

Preparing the Necessary Documentation

Collect required documents early to streamline the process. Essential papers include your spouse’s PCS orders, marriage certificate, and government ID. Keep copies of your lease agreement or mortgage documents, as the military often requests specific information about your current and future housing.

How to Apply for Moving Assistance

Access moving assistance by contacting the Transportation Office (TO) on your base. After submitting your documentation, coordinate with the Personal Property Office (PPO) to handle your household goods. Use the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) to track and manage your move.

Additional Considerations for Military Families

Military relocations often bring both excitement and challenges. Beyond the logistics, you must consider other factors impacting the entire family’s transition. Let’s investigate into practical aspects to ensure your move goes smoothly.

Planning for Temporary and Permanent Changes of Station

Addressing Common Challenges During Relocation

When moving, you’ll face several hurdles. It’s essential to stay proactive to mitigate these issues. Housing, for example, may not always be immediately available. You might need temporary accommodation until permanent housing is arranged.

Job continuity for your spouse can be another challenge. Researching employment opportunities in the new location beforehand can ease this transition. Use resources such as the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) to connect with potential employers.

Your children’s education continuity is crucial. Contact the School Liaison Officer (SLO) at your new base to understand the local schooling options and any support services available. The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children helps with the transfer of school records and placement in appropriate programs.

Healthcare services differ by location. Ensure your family’s TRICARE information is updated, and identify new primary care providers in advance. Use the Military Health System (MHS) Patient Portal to help the switch.

Handling financial adjustments becomes easier when planning your budget. Track all expenses, from moving costs to potential out-of-pocket fees, and consider setting up emergency funds for unforeseen expenditures.

By addressing these challenges with thorough planning and seeking available resources, your family’s transition can be less stressful and more manageable.


Exploring military relocations can be challenging but knowing the available resources and financial assistance can make the process smoother. By understanding the eligibility criteria and utilizing support programs, you can significantly reduce the stress associated with moving. Planning ahead and leveraging resources like Military OneSource and Relocation Assistance Programs will ensure you and your family are well-prepared for both temporary and permanent changes of station. Remember, thorough preparation and the right support can transform a daunting move into a manageable and even positive experience.


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