Advice for Families:
Understanding your options is the number one defense against changes to your PCS due to the COVID 19 response efforts.
Know your rights:
As Tenants: Normal PCS moves are protected under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). However, due to current changes due to COVID 19 response efforts, you are encouraged to talk to legal assistance for case-by-case scenarios.
As Landlords: Many service members own homes that are currently being leased out to other service members. If you are a landlord to a PCSing family, especially in another state, we highly encourage you to check with your real estate attorney, former or present REALTOR (for a referral), or legal assistance for what your rights are in this situation.
When Buying/Selling a Home: Communication is the key. When buying and selling a home, you should have a team, including a mortgage lender, an attorney and a real estate agent/REALTOR. Make sure they are all aware of your situation. Find out your options – the sooner the better – and make sure you make your needs known.
Know your entitlements:
On Mar. 13, a stop-movement was put into affect for service members and families. Depending on where you were during that announcement, and where you are now will impact your entitlements.
In-Transit: If you were between duty stations when the stop move was ordered, you should now know if you were to return to your old station or report to your new station. If you have not already, you should contact your new duty station to determine whether you are considered to be awaiting transportation, or if they are going to provide you Temporary Duty Orders to your old Permanent Duty Station. Dependent travelers may receive per diem if they are in an awaiting transportation status. Remember, if service members or dependents choose to stay with friends or family members, and receive in-kind housing, they will lose some OR ALL per diem entitlements.
At New Duty Station: If you had already arrived to the new duty location, no additional PCS entitlements are authorized.
At a Port of Debarkation: You may be authorized per diem while awaiting transportation unless lodging in kind and meals in kind are provided to you.
Rental Insurance: Inform your insurance provider of all changes.
Homeowners Insurance: If you are closing later on a home, or your rental property is going to be vacant for an extended period of time, you must inform your provider.
Auto Insurance: Inform your insurance provider of all changes.
Are you going to be spending a lot of time in your home or hotel room? Set some daily goals (but don’t be too hard on yourself), that will keep up your productivity during this period. Here are some ideas.
Taxes: Military One Source has free tax software available.
Applying for Jobs: Check our USA Jobs or LinkedIn (just to name a couple of options) at your upcoming duty station. Start applying now, and this may make your transition easier in a couple of months.
Budget/Banking: Take the time to check out current rates, promotional savings programs, etc. Who knows, COVID 19 could be the opportunity to set-up some new accounts or pay a couple of bills down!
Of course, we are going to encourage you to download the MilVil app, which is available now on the App Store and Google Play. Go through the checklists, estimate your new entitlements, but most importantly, take control, and make your PCS Easier!