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Dislocation Allowance


Dislocation Allowance (DLA) is a one-time financial compensation provided to military service members during a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move. This allowance aims to cover moving-related expenses not covered by other military allowances, such as housing and utility deposits. DLA is intended to help service members transition smoothly to their new location and lessen the financial burden associated with relocating.

Key Takeaways

  1. Dislocation Allowance (DLA) is a financial benefit provided by the US Department of Veterans Affairs to military service members and their families when they are required to move due to a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) or other government-ordered relocation.
  2. The purpose of the Dislocation Allowance is to help offset the costs associated with setting up a new household, such as lodging, traveling expenses, and other miscellaneous costs incurred during the relocation process.
  3. The amount of DLA a service member can receive depends on their rank, dependency status, and other factors, such as whether it is their first PCS or they have dependents. The VA periodically updates the DLA rates to account for inflation and changes in living expenses.


The Dislocation Allowance (DLA) is an important VA benefits term as it provides financial assistance to military personnel and their families when they’re required to relocate due to a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) or military-initiated move.

This allowance is designed to help offset the costs associated with moving, such as temporary lodging, transportation, and other expenses that are not covered by the military’s standard moving allowances.

By providing this support, DLA helps ease the financial burden and stress associated with frequent relocations, allowing service members and their families to focus on transitioning smoothly to their new location and ensuring their well-being throughout the often-challenging moving process.


The Dislocation Allowance (DLA) is among several benefits available to eligible service members, playing a crucial role in easing their financial burdens associated with relocating. Its primary purpose is to alleviate the often overlooked costs that arise when military personnel and their families are required to move due to military orders, such as Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders.

The DLA plays an important role in compensating for the miscellaneous expenses that may not be directly tied to housing or travel, making it an essential aspect of the support system provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to active duty military members and their families during a PCS move. The DLA serves to assist service members and families by offsetting costs related to rental or residential deposits, utility connection fees, purchasing new household items, and other expenses commonly encountered when establishing a new residence.

It is a one-time payment offered during a PCS, and the amount disbursed varies depending on the military member’s rank, dependency status, and destination, among other factors. By providing financial assistance, the Dislocation Allowance aims to make the process of relocating less stressful for military families, allowing them to focus on their new assignments and acclimate to their new environment.

This benefit demonstrates the VA’s commitment to supporting those who serve and ensuring their well-being throughout their military careers.

Examples of Dislocation Allowance

Dislocation Allowance (DLA) is a financial benefit provided to military service members in the United States when they relocate due to orders for a Permanent Change of Station (PCS). This allowance helps to cover the costs associated with moving and settling into a new location. Here are three real-world examples of situations where DLA may be applied:

A service member stationed at Fort Riley in Kansas receives PCS orders to relocate to Fort Bragg in North Carolina. They are eligible for DLA to help cover the costs of moving their household goods, finding new housing, and settling their family in their new location.

A Navy sailor stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, is ordered to move to San Diego, California, to work aboard a new ship. They can apply for DLA, which will help them with expenses such as breaking their lease in Norfolk, securing new housing in San Diego, and transporting their belongings across the country.

An Air Force officer stationed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany receives a PCS order to transfer to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. In this case, the officer will be eligible for DLA to cover the expenses associated with international travel, temporary lodging, and the shipment of their household goods to their new duty station.

Dislocation Allowance FAQ

What is the Dislocation Allowance?

The Dislocation Allowance (DLA) is a military benefit designed to help service members partially reimburse the costs of relocating during a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move. DLA is meant to ease the financial burden of moving and assist with expenses not covered by travel and transportation allowances.

Who is eligible for Dislocation Allowance?

Active-duty service members, reservists, and National Guard members on active duty who are relocating due to PCS orders are eligible for DLA. In some cases, members separating or retiring from the military may also be eligible. Service members without dependents must be moving to new accommodations to qualify, while service members with dependents are eligible even if their family does not move with them.

How much is the Dislocation Allowance?

DLA rates depend on the service member’s rank and whether they have dependents. The rates are adjusted yearly to account for inflation. To check the current rates, you can refer to the Defense Travel Management Office’s (DTMO) website for updated rate tables.

How do I apply for the Dislocation Allowance?

Service members can apply for DLA by submitting a travel voucher, DD Form 1351-2, to their local finance office. It is important to include all necessary documentation, such as PCS orders and receipts for relevant expenses. You should consult your unit’s administrative or finance office for guidance on how to submit the application correctly.

When will I receive my Dislocation Allowance payment?

Typically, DLA is paid as a lump sum after submitting your travel voucher and completing your PCS move. The exact time for payment can vary depending on your finance office’s processing time. It is essential to submit your application promptly and provide complete documentation to avoid delays in receiving your payment.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Relocation Expenses
  • Military Housing Allowance
  • Temporary Lodging Expense
  • Travel Reimbursement
  • Permanent Change of Station

Sources for More Information