PCS Benefit for Pet Travel In Limbo
Last year, military members were promised a new benefit related to permanent change of station moves, up to $4000 per service member who must ship pets as part of PCS travel.
This new military benefit related to transporting pets was approved by lawmakers in December 2022. But at press time, the proposed rules are gathering dust at the Pentagon, according to Military.com and other sources.
Pet PCS Benefits: What’s the Delay?
The rules are languishing at the Pentagon because they first need the approval of the Pentagon Per Diem Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee.
In the past, military members have paid for pet PCS travel out-of-pocket; the new rules are designed to reduce the burden of permanent change of station moves overall.
The Specific Pet Travel Policy
The National Defense Authorization Act of 2023 allows each branch of the military to offer up to $550 for a stateside PCS and as much as $4000 for overseas PCS moves.
One possible motivation for the considerably higher overseas price tag? Military families are typically required to quarantine pets before they are allowed to enter a host nation.
Under the rules, reimbursement for quarantine is allowed only for mandatory quarantines. And apparently, those rules have not been finalized at press time.
The language of the policy specifically requires the approval of the Per Diem Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee before it can take effect.
PCS related: Military Spouse Career Support Act
Getting Ahead of the Delay
At press time, at least one military service branch anticipates being unable to offer the PCS reimbursement this year.
The Marine Corps sent a message in June of 2023 advising that troops should expect NOT to receive the benefit in 2023 and that reimbursements will NOT be retroactive once the measure is finally approved and implemented.
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About the author
Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.