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Find Out Everything About PCS Temporary Lodging Allowance: A Comprehensive Guide

Relocating can be a daunting task, especially for military personnel who often have to move on short notice. One of the key concerns during such relocations is finding temporary lodging while settling into a new location.

The U.S. Department of Defense recognizes this challenge and offers the PCS Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) to alleviate some of the financial burdens associated with temporary stays.

This allowance is specifically designed to partially compensate service members for the higher-than-normal expenses they might incur while occupying temporary lodgings, especially when moving overseas (OCONUS).

Whether you’re a service member preparing for a move or a family member trying to understand the financial aspects of a relocation, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need about PCS Temporary Lodging Allowance.

Understanding PCS Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA)

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The PCS Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) is a crucial financial provision for service members. It’s designed to ease the financial burden when they are in transition, especially during relocations.

1. Definition of TLA

The Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) is a specific financial assistance provided to service members. It’s designed to cover the costs of temporary lodging when a service member is either arriving at or departing from a permanent duty station. This allowance plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the service member and their family are not burdened with the additional costs of temporary housing during transitions.

TLA is distinct from other types of allowances. It’s specifically tailored to address the unique challenges faced by military personnel, especially when they are in the process of relocating. The primary aim is to ensure that service members can find comfortable temporary lodging without worrying about the associated costs.

2. Importance of TLA for Military Personnel

For military personnel, relocations are a common aspect of their service tenure. These moves, often on short notice, can be stressful. The introduction of the Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) has been a game-changer. It offers financial relief, ensuring that service members can focus on their duties without the added stress of lodging and meal expenses.

Moreover, TLA recognizes the sacrifices made by our military personnel. By offering this allowance, the Department of Defense ensures that service members and their families have one less thing to worry about during their transitions. It’s a testament to the value placed on their well-being and comfort.

3. Differences Between Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE) and TLA

While both Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE) and Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) aim to provide financial assistance for lodging during relocations, there are distinct differences. TLE is designed for service members relocating within the continental United States. It covers lodging and meal expenses incurred during the initial or final stages of a permanent change of station.

On the other hand, TLA is specifically for those relocating outside the continental United States (OCONUS). It addresses the unique challenges faced by service members when moving to or from overseas locations. Understanding these differences is crucial for service members to ensure they avail themselves of the right benefits.

4. TLA vs. TLE: Which One to Opt for?

The choice between TLA and TLE depends largely on the nature of the relocation. If a service member is moving within the continental United States, TLE is the appropriate choice. It covers the temporary lodging expenses incurred during the transition.

However, for relocations outside the continental United States, TLA is the go-to option. It’s tailored to address the specific challenges of overseas moves. Service members should consult with their respective finance offices to ensure they opt for the allowance that best suits their situation.

5. Historical Context of TLA

The concept of providing financial assistance for temporary lodging isn’t new. Over the years, the U.S. Department of Defense recognized the need to support its service members during transitions. The introduction of TLA was a significant step in this direction.

Historically, as global deployments increased and service members found themselves frequently relocating overseas, the need for a specific allowance like TLA became evident.

It was designed to ensure that service members could comfortably settle into new locations without the financial strain of temporary lodging. Over the years, TLA has evolved, but its core objective remains the same: to support service members during their relocations.

Eligibility Criteria for TLA

temporary lodging facility, lodging cost

Navigating the world of military allowances can be complex. However, understanding the eligibility criteria for benefits like the Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) can make transitions smoother for service members.

1. Who Can Avail TLA?

TLA is primarily designed for active-duty service members. Whether you’re in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines, if you’re relocating to or from an overseas location, you’re likely eligible for TLA. It’s essential to understand that this allowance is not just for the service member but also extends to their dependents.

The key is that the relocation should be associated with a permanent change of station. Whether you’re arriving at a new duty station or departing from one, TLA is there to ease the financial burden of temporary lodging.

2. Key Conditions for TLA Eligibility

While TLA is a valuable benefit, there are specific conditions that service members must meet. Firstly, the relocation should be associated with a permanent change of station (PCS) to or from an overseas location. Additionally, the service member should either be waiting for government quarters or finalizing arrangements for private-sector rental housing.

It’s also worth noting that TLA is not a blanket allowance for all relocations. It’s specifically designed for situations where normal expenses incurred during a move are higher than usual due to the need for temporary lodging.

3. Duration and Limitations of TLA

TLA is not an indefinite allowance. It’s designed to cover temporary lodging expenses for a specific duration. Typically, TLA can be availed for a set number of days upon arrival at a new duty station. The exact duration can vary based on individual circumstances and the availability of permanent housing.

It’s essential for service members to be proactive in seeking permanent housing. Prolonged reliance on TLA without valid reasons can lead to complications. The key is to view TLA as a temporary relief, not a long-term solution.

4. Special Cases for TLA Eligibility

While the general criteria for TLA are straightforward, there are special cases where service members might be eligible for this allowance. For instance, if a service member has to vacate their permanent housing due to reasons beyond their control, they might be eligible for TLA.

Other scenarios include situations where a service member, after a long-term deployment, needs temporary lodging before moving back into their permanent residence. It’s always advisable to consult with the finance office to understand the nuances of TLA eligibility in special cases.

5. TLA for OCONUS vs. CONUS Relocations

The primary distinction between OCONUS (Outside Continental United States) and CONUS (Continental United States) relocations is the location. TLA is specifically designed for OCONUS relocations. This means if a service member is moving to or from locations outside the continental U.S., they can avail of TLA.

For moves within the continental U.S., service members would typically look at the Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE) instead of TLA. Understanding this distinction is crucial to ensure that service members avail themselves of the right benefits for their specific relocation scenario.

Read More: Essential Cleaning Tips Before and After PCS Moves

How to Apply for TLA?

family type government quarters, occupying temporary lodging, daily lodging ceiling

The process of relocating, especially to an overseas location, can be daunting. However, benefits like the Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) are designed to make this transition smoother. Here’s a guide on how to apply for TLA.

1. Starting the Application Process

Initiating the TLA application process is relatively straightforward. Once a service member receives orders for an overseas relocation, they should approach their finance office. The finance office will provide guidance on the necessary forms and documentation required for the TLA application.

It’s essential to start the process early. This ensures that there are no delays in receiving the allowance, allowing service members to focus on other aspects of their relocation.

2. Required Documentation and Forms

To apply for TLA, service members will need specific documentation. This typically includes a copy of the PCS orders, any endorsements to those orders, and lodging receipts. If the service member has dependents, additional documentation might be required to ensure they are covered under the TLA.

The finance office will provide a list of all necessary forms and documents. It’s crucial to ensure that all paperwork is accurate and submitted promptly to avoid any delays in receiving the TLA.

3. Seeking Permanent Housing: Responsibilities and Expectations

While TLA provides financial relief for temporary lodging, service members are expected to actively seek permanent housing. This means regularly checking for available government quarters or exploring private-sector rental housing options.

The duration for which a service member can avail of TLA is limited. Hence, it’s essential to be proactive in finding permanent housing to ensure a smooth transition and avoid any complications with the TLA.

4. Renewing and Extending TLA

In certain scenarios, service members might need to extend their TLA. This could be due to delays in securing permanent housing or other unforeseen challenges. In such cases, service members can approach their finance office to discuss the possibility of renewing or extending their TLA.

It’s worth noting that any extensions are subject to approval and might require additional documentation. Service members should ensure they have valid reasons for seeking an extension and provide all necessary paperwork to support their request.

5. Common Mistakes to Avoid When Applying

The TLA application process, while straightforward, does have potential pitfalls. Common mistakes include not providing all required documentation, not actively seeking permanent housing, or not understanding the differences between TLA and other allowances like TLE.

Service members should be diligent in their application process. Consulting with the finance office, understanding the criteria for TLA, and being proactive in seeking permanent housing can ensure a smooth application process and timely receipt of the allowance.

Computation and Payment

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Understanding the computation and payment process for the Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) is crucial for service members. This ensures that they receive the correct amount and can plan their finances accordingly during their relocation.

1. Basics of TLA Calculation

The computation of TLA is based on several factors. These include the number of dependents, the location of the new duty station, and the actual expenses incurred for temporary lodging. The Department of Defense provides specific percentage tables that guide the computation of TLA.

It’s worth noting that TLA is designed to cover a portion of the lodging and meal expenses. Service members should consult the percentage tables to get a clear understanding of how much they can expect to receive.

2. Understanding Percentage Tables

The percentage tables for TLA are designed to provide clarity on the computation process. These tables outline the specific percentages of the total expenses that service members can expect to receive as TLA. The percentages vary based on the number of dependents and the location of the duty station.

For instance, a service member without dependents might receive a different percentage compared to a service member with a family. It’s essential to refer to the latest percentage tables to ensure accurate computation of the TLA.

3. Payment Frequency and Methods

TLA is typically paid out periodically. Service members can expect to receive their allowance based on the duration for which they avail temporary lodging. The finance office will provide guidance on the payment frequency and methods.

It’s crucial for service members to provide accurate banking details to ensure timely receipt of the TLA. Any changes in banking information should be promptly communicated to the finance office to avoid payment delays.

4. Factors Affecting TLA Amount

Several factors can influence the amount of TLA a service member receives. These include the duration of the temporary lodging, the actual expenses incurred, and any special circumstances that might apply. For instance, if a service member vacates their temporary lodging earlier than anticipated, this could affect the TLA amount.

Service members should maintain clear records of their lodging expenses and communicate any changes in their lodging situation to the finance office. This ensures accurate computation of the TLA.

5. Addressing Payment Delays and Issues

While the TLA payment process is typically smooth, there might be occasional delays or issues. In such scenarios, service members should promptly approach their finance office. The finance office can provide clarity on the reasons for the delay and guide on the necessary steps to address the issue.

It’s essential to address any payment issues proactively. This ensures that service members can focus on their relocation without the added stress of financial concerns.

Read More: Avoiding Common Mistakes in Military Moves: Things to Watch Out For

Why Choose Our Premier Services at Military Movers?

At Military Movers, we pride ourselves on offering a comprehensive suite of services tailored to the unique needs of our military personnel. Our decades of experience and commitment to excellence ensure that every move is handled with precision, care, and a personal touch.

Local and Long-Distance Relocations

  • Expertise in Every Move: Whether you’re relocating within your city or across the country, our team has the expertise to ensure a seamless transition.
  • Customized Plans: We understand that every move is unique. Our team works closely with you to develop a moving plan tailored to your specific needs.
  • Real-time Tracking: With our advanced satellite tracking technology, you can monitor your shipment in real-time, ensuring peace of mind.

Packing and Unpacking Services

  • Professional Packing: Our experts use high-quality materials and techniques to ensure that your belongings are packed securely.
  • Efficient Unpacking: Once you arrive at your new home, our team will assist in unpacking, ensuring that everything is in its rightful place.
  • Special Care Items: We recognize the value of your precious items. Our team is trained to handle delicate and valuable belongings with extra care.

Storage Solutions

  • Flexible Options: Whether you need temporary storage or a long-term solution, we’ve got you covered.
  • Climate-Controlled Units: For sensitive items, our climate-controlled units ensure that your belongings remain in pristine condition.
  • Secure Facilities: Our storage facilities are equipped with advanced security systems, ensuring that your items are safe and protected.

OCONUS Military Moves

  • Global Expertise: Our experience extends beyond domestic relocations. We’re equipped to handle overseas moves with the same level of expertise.
  • Customs and Regulations: Navigating international customs and regulations can be daunting. Our team is well-versed in global relocation protocols, ensuring a hassle-free move.
  • Dedicated Support: From start to finish, our team provides dedicated support, ensuring that you’re well-informed and prepared for your international move.


Relocating, especially for military personnel, can be a challenging endeavor. With numerous considerations, from understanding allowances like the Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) to ensuring a smooth move, it’s essential to have reliable partners by your side.

At Military Movers, we’re committed to making your relocation experience as seamless and stress-free as possible. With our comprehensive services, expert team, and unwavering dedication, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

If you’re planning a move soon, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Let Military Movers be your trusted partner in your next relocation journey.


What is the difference between Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) and Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE)?

TLA is designed for service members relocating outside the continental United States (OCONUS), covering temporary lodging expenses during such moves. In contrast, TLE is for relocations within the continental U.S., addressing lodging and meal expenses during the initial or final stages of a move.

How long can I avail of the Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA)?

TLA is designed to cover temporary lodging expenses for a specific duration, typically set based on individual circumstances and the availability of permanent housing. It’s essential to actively seek permanent housing during this period.

Can I apply for TLA if I’m moving within the U.S.?

For relocations within the continental U.S., service members would typically look at the Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE) instead of TLA. TLA is specifically designed for overseas relocations.

How do Military Movers support OCONUS relocations?

Military Movers offers a comprehensive suite of services tailored for OCONUS moves. From understanding global relocation protocols to providing dedicated support, we ensure a hassle-free international move.

Are there any special provisions for service members facing higher-than-normal temporary lodging expenses?

Yes, in exceptional cases where standard TLA might not adequately cover the expenses, service members might qualify for TLA Special (TLA-S), designed for such unique scenarios.

Mia Miller

Mia Miller, a true wordsmith, documents the journey of Military Movers through her engaging blog posts. She ensures that our stories, mirroring our commitment and dedication to facilitating military moves, reach a broad audience.

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