Military Relocation Benefits – A Great Asset for Civilian Employers |
By Larry Slagel | senior vice president of sales at RecruitMilitary and a former captain in the United States Marine Corps |
Published in the July/August 2010 issue of print Search & Employ® |
Savvy employers have long known the beneficial qualities that former military members bring to the civilian workforce: leadership, unparalleled work ethic, commitment to the team and mission, and unique skill sets. What many employers may not realize is the relocation benefits offered by the military may allow businesses to recruit the best candidates without paying to move them.
Retiring from Service. Members retiring from the service have one year to complete their final move. If members have not made their home of selection, they are entitled to storage for one year at “origin” from date of retirement. Goods may be shipped anywhere within the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. Extensions can be requested beyond the one year limit for medical, training, educational or other deserving reasons.
Separating from Service. Members separating from the service have 180 days from the effective date of discharge to move personal property at government expense. If they are unsure of where they want to move, local storage of up to 180 days may be requested. Members living in government quarters and separating or retiring may move locally and still retain their shipping rights within the authorized time limit. Members separating with other than an Honorable Discharge must obtain a letter from their convening authority authorizing their dependents to be moved.
The Defense Personal Property System (DPS), a division of the Department of Defense (DoD), governs the moving process for transitioning military members. DPS serves as an automated, end-to-end management system. The DPS system replaced the aging Transportation Operational Personal Property Standard System (TOPS) legacy system. The new system automates much of the process of pre-move counseling, scheduling, tracking, invoicing, and claims-filing for household goods shipments.
DPS provides 24/7 access to personal property shipment information, and acts a conduit between DoD members and transportation service providers (TSPs), which include packers, truckers, storers, and anyone giving freight transportation and related services to a federal agency. DPS serves as the focal point for all members of the personal property community, including DoD Customers, TSPs, Personal Property Shipping Offices (PPSO), the military services and others participating in the personal property moving process.
Another unique DPS feature is the availability of direct, online claims settlement. Claims protection includes full replacement value of lost items and/or damaged items, as well as direct communications and claims settlement between military members and their TSP. The system also provides enhancements for TSPs, including improved payment processing through the U.S. Bank PowerTrack system, online rate filing, reduction of government-unique forms and the ability to accept shipments online. TSPs also receive notifications of important information throughout the shipment management process. The enhanced capabilities of the system will also result in reduced paper handling.
Do It Yourself Moves. The government even offers a “Do It Yourself” (DITY) program for moving, which offers a monetary incentive to active service members who do their own packing, crating and moving of personal property. The service member is paid 95 percent of what it would have cost the government to move the property up to the member’s maximum authorized weight allowance. In return, the service member must take care of his/her moving arrangements and expenses. The DITY program may be used in whole or in part. If total move costs are less than the DITY permitted allowance, the service member may keep the difference – a nice reward for efficiently managing a move.
For more information about relocation benefits available to military members, visit www.move.mil.