## Sunday, February 21, 2016

### How to Calculate PPM/DITY Move - Updated for 2017

An extensive DITY move calculator for personally procured moves. So here's how to calculate your PPM/dity move's reimbursement cost. As you may already know, when doing a PPM/Dity move the government reimburses you the 90-95% of what it would have cost them to move you instead. With this incentive in mind, if you could carry out the above move spending less than the government's quote then you get to keep this difference as a profit. This difference can become pretty big by using special means like renting a U-haul/truck yourself, using transport services like "you pack, we move" etc.

The problem here is that the government doesn't have any fixed rates or guidelines to determine the above moving cost. All we know is that it's based on the weight of your HHG (Household Goods) and the travel distance between the old duty station and the new one. So we can only try to get a rough estimation to have a general opinion of what the government will entitle if we decide to proceed on a PPM/DITY move.
1. Estimate the weight of your HHG (Household Goods)

When you apply for a PPM/DITY move on the military office, you will have to provide them an estimation of the total weight of your HHG (Household Goods). Keep in mind that this weight should be below your maximum allowed weight for PCS (depends on rank and number of dependents) and if you exceed them, the government will not consider the excess weight while calculating the cost of your move. So if you want to move a total 10,500 lbs of HHG and the maximum allowance for you is 9.000 instead, the government will consider only the 9,000 lbs and you may end up paying more than what you will get back as a return.

Now let's try to estimate the total weight of our HHG. There are two ways to do this. One way is to calculate 1,000 lbs per room of furniture. Don't calculate the bathroom and any rental furniture or appliances. The second way is to use this weight estimator excel spreadsheet that contains every type of furniture. The second way is more technical but it may provide a more accurate estimation.

It is known that if you proceed on a PPM/DITY move, the government will give you the 60% of the total reimbursement as an advance before you move and the rest 40% when you get to the new station's office and provide them the required empty/loaded weight tickets and receipts. In that way, it is clear that the 60% advance is based on the weight estimation that you will provide. For that reason, you have to be careful not to over-estimate the weight of your HHG. If that happens, it may lead to over-payment and they may ask you to return back a percentage of the reimbursement, even if you pay more for the move.On the other hand, if it proves that you under-estimated the weight of your HHG, they may end up giving you a bigger reimbursement than initially calculated.

2. Calculate the travel distance between the old and new military station

The next thing you have to do is to calculate the total travel distance of your PPM/DITY move. For this purpose I created an excel spreadsheet in which you can enter origin (old station) and destination (new station) ZIP codes and receive the exact distance in miles. To find out the travel distance of your PPM/DITY move, enter the first 3 digits of the above ZIP codes in the cells named "ENTER HERE". For example, if I wanted to move from Los Angeles, CA Metro (ZIP 90010), to Grand Island, NE (ZIP 68803), then I would be entering "900" as Origin Zip and "688" as Destination Zip.

If you entered them properly in the correct cells, a number will appear next to the "mileage" cell. That's the total travel distance you (or the goverment) will have to travel during your PPM/DITY move.

3. Estimate the average cost of moving using online calculations/quotes from commercial moving firms

On that point you should have two numbers. The total weight estimation of your Household Goods, and the travel distance of your move. Now you can find out how much it would have cost the government to move you using a number of online calculators/quotes by commercial moving firms, like the ones you see below:

Insert the above exact numbers (weight and travel distance) and you will calculate the average total cost of your move. The 90-95% of it will be very close (+-100s difference) to the reimbursement you will get from the government, if you finally decide to do a DITY move.

Now if you manage to complete the move spending less than what the government would spend to move you, you will end up with a nice profit in your bank account! I made a quick search of DITY move stories and I found out that you can make a couple thousands of profit using it.
Additionally, when you do a PPM/DITY move, you are still entitled to the standard PCS travel allowances like DLA, PER DIEM and MALT.

Fiscal Year 2017 DLA (Dislocation Allowance): See here
Fiscal Year 2017 MALT rate per mile of POC (Privately Owned Conveyance): \$0.19 / Mile
Fiscal Year 2017 Per Diem Rates: See here