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How to Make the Most Out of a Personally Procured Move (PPM)

Published on 2022-01-24

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For the members of the military that are looking to move, they have 2 options to choose from. They can have their move managed by the government, in what is known as a government procured move, or they can tackle the move on their own as a PPM.

PPM’s, or personally procured moves, are part of a military program that allows you to tackle the moving project solo, or with the assistance of a third-party company. The government reimburses you for some of your expenses, and you can even make money with them if planned right.

Let’s learn more about PPMs and how you can make money with one.

What Is a Personally Procured Move?

The two terms used in the military for moves are HHG, which stands for household goods move, and PPM, which is the personally procured move. HHGs are handled by the military directly, and PPMs by you.

In the past, PPMs were known as DITYs, but the way they work is still the same. You get in touch with your procurement office and they will reimburse you for some of the upfront costs of the military move, and in some cases grant you a per diem before the move starts.

What Is a Partial PPM?

A Partial PPM is a combination of an HHG and a PPM. Meaning you ship a portion of your belongings through the military, and the rest is handled by you or with the assistance of a third-party mover.

The benefit of partial PPMs is that they are far less work than working on the move entirely on your own. The government handles the cost of all items shipped through them. If you are worried about items getting delayed while doing a move, then a partial PPM might be a good idea.

What Is the Benefit of a PPM?

What is the benefit of a PPM? For one, you will have far more control over the time used and how the move goes. But the main benefit is that you can actually make money with a PPM. During the COVID pandemic, the government approved a change to the moving policies of the military that would grant you 100% of the estimated costs of your move back to you. As of January of 2021, this move was made permanent.

That means that if you spend less money than what the government expects you to on the move, you will get to pocket all the difference in cost. If the government estimates your move to be 5k, and it ends up being around 3k, you will have $2,000 in profit!

As we mentioned before, another advantage of PPMs is being able to control how they go. With an HHG move, you don’t have much say over how your stuff is packed, the time it takes to arrive, or much of anything really. By working on the move on your own, or with the assistance of a transportation company, you have far more control over every detail of the move.

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How Can I Do a PPM?

The first thing you’ll need is your PCS orders. Once you have those, there are a few steps to follow to go through with a PPM. Here’s a list you can use for reference:

Decide on your move type

The first thing you need to decide is what type of move will you do. Partial PPM? Full PPM? For both cases, you also need to decide if you will tackle the move on your own, renting a truck, or with a household goods mover company. They have different reimbursement rates.

Analyze your Budget

While you are able to get an advance on the reimbursement of the costs in some situations, usually you will have to cover the costs related to the move on your own. You get reimbursed for the move, but you still have to pay upfront. So make sure you have confirmed your budget will cover your moving plans.

Talk with your office

Next, you should talk with your Personal Property Office (PPO) to get the facts straight about your move. How much you can expect in terms of reimbursement, and what exactly you will be reimbursed for. You can also see if there are any advances for the move if you talk with them first.

Get Approval

One of the most critical steps to a PPM is to get it approved by your Personal Property Office. This involves presenting some documentation related to the move and its estimates. If your PPM is not approved, you won’t get reimbursed for the costs in the end.

Create a file for all your documents and receipts

By the time your PPM is done, you will have gathered a host of different documents. Receipts, weighing tickets, approval documents, and shipping manifestos are just some of the documents that you may need to have and present for your reimbursement. So, a good idea is to have a file or folder where you can store and organize all of this information until it is time to present it.

Weigh your stuff

You will have to weigh your before you can start your move. This is critical. You need certified weight tickets, with the items in and out of the truck, in order to be reimbursed. The transportation company you choose should assist you in the process of producing these certificates.

Get your reimbursement

After you have done all the previous steps, all you need is to complete your move and get paid. Once you have arrived at your new location you will have 45 days to file for reimbursement. So don’t forget to do it!

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How Can I Make Money on a PPM?

To determine how much money you can make on a PPM, you will need to do some research. For starters, you can use the move calculator for PPMs found here.

There are many factors involved in determining how much you get paid for your move, such as your rank, the distance and number of dependents, the weight of your items, and your move date.

PPM Calculation Example

Let’s run a test on how much you can make. Let’s start by taking a rank, like Staff Sergeant (E6). An E6 would receive between $9,927-$9,647 on a move from Ft. Bragg to Ft. Irwin, with 11,000 pounds of items.

However, this isn’t the actual estimated profit, only what you would probably receive for the move from the government. After you have calculated this estimate you need to remove the actual fees that you will have to determine how much you will actually get for the move in the end. You will want to keep your actual costs for the move as small as possible. The less you pay upfront for the move, the more you’ll make in the end when the reimbursement comes. You also need to verify which expenses are authorized by the DFAS. To see these authorized expenses, visit their website.

Once you know which expenses are authorized, and an estimate of how much you will probably get for the move, the next step is to start crunching numbers and finding the right company to ensure you don’t pay more than necessary and keep your expenses to a minimum.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the profit from a PPM taxable?

Yes. That difference in money between the government reimbursement and your actual move costs is taxable, so keep that in mind.

How long does the reimbursement take?

There’s isn’t a clear-cut answer for how long it will take for your reimbursement. It can take days  or even months in the worst cases. As such, you need to be prepared to wait. Make sure that you don’t need this reimbursement to pay for bills or anything of the sort. Proceed with your move only when you already have the money on your own.

How to Save Money On a PPM?

Find ways to keep your expenses to a minimum. Check for places that give discounts for the military, or are running special offers. These are good ways to make the move less expensive than the estimate.

What If I Spend More than the Estimate?

That would be a problem. You don’t get reimbursement for any expenses past the initial estimate. So you need to take your time with the calculations and ensure that you find a company that will allow you to process the move at a cost lower than what the estimate is.

What Documents Do I Need to Submit for Reimbursement?

You can find a list of documents need for the reimbursement by checking the forms you need to complete. Here is an example of such a form.

In Conclusion

Moving in the military can be cumbersome, but there are ways to make it beneficial to you. If you follow all the steps in this guide, you can go through with your PPM and even turn a profit. Make sure to keep your costs low, submit all the necessary documentation in time, and plan appropriately.

Written by Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving.

If you have any questions about moving, our services, or anything else you think he may be able to help with, you can contact Chris by emailing him at Chris@threemovers.com

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