Personally procured moves (or PPMs, formerly known as DITY moves) can offer benefits to service members changing stations, but they also come with their share of stumbling blocks.

If you're making such a move, be sure you understand the allowances and restrictions. A good first step: Get all the details from the Defense Department's Move.mil site here.

Service members should coordinate with their personal property shipping offices/transportation offices before making a PPM. Jessica Perdew, program manager for personal financial readiness, Marine and Family Programs Division, at Marine Corps headquarters, advises Marines considering a PPM to visit www.logcom.marines.mil/Capabilities/Personally-Procured-Move/ or speak to their local distribution management office before making a decision.

There are requirements about certified empty- and loaded-vehicle weight tickets. In addition, it's critical to keep accurate and legible receipts of all expenses during a PPM. Otherwise, claims might be delayed or denied.

There are also tax implications to consider – any incentive payments made are taxable in the tax year received.

Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.

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