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Relocating

Are you considering relocating your federal career - either by your choice or by Uncle Sam? There are practical issues and concerns to think about when deciding whether or not to relocate. Others have done it while still others have not. This forum will allow for all to offer their insight, post their questions, and help each other out.

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frnorke  
#1 Posted : Friday, June 5, 2020 6:17:58 AM(UTC)
frnorke

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United States

Hi,
I've been selected for a position in Belgium. I have house CONUS that I don't want to sell but would look to rent. Under the JTR, sections 054602 and 054603 'Property Management Services' I qualify for their (the sections) criteria. I also would like to store part of our household goods stateside and there is a section in the JTR that speaks to Non-Temporary Storage of House hold goods (section 053610). So now my question. No one can seem to provide me answers on how or whether these would be available to me. By the criteria stated in the JTR, I'm completely eligible for each entitilement/benefit.

Furthermore, I've been told that my EFMP qualified dependent won't receive the medical services needed for their treatment because of the scarcity of medical facilities and civilian being space A for MTFs and clinics. Therefore I would need to get treatment on the economy. I have to sign a Statement of Understanding (SOU) in order to proceed with the process of taking the job, yet part of the SOU states that "Lack of medical or special education/early intervention services does not serve as a basis for denial of family travel at Government expense and will be provided even if medical services are not available at an MTF or if a local program is not currently established". To me I interpret that as meaning the government will pay for my family to travel where there are providers that can service my dependents medical condition. Has anyone ever experienced this before? What is your experience with medical care/providers in Belgium?

Thanks for any help you can provide!

Endless Summer  
#2 Posted : Friday, June 5, 2020 1:27:48 PM(UTC)
Endless Summer

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Originally Posted by: frnorke Go to Quoted Post
Hi,
I've been selected for a position in Belgium. I have house CONUS that I don't want to sell but would look to rent. Under the JTR, sections 054602 and 054603 'Property Management Services' I qualify for their (the sections) criteria. I also would like to store part of our household goods stateside and there is a section in the JTR that speaks to Non-Temporary Storage of House hold goods (section 053610). So now my question. No one can seem to provide me answers on how or whether these would be available to me. By the criteria stated in the JTR, I'm completely eligible for each entitilement/benefit.

Furthermore, I've been told that my EFMP qualified dependent won't receive the medical services needed for their treatment because of the scarcity of medical facilities and civilian being space A for MTFs and clinics. Therefore I would need to get treatment on the economy. I have to sign a Statement of Understanding (SOU) in order to proceed with the process of taking the job, yet part of the SOU states that "Lack of medical or special education/early intervention services does not serve as a basis for denial of family travel at Government expense and will be provided even if medical services are not available at an MTF or if a local program is not currently established". To me I interpret that as meaning the government will pay for my family to travel where there are providers that can service my dependents medical condition. Has anyone ever experienced this before? What is your experience with medical care/providers in Belgium?

Thanks for any help you can provide!



I can't speak to the medical issue but as for your other questions it will be spelled out on your orders. There are sections where each benefit is listed. Generally, you will be able to move 18,000 pounds of stuff plus one vehicle. NTS should be offered and you can specify what stays behind.

Depending on your GS grade and other factors, you may or may not be offered help with the real estate issue. Just because you meet the requirements in the JTR does not mean you will be offered those services. However, you can ask for them to be included.

You should have a contact in HR, you might reach out to them.
frnorke  
#3 Posted : Friday, June 5, 2020 1:46:44 PM(UTC)
frnorke

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Hi Endless Summer. Thank for the help and information. I've asked my HR POC who's extended the Tenative offer but they're completely in the dark about this. It's kind of like I'm a ping pong ball and these questions of mine are just bouncing between the Foreign Entitlements cell for North/Central Europe, the HR POC, and me.
Endless Summer  
#4 Posted : Friday, June 5, 2020 3:34:26 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: frnorke Go to Quoted Post
Hi Endless Summer. Thank for the help and information. I've asked my HR POC who's extended the Tenative offer but they're completely in the dark about this. It's kind of like I'm a ping pong ball and these questions of mine are just bouncing between the Foreign Entitlements cell for North/Central Europe, the HR POC, and me.


They might not have everything figured out as far as the benefits they are offering. I'm certainly not an expert on the EFMP SOU, but I think that may be stating that they cannot refuse to PCS you based on your Family member's condition. I'm not aware of them paying for travel to an appropriate treatment facility.

Space A availability means different things, where I currently am it means you'll probably get in but you may have to wait. Have you researched the treatment options in the area? Once you get a firm offer you should get a sponsor who will be able to do a lot of the groundwork for you. They try to pair up people who have similar situations but at the very least you should get a helping hand on the ground there.

Best wishes.
FatHappyCat  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, June 9, 2020 12:49:39 PM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: frnorke Go to Quoted Post
Hi,
I've been selected for a position in Belgium. I have house CONUS that I don't want to sell but would look to rent. Under the JTR, sections 054602 and 054603 'Property Management Services' I qualify for their (the sections) criteria. I also would like to store part of our household goods stateside and there is a section in the JTR that speaks to Non-Temporary Storage of House hold goods (section 053610). So now my question. No one can seem to provide me answers on how or whether these would be available to me. By the criteria stated in the JTR, I'm completely eligible for each entitilement/benefit.

Furthermore, I've been told that my EFMP qualified dependent won't receive the medical services needed for their treatment because of the scarcity of medical facilities and civilian being space A for MTFs and clinics. Therefore I would need to get treatment on the economy. I have to sign a Statement of Understanding (SOU) in order to proceed with the process of taking the job, yet part of the SOU states that "Lack of medical or special education/early intervention services does not serve as a basis for denial of family travel at Government expense and will be provided even if medical services are not available at an MTF or if a local program is not currently established". To me I interpret that as meaning the government will pay for my family to travel where there are providers that can service my dependents medical condition. Has anyone ever experienced this before? What is your experience with medical care/providers in Belgium?

Thanks for any help you can provide!



As endless summer said - just because you are eligible for something doesn't necessarily mean you get it. PCS + NTS is pretty standard for all. When you start getting into real estate, especially housing sale, it's almost unheard of unless you're in that handful of series (usually medical) that is difficult to recruit.

Regarding EFMP, it really depends on the condition. The most serious it is, the less likely they'll approve a waiver. Belgium (Mons, SHAPE, etc) is basically like the US. You'll pay out of pocket for everything and work with your own medical insurance for reimbursement. Luckily, European health care doesn't overcharge everything like they do back in the states.

But basically - if it's on your orders you get it, if it's not, you don't. Every entitlement has a cost, you can ask for anything/everything, just be prepare for them to say no.....and knowing that, ask for something reasonable. Don't be like one of my co-workers who thought it was appropriate to ask if they could ship 2 cars and an RV over.

Scifimomma  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, June 23, 2020 7:55:19 AM(UTC)
Scifimomma

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I suggest you join some Facebook community pages specific to SHAPE, they can help you with medical resources and referrals. (SHAPE Families is a good one). And reach out to the EFMP coordinator at ACS. https://installations.mi...al-family-member-program

I was stationed at SHAPE, and the medical care off base was not good at all. Most went out of their way to Brussels and others liked the hospital in Ath, but Chu Ambroise Paré, downtown Mons was horrible. My friend had a routine colonoscopy there, worst experience of her life. The language barrier is also a challenge, however they do have liaisons to assist.

As far as entitlements, some are CMD approved. What you receive will be in your orders. You will need to ask CPAC for specifics. You’re tracking the taxes on PCS?

Medical aside, we loved Mons and our station at SHAPE. But if the care needed is significant, you’ll want to do more research, because it can make your tour very trying not being able to access the care needed. I’ve seen that with one of my staff in Germany, and there’s much more there vs. Belgium.
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