Relocation Assistance at the NIH

New employees at the NIH may be entitled to financial assistance to cover the costs of traveling and moving their household goods if the position requires them to change locations. The process can be a bit confusing, so an overview of this benefit and how to utilize it appears below. Should you have any additional questions about relocation assistance after reviewing this page, don’t hesitate to contact your Administrative Officer (AO).

What do I have to do?

First, don’t spend anything on travel or the shipment of goods before you receive your travel/shipment orders from the Institute or Center (IC) that hired you, or NIH will be unable to reimburse your expenses. Once your move has been authorized, you must complete NIH Form 2028 and submit it to your AO at least 30 days before you plan on moving. Once that form has been submitted your AO will take the necessary steps to pay for your relocation costs.

What can I have reimbursed?

The NIH will cover the costs associated with:

  • Transportation of the employee and his or her immediate family members via commercial airline, train, bus, etc., or by privately owned vehicle.
  • Per diem for the employee if the journey will take more than 12 hours.
  • Transportation and temporary storage of household goods, which include property that will be used by the relocating individual or family, not to be resold and not in excess of 18,000 pounds.
  • Extended storage of household goods.
  • Transportation of a mobile home or boat used as a primary residence in lieu of transportation of household goods.

Coverage for the shipment of a privately owned vehicle may also be offered.

How do I arrange my travel via plane, train, or bus?

IC staff will arrange for you to procure your ticket through the NIH travel system, provided you have filled out NIH Form 2028 .

How long am I allowed to store my belongings?

You are entitled to the store your belongings for up to 90 days at the NIH’s expense. If you need more time, you can request it from your IC for a maximum of 90 additional days.

More Resources

No stranger to employees on the move, the Defense Department offers a handy relocation checklist with advice on everything from transporting pets to updating prescriptions. Some of the recommendations apply only to members of the military, but it still offers great advice to ensure your move goes smoothly.

The U.S. Postal Service offers an online Movers Guide that makes it easy to place your mail on hold while you’re in transit and place an official change of address request once you’ve found your new home.