Filing a PCS Claim. Those horror stories have come true. The movers broke or lost some of your stuff.
A uniformed service member typically has nine months from the date of delivery to file a claim directly with the carrier to receive full replacement value (repair or replacement). Claims can still be filed through the military claims office for up to two years but these claims may receive only the depreciated rate. Questions should be addressed to your military claims office.
Claims are processed through the Personal Property Shipping Office or Transportation Service Provider (TSP) responsible for the area in which the HHG were delivered.
Claims are limited to $40,000 depreciated value of the shipment regardless of weight.
How to File a PCS Claim
When dealing with the moving company they will provide you with a claim form (DD Form 1840/1849R) in which you will need to fill out and list all damaged or missing items and their value (what it would take to be replaced). This will be given to you at the time of delivery. If you created your PCS Binder before your move, this step should be pretty easy.
1. Obtain 5 copies of the two-sided pink form from the carrier. Make sure before the carrier leaves that you fill out and obtain 5 copies of the two-sided pink form!
2. List ALL damage/loss on the pink form by name, the inventory number of the item, and the type of damage/loss. Both you and the carrier MUST sign ALL copies. Give the carrier 2 copies of the completed pink forms.
3. After delivery is complete and within 75 days (but as soon as possible) examine EVERY item in your shipment. On the REVERSE side of the pink form record any additional damage or loss that you did not find at the time of delivery.
4. After you have completed your inspection (and within 75 days) file a claim with your TSP. After the form has been filled out, arrange for an appointment to turn in your claim within 75 calendar days of the date of delivery. In addition, bring your Government Bill of Lading (GBL) and your inventory sheets. If you do not have a GBL see the transportation office to get a copy. When you turn in your DD Form 1840/1840R, you will be given the necessary forms to complete your claim along with an instruction booklet.
5. Do not dispose of or repair any item you are making a claim against until contacting the claims office. Failure to do so could result in denial of your claim.
6. Do not sign a release or accept payment of settlement offer from the TSP without first consulting with the claims office. You must permit the carrier or their agent to examine damages but you are under no obligation to permit repair. You will not be paid for items repaired by the TSP.
Forms 1840 and 1840R are your intent to file a claim.
Some tips to remember when dealing with a pcs claim:
DO NOT THROW AWAY DAMAGED ITEMS!!!! Notice that is in bold and all uppercase? Do not throw away any damaged item unless the moving company claims office tells you in writing to. Make sure you get that in writing! The reason is that company has a right to try and salvage the item. So if they give you money for a broken lamp they have the right to come get that broken lamp from you.
Take pictures of damaged items. This is really just for your records, but it is good to have. Put this picture with the picture and info for that item (this should have been done before the move).
If the claims office gives you any trouble, go to JAG. They will not have a problem calling that claims office and getting things straight.
Do you have any tips for dealing with the pcs claims process? Comment below!