By Maj. Joe Kobs, U.S. Army Claims Service EuropeMay 22, 2017
WIESBADEN, Germany -- When your household goods and/or unaccompanied baggage are shipped from one duty station to the next, they are shipped through the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) and covered by the Full Replacement Value (FRV) Move Program. In a nutshell, Defense Personal Property System is the way your Household Goods and Unaccompanied Baggage are moved and the Full Replacement Value Move Program covers your lost or damaged personal property for its full replacement cost, or the cost of repair, whichever is less. How does it work?
It all starts with the beginning to end handling of your HHG and/or Unaccompanied Baggage shipments in the DPS, an internet based program designed to facilitate PCS moves for the Military Community. Every time you ship personal property through the U.S. Government you are provided a user id and password to log into DPS by your local transportation office. You can access the Defense Personal Property System at www.move.mil. Your shipment is then arranged in DPS and your shipment is assigned a Transportation Service Provider (TSP).
The TSP packs and picks up your personal property and ships it to your new duty station. During this process you can track your shipment(s) through the DPS. Prior to the TSP picking up your shipment, you should take pictures of everything you own. This will help you to substantiate a claim if any of your items are lost, damaged, or stolen during your move. You should consider making a list of all your high value property and electronics prior to your move (i.e. silverware, crystal, figurines, furs, objects of art, electronics, collectable items, etc.) When the TPS's employees have finished packing your property, they will present you with an inventory, and perhaps a High Value Inventory (HVI), for you to sign. Make sure that both the inventory and (HVI) are correct before you sign. You should be given a copy of the signed inventory and HVI. Keep these documents with you for the day of delivery.
On the day of delivery of your Household Goods or Unaccompanied Baggage, use the inventory that was created at the time of pick up to make sure every line item of the inventory has been delivered. The best way to do this is to check off each line item on the inventory as it is brought into your quarters. Have the civilian phone number of the local transportation quality control inspector and the civilian phone number of your local claims office with you, in case any issues or disputes arise with the movers. Obtain these numbers from the local transportation and claims office before the delivery date. If you notice that something being delivered is broken, write this down on the inventory after checking it off.
After everything has been delivered, a TSP employee will bring you a number of different papers to sign. The most important document is the Notice of Loss or Damage. The Notice of Loss or Damage is a two sided document and is usually denoted as a DD Form 1840/R, 1850/1851 or U.Q-3/U.Q-4. One side is the Notice of Loss or Damage at time of delivery and the other is the Notice of Loss or Damage after delivery. Do not sign the Notice of Loss or Damage until you have reviewed the inventory you were checking off to see if there are any inventory line items that are not checked off and if there is any damage you noticed during the delivery.
If there are items checked off or noted as damaged, write each and every one of these on the Notice of Loss or Damage before you sign. The TSP employee will then give you a copy of the Notice of Loss or Damage. The TSP employee may also give you a High Value Inventory that was created at the time of delivery for you to sign to show that the items on the HVI were delivered to you. Do not sign the HVI unless theTSP's employees have unpacked all the HVI items and you have confirmed their presence and condition! If you sign the HVI without doing this, you may not be able to claim for the loss or damage of these high value items. Do not dispose of any items you wish to claim for without prior approval from the TSP or Army Claims Office.
WITHIN 75 DAYS OF DELIVERY
After your property has been delivered, you should go through all of your property to annotate any additional missing or damaged item that you did not list on the Notice of Loss or Damage at the time of delivery. If there is any additional loss or damage you have 75 DAYS from the date of delivery to give Notice of Loss or Damage to the TSP of this additional loss or damage. Notice of Loss or Damage can be given through DPS or Certified Mail but it is highly encouraged to give this notice through DPS. Please contact your servicing Army Claims Office if you have questions about DPS. Failure to give notice of loss or damage within 75 days could lead to your claim being denied.
To give notice through DPS, log on at the www.move.mil and enter each item, with the inventory number and type of damage or "missing" into the DPS. Add the items that you had given Notice of Loss or Damage on at the time of delivery also, so you can be double sure proper Notice of Loss or Damage was given and to have the DPS screen already filled out for when you submit your claim. When you are done, make sure that the screen reflects that your Notice of Loss or Damage shows "submitted."
If you miss the 75 day deadline, still enter your lost or damaged items into the DPS, or contact your local Army Claims Office for assistance immediately. There are limited extensions of the 75 day notice period for TDY, hospitalization and deployment that occurred during the notice period.
WITHIN 9 MONTHS OF DELIVERY
You have 9 months from the day of delivery to file your claim in the DPS against the TSP. To file, you log into DPS and create the claim by following the directions, i.e., list any and all items you wish to file a claim. Once you are done, make sure that the screen reflects that your claim shows "submitted." After you submit your claim with the TSP in DPS, the TSP has 30 days to settle, partially settle, or deny your claim. After 30 days, or if you have not settled your claim in full with the TSP, you may transfer your entire claim, or the unsettled portions, to the Army Claims Office and you have vested your right for Full Replacement Value. In settling with the TSP, they must offer you the full replacement value of your items or the cost of repair, whichever is less.
If you have damaged items, such as furniture, which may be repairable, the TSP is responsible for hiring a repair company, at their expense, to provide an estimate of the cost of repair. If the TSP is offering you repair costs, you may accept the cost of repair or request that the repair firm hired by the TSP to repair the item(s). If the repair firm does not do a satisfactory repair, then your claim for this item has not been settled and you may require the TSP to have a satisfactory repair completed or transfer this part of your claim to the Army Claims Office. TSP s are not permitted to offer "Loss of Value," "Cosmetic Loss," or "Diminution in Value" under the Full Replacement Value Program. TSPs are only permitted to offer full replacement value or cost of repair, whichever is less under the Full Replacement Value Program. If you are offered "Loss of Value," "Cosmetic Loss," or "Diminution in Value" by a TSP, decline the offer and transfer your claim to the Army Claims Office.
If the TSP denies all or part of your claim due to "failure to meet the 75 day Notice of Loss or Damage period," "failure to file your claim within 9 months," or really any other reason; transfer your claim to the Army Claims Office. The Army Claims Office may determine that you are in fact entitled to some form of compensation for your loss.
TRANSFERRING YOUR CLAIM TO THE ARMY CLAIMS SERVICE
If the TSP has not responded to your claim within 30 days of filing or if you have not settled your claim in full with the TSP, you should transfer your entire claim, or the unsettled portions, to the Army Claims Office. You can transfer your claim in two ways. One is to go to your local Army Claims Office. The other is to log in to PCLAIMS, the Army Internet based claims filing program. PCLAIMS can be found at https://www.jagcnet.army.mil/PClaims. In PCLAIMS, you will be directed to select the Army Claims Office to which you want your claim filed. Pick the office closest to where you live. Simultaneously, you should contact the respective Army Claims Office and inform them that you filed/transferred your claim. At the present time, the DPS has a "Transfer Claim" tab. This "Transfer Claim" tab DOES NOT transfer your claim to an Army Claims Office. This tab only notifies the TSP that negotiations have ended and you will be transferring the claim so you must provide the local Army Claims Office with the documents. You can upload all claim and supporting documents onto PCLAIMS when filing your claim.
FILING A CLAIMS AFTER NINE MONTHS
If you miss the deadline to file a claim within nine months of delivery, you can still file a claim with the TSP in the DPS or you can file a claim your nearest Army Claims Office in person or through PCLAIMS, but you will only receive depreciated value, not full replacement value. For items that are repairable for less than the depreciated cost of the item, you will be awarded the cost of repair. Whether FRV or depreciated, no claim can be filed after 2 years from the date of delivery.
When in doubt, or for more information, please contact your local Army Claims Office.
Detailed information on the Defense Personal Property System and Full Replacement Value can be found on the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's website at www.sddc.army.mil or their website http://www.move.mil/.