FORT KNOX, Ky. — Business as usual, generally.That’s how officials at the Center for Personnel Claims Support here are describing their work on Soldiers’ and Families’ moving claims under the stop movement order from the Defense Department that has put a halt to most permanent change of station moves.“We are teleworking, and it seems to be going well considering the attendant issues that come with a large number of people working through the [virtual private network] to get to sites that must be accessed from the .mil domain,” said Jerome Klein, supervisory paralegal, U.S. Army Claims Service, CPCS.Klein explained the stop movement hasn’t affected their work at the moment.“Although there is now the stop move order in place, we still are working through claims from last peak PCS season,” said Klein. “They usually lag about four months behind when the move occurred.”The center, which now processes claims for every area of the Army footprint except Europe, typically receives paperwork from household goods and personally owned vehicle shipments. Klein said that is not all they focus on, however.“We also get several claims a month for unusual occurrences, which is a wide ranging set of claims,” said Klein. “Generally speaking, business is going as usual. Those with access to .mil domain computers enter and submit their claim.”Telework has helped because the center can receive the claims through VPN. Claimants access forms electronically using their Common Access Card to submit a claim. Klein said they’re still able to take care of those who don’t have the required access to submit online.“For those without such access — mostly retirees or [Expiration of Term of Service] personnel on a final move as well as some outliers, such as folks in the Defense Attaché program and those working from embassies — we coordinate submission of their claims via email,” said Klein. “Then an assigned examiner hand jams their claim and adjudicates the action.”The center handles claims only after Soldiers and their Families and other claimants have filed through the Defense Personal Property System process directly with the transportation service provider, commonly referred to as the TSP. If a person’s claim is rejected by the TSP or a compensation recommendation is not accepted, that’s when the Fort Knox-based center gets involved.“Once we get the claim assigned, the average processing time is about 23 days,” said Klein. “There are some that go much quicker as simple claims, and some that take much longer due to complexity, such as when an entire shipment is lost in a truck fire during the move.”Klein said they currently are working on 138 open claims at different stages of the adjudication process. Rebuttal timelines are built into each claim to ensure the center goes the extra mile in protecting the claimant from unnecessary losses and damage.To date, the center’s recovery rate for fiscal 2020 is nearly 94%, up about 3 percentage points from the previous year.“There is no guarantee that we will recover 100% of the demand,” said Klein. “A steady refinement of our techniques is resulting in a better result for the claimants.”The center took receipt of all accounts from Asia in August 2019 and staff members were preparing to receive all the accounts from Europe sometime this year when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.“We were exploring the concept of consolidating personnel claims from Europe under our office this year, but that might get pushed back due to the current situation,” said Klein. “It is ultimately the call of our higher headquarters.”Klein said something a new feature this year that has come in handy during the coronavirus outbreak is the ability to receive electronic payments through Pay.gov. This allows the TSP to pay a demand electronically, which saves them time and money since they don't have to process and mail a paper check.It also saves the center countless hours of effort attempting to track a paper check to match its amount with a demand and then physically depositing the checks through the banking and Defense Finance Accounting Service systems.Klein said all of the center employees’ efforts, whether they are working in a brick-and-mortar setting or from home, amount to one thing: At the end of the day, it’s about taking care of our claimants.”______________________________________________________________________Editor's Note: For more information or to file a claim, go to https://www.jagcnet.army.mil/Apps/PCLAIMS/PCLAIMSPublic.nsf/xpOnline.xsp