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STEP 3

INSTRUCTIONS FOR FILING HOUSEHOLD GOODS CLAIMS

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The Military Claims Office personnel are here to assist you in the preparation and filing of your claim. We will process your claim as quickly as possible to ensure you are fairly compensated to maximum extent as prescribed by law.

THE DD FORM 1840/1840R (THE PINK FORMS), 1850/1851 AND OR THE NOTICE OF LOSS OR DAMAGE FORM MUST BE RECEIVED BY THE TSP/CARRIER WITHIN 75 DAYS OF DELIVERY. THE FORMS NOTED ABOVE ARE NOT YOUR CLAIM; IT IS NOTIFICATION TO THE TSP/ CARRIER OF LOSS OR DAMAGE (INSTRUCTIONS). THE DPS SYSTEM HAS A NOTIFICATION PROCESS AS WELL. IT IS CALLED THE “LOSS OR DAMAGE REPORT” THIS MUST BE COMPLETED IN DPS AND YOU MUST ENSURE THAT YOU HIT THE SUBMIT BUTTON PRIOR TO THE 75TH DAY. FAILURE TO ACTUALLY SUBMIT THE DAMAGE REPORT IS CAUSE FOR DENIAL OF YOUR CLAIM FOR NO TIMELY NOTICE TO THE TSP.

YOUR CLAIM MUST BE RECEIVED BY THE MILITARY CLAIMS OFFICE WITHIN TWO YEARS OF THE DATE OF DELIVERY OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO BE CONSIDERED FOR PAYMENT. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS UNLESS YOU ARE PRESENT IN A WAR ZONE - THAT IS THE LAW.
The documentation listed below is necessary to process your claim. Failure to provide any of the required documents will delay your claim and may result in the reduction of the amount paid to you or denial of the claim completely.  If you have any questions or problems getting the documents, please contact your Command Claims Investigating Officer (CIO) or the Claims Office at (757) 366-6504.

1. _____ DD Form 1842 - Claim for Loss or Damage to Personal Property Incident to Service. Complete Blocks 1-18.  (EXAMPLE).

2. _____ If anyone other than the Service Member (spouse, children, parent, friend…) is filing a claim on behalf of the military member a valid Power of Attorney is required.

3. _____ DD Form 1844 - Schedule of Property and Claims Analysis Chart . Please fill this form out carefully and completely. Damage should be accurately described on this form. Failure to properly fill out the form will slow down your claim. If the purchase date is left blank, the maximum depreciation will be taken (EXAMPLE).

4. _____ DD Form 1840/1840R, 1850/1851 - Joint Statement of Loss or Damage at Delivery/Notice of Loss or Damage and/or Notice of Damage Form (the pink or white forms given to you by the delivering agent/company. You and the driver sign and date the front of this form the day of delivery) (INSTRUCTIONS).

5. _____ Government Bill of Lading (if available). Most shipments have one. If you are not sure contact the Transportation Office. (Example - Image)

6. _____ Your copy of the inventory at pick-up and/or delivery.  (Example - Image)

7. _____ A missing items statement if applicable. This would apply to large items such as a piano, sofa that would be noticeably missed at delivery.
8. _____ Paperwork for damaged electrical items:
a. A function statement for any damaged electrical items.
b. An Electronic Repair Form completed by the Repair Firm representative that is providing the estimate (FORM).
Note: If the claim includes repair of internal damage to appliances or electronic items, and there is no new external damage to the item, the claim must be supported by additional substantiation regardless of the amount claimed. The claimant must submit both (a) and (b) above
9. _____ Estimate(s) of repair and/or substantiation of replacement cost(s). An estimate is required if the cost of repair is $100.00 or more or the cost of replacement is $100.00 or more. An estimate stating an item is not repairable is required before a replacement cost over $100.00 will be paid. In some cases, Claims Office personnel may require more than one estimate. Do not get a second estimate unless asked to do so by the Claims Office.   Consult the local Yellow Pages or members of your unit for local businesses. You may also call the local Chambers of Commerce or the local Better Business Bureau for more information about a particular business.

Note:  If you have transferred your claim to the MCO through the DPS System do not obtain an Estimate of Repair unless specifically requested by the MCO Claims Settlement Officer (HANDOUT ).
10. _____ Proof of Value must be provided for items when the repair and/or replacement cost claimed is $100.00 or more in value.  This may be accomplished by providing the original receipt, credit card statement of account used when purchased or cancelled check.  If none of these are available, an owner's manual can assist in substantiating value.  In the absence of any of the above mentioned documentation, you may consider submitting a photograph of the damaged item to assist in substantiating the value.  This suggestion is intended to assist you with a way to substantiate high dollar items, the cost associated with film and film development is not refundable.

Note: When providing a picture for Proof of Value for an item claimed, the picture should show the entire item.  A close up picture of the damage (only) does not assist the claim’s examiner to establish the proof of value for the item claimed.

11. _____ Any additional supporting evidence which may be necessary to substantiate your claim (for example, videos taken prior to the move are helpful for substantiating proof of ownership and proof of value especially for missing items.  Witness statements can establish proof of ownership).

12. _____ A copy of your orders (with any amendments) which authorize shipment and /or storage of household goods.
13. _____ A copy of the Home Owners or Renters insurance policy (Only required if you filed a claim with your private insurance.)
14. _____ Any correspondence with your insurance company (If private insurance was used).
15. _____ Any correspondence with the Transportation Service Provider (TSP)/Carrier.
16. _____ Privately Owned Vehicle - POV claims. You must submit the DD Form 788 and/or Vehicle Inspection and Shipping Form (VISF) (or carrier equivalent).  This is the form that was filled out at origin annotating existing scratches or damage.  Any pre-existing damage will be annotated on the image of a vehicle directly on the form. The reverse side is filled out at destination annotating any damages occurring during shipment (Shipped Vehicle Claims.pdf ). Vehicle claims require two estimates of repair (one should be from a dealer if available).  If you are living in a remote area and cannot obtain two estimates or are having difficulties obtaining a second estimate of repair contact the Military Claims Office for assistance.

Note: There will NOT be a Government Bill of Lading (GBL), an inventory, a DD Form 1840/1840R, 1850/1851 or Notice of Loss or Damage Form for your POV.
You must submit all of your original documents when presenting a claim to this office. It is very important that you keep copies of all documents for your files. You must make your copies before you turn in your claim.
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If you have any problems when preparing your claim or obtaining any of the documents listed above, please contact the Military Claims Office at (757) 366-6504. Collect calls cannot be accepted.

1. Estimates of repair must be from a reputable firm. An estimate of repair is required when the cost of the repairs claimed of the item(s) is $100.00 or more in value. Failure to do so will result in repair reimbursement of no more than $100.00. ALL ELECTRONIC ITEMS SUCH AS TVs, DVD PLAYERS, COMPUTERS, CD PLAYERS, STEREOS, CAMERAS, and RADIOS and such that have suffered exclusively Internal Damage, MUST HAVE A REPAIR ESTIMATE. Non-refundable Fees paid for estimates can be claimed as a separate line item and should be reimbursed by the Military Claims Office.

Note: If a picture can clearly verify external damage to an electronic item, there may be no need to provide an estimate of repair for the item.  If this is the case provide a picture of the item with the claim and the Claims Settlement Officer assigned to adjudicate your claim will request that you obtain an estimate of repair if they feel it is still necessary.

a. Estimates will only be accepted from repair firms who have technical expertise and who will actually repair the item(s) if requested to do so.

b. The estimate must cover only those damages incurred during shipment or storage. If they are repairing any pre-existing damage it should be annotated separate from the damages occurring during this shipment. For major electrical appliances, particularly those with internal damage and no external damage, the estimate must include the technician’s professional opinion as to whether the damage is due to shipment or storage (Electronic Repair Form)

c.Appraisal fees will not be paid by the Military Claims Office. Appraisals are usually done for antiques, and works of art.  An appraisal is not an estimate for repair or replacement cost; an appraisal is a valuation of the item’s worth and is done by a person who is not in the business of selling or repairing that type of property.  Normally, a claimant is expected to obtain appraisals on expensive or unique items at his or her own expense before moving.

d. You must attempt to clean any clothing or linen that has mildew to determine if replacement is necessary. If an upholstered item cannot be cleaned, you must get an estimate of repair. If cleaning restores the item, submit the cleaning bill with your claim for reimbursement. A statement from the dry cleaner must be included if the property cannot be cleaned. The Military Claims Office does not normally pay to dry clean clothing wrinkled during shipment.

e. If the estimate is for upholstering, the estimate must indicate whether the new material is comparable to the damaged material; any differences must be explained. The cost of labor and materials should be listed separately.

f. If an item cannot be economically repaired, the estimator must state this on the estimate.  You will need to provide a replacement cost estimate.  Replacement costs must be for a like item in size, construction, composition, quality, etc.

g. The Military Claims Office may require you to obtain estimates from more than one source. Do not get more than one estimate unless asked to do so.

2. You must submit replacement cost for each item that will cost $100.00 or more to replace. Pictures and prices of comparable items from the Internet, or catalogs are acceptable replacement costs. If you are claiming something that is unique and cannot be obtained through the Internet, a replacement cost from a reputable firm on an order form or sales slip is acceptable. The estimate must state whether the replacement item is comparable to the item to be replaced or explain any differences if the item is not similar.

a. Businesses should not charge you to provide a replacement cost estimate.  If there is a charge, find another business that will provide it free of charge.

b. Replacement cost must be provided for high dollar items claimed ($100.00 or more in value).

 

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONUpdated

1. A SEPARATE claim is required for EACH shipment.  This means you must file a separate claim for hold baggage, for household goods, and non temporary storage. You have two years from the date of delivery to present a claim to this office. Mailed claims are presented when they are RECEIVED by the Military Claims Office - not when they are put in the mail. If you are filing more than one claim, please keep your paperwork separate when presenting your claims.

2. Claimants with private insurance DO NOT HAVE TO FILE your claim with your private insurance company IF your claim is for loss/damage to your personal property while it was being shipped or stored at government expense.  However, you may want to consider the following issues when deciding whether or not to file with your private insurance company:

(a) Your private insurance company will most likely pay you the full replacement value for lost or missing items rather than the fair market value (depreciated value replacement cost (DVRC)) the government is authorized to pay.  Under FRV the government will pay DVRC and assert the TSP/Carrier FRV.  When the government recovers FRV you will be compensated the difference between FRV and DVRC.

(b) The Government has limits on both the total amount it can pay and on how much it can pay for certain types of property.  (Example: Linens - $400.00 per item and $2,000.00 per claim)

If you choose to file a claim with your private insurance company you MUST file with your insurer BEFORE filing a claim with the U.S. Government.  The claim with the insurance company MUST be settled before the Coast Guard can consider your claim.  If your insurance will not cover the loss/damage, indicate this and attach a copy of the Declaration page from your insurance company.

3. The Military Claims Office cannot pay insurance deductibles.  If you receive payment for missing or damaged items through your insurance company, you must claim any items you were not fully reimbursed for on your DD Form 1844 to receive compensation of these items (Handout - Private Insurance ).

4. If the carrier requests an inspection of your shipment for loss or damage items, you must allow the inspection.  Refusal may result in denial of your claim. The carrier may not remove any of your property during or upon completion of their inspection.

5. If the carrier damaged your residence during pickup or delivery, you must file a claim for the damage through the delivery carrier. The Military Claims Office cannot pay for damage to real property.

6. Pleased be advised that:

a. Claims must be presented in writing within two (2) years of the date of accrual (the date of delivery). A claim cannot be paid if it is presented more than two years after accrual. The DD Form 1840/1840R (the pink forms)/1850/1851 and the Notice of Damage Forms must be dispatched within 75 days of delivery of the property. All damage noted during delivery or unpacking must be included on the back of the Notification Forms noted above.  Items damaged or missing that the TSP/Carrier did not receive notice of within 75 days is usually denied for Lost Potential Carrier Recovery.

b. Each claim is different however the TSP/Carrier is responsible to hire and arrange for a Repair Firm Representative to come out and conduct an inspection of the damages claimed.  If damages are severe and you feel that you should have someone come out to conduct and inspection to protect your interests or you have safety concerns, you should contact the Transportation Office and request that a representative from the Transportation Office come out to your home and document the damages.  This is something that should be considered for severe damage or mold/mildew.

Note:  If there is evidence of severe mold and mildew, you should contact the Transportation Office immediately to have a representative come out to your home before the items are taken into your home.  Items containing extreme mold/mildew should not be delivered to your home.  Mold and mildew can pose serious health risks so you should contact the Quality Control representative from the Transportation Office and request that they come out and make the determination whether the items are salvageable. (Handout - Inspections/Salvage ).

c. DO NOT repair, replace or throw away any property listed on your claim. The TSP has 30 days to salvage items you were paid replacement cost for from the date you receive notice of settlement from the TSP/Carrier (This claim is settled directly between you and the TSP). The TSP has 45 days from the date you are notified of settlement from the Military Claims Office to salvage items you were paid Depreciated Value Replacement Cost (DVRC) or Replacement Cost (RC) for. You may contact the TSP/Carrier to inquire if they are going to exercise their right to salvage if you would like to discard the items prior to the timelines above.

d. Under FRV Guidelines Claims are settled between you and the TSP/Carrier directly in DPS.  All claims must be filed in the DPS System with the exception of Non-Temp Storage Shipments (NTS), Direct Procurement Method (DPM) and Local Moves.  In the DPS System you accept or decline the offer for each item claimed.  You can negotiate with the TSP/Carrier on the amount offered.  Once they have made their final offer you can accept the amount offered or transfer one or all items to the Military Claims Office (MCO).  The TSP/Carrier has 30 days from the date you accept the offer to make payment to you.  You will have to file a claim with the MCO for any item/items that you have transferred to the MCO on a DD Form 1842 & DD Form 1844.  (See Step 3 on our website)

Note: If you receive a check and/or a release form from the TSP/Carrier and you are unsure if you should cash the check or sign the release form, you should contact the Military Claims Office before doing so.

e. You must include correspondence received from the carrier or warehouse with your claims package.

f. In a member's absence, another person may present the claim if they have a valid power of attorney to file a claim on behalf of the member.

In such a case, the person signs as follows:

Member’s Name
by: Person’s signature, Attorney-in-fact

7. For verification of readily visible damage, it is very helpful to have photographs of the damaged item(s).

8. Make a complete copy of your entire claim, including the supporting documentation such as photographs, receipts, etc. for your records.  Send your claim in by certified mail, return receipt requested

9. Remember that we can only pay for personal property. Some items are not payable by statute (List of some items Not Payable under the “Personal Claims Act”). We are also limited to paying only for the current value of household goods with applicable depreciation applied (Depreciated Value). 

10.  Checklist.

11.  Forms.

    Adobe Acrobat.
     DD Form 1840R Adobe Image
     DD Form 1842 Adobe Image
     DD Form 1844 Adobe Image
     Notification of Loss or Damage at Delivery Adobe Image

12.  Listing of Repair, replacement, and restoration firms.

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Questions?  Contact the Claims Section at the FINCEN by telephone, fax, or email.
Points of Contact: Updated
  YN2 Jessica R. French, 757-366-6504, or email Jessica.r.french@uscg.mil
  Claims Settlement Officer, Melody Taylor-Fain, 757-366-6507
  Claims Settlement Officer, Stephanie Johnson, 757-366-6515
  Lead Claims Settlement Officer, Bernadette T. Parker, 757-366-6505
Fax: 757-366-6541
Mailing Address:
USCG FINANCE CENTER
HHG CLAIMS 
P.O. BOX 4121
CHESAPEAKE, VA 23327-4121
PENALTIES: Pursuant to Section 287 of Title 18, United States Code, anyone filing a false or fraudulent claim may be fined up to $10,000 and/or imprisoned for up to five years. Military personnel filing a false claim are subject to court-martial for violating Article 132 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
For questions or comments about Household Goods Claims send e-mail to the Finance Center Household Goods Claims specialists.
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