Transportation Officer- Ms. Maxine Wilson-Bacon (305) 219-8037
The PPSO does not process claims. Customers should familiarize themselves with Claims procedures for their respective Branch of Service. .
The following should help you file a well-documented claim if any of your property is lost or damaged.
1. Conduct a Good Inventory. The inventory is the most crucial step in the process.
You must control the packing and inventorying of your household goods. If items are not listed on the inventory, you may not be paid for them when you file a claim.
One of the most common complaints is there were many packers and movers; this made it hard to watch everything. Nevertheless, you or your agent must understand you have to exercise some control and authority. If you are so overwhelmed by the packers or movers that you cannot observe your property being packed or listed on the inventory, call the Transportation Office. If you can't be present, make sure your spouse or agent knows what to do and arranges for help if necessary.
Make sure that the packers write adequate descriptions of the contents on the boxes and on the inventory sheets. While the packers do not have to list every item, they should write the general category of the items on the outside of the boxes. The general category of each box (e.g. living room, master bath, toys, etc.) should also be written on the inventory sheets.
Ensure that the carrier employee who fills out your inventory is accurately describing the condition of your property. If you disagree with his/her notations on preexisting damage, write your exceptions at the bottom of each inventory sheet.
2. Prepare your own personal inventory and gather substantiation of your major items. Before your move, make a list of the major items you own (i.e. furniture, electronic equipment, art objects). List the purchase prices and dates for these items and gather receipts, paid bills, pre-shipment appraisals to prove it. Take photographs to show the condition of the property. Keep this information separate from your household goods. Keep it with you when you move.
3. With good inventories (personal and mover's) and substantiation of ownership and value, you will be in good shape. After delivery, you still must promptly fill out the DD-Form 1840/1840R to report any loss or damage.
This is a pink form and critical in the household goods claim processes. You must understand the role of this form and handle it properly.
The DD-1840 is filled out at delivery. The front side of the form is called the "Joint Statement of Loss or Damage at Delivery". Although many deliveries are rushed, you should take all the time you need to list any loss or damage that you noticed during delivery of your household goods. Please make sure that all items listed on the inventory are received at time of delivery. If not, annotate the missing inventory line items on the DD-1840 before the agent departs.
What is the DD-1840R? It's the reverse side of the DD-1840 and has a different title: "Notice of Loss or Damage".
The DD-1840R must be completed and received by the nearest claims office within 70 days after delivery. If you mail it, allow plenty of time for it to arrive to the claims office. Receipt by the 70th day allows the claims office to dispatch a copy of the DD-1840R to the carrier by the 75th day as required by agreement with the carriers.
Why is the DD-1840R important? Two reasons:
The government might conclude that any items not listed on a properly completed and timely filed DD-1840R were either not shipped or were not damaged in shipment.
The government will deduct the amount that it could have recovered from the carrier, had a DD-1840R been timely filed, from any amount payable to you on your claim. IN MANY CASES, THIS "POTENTIAL CARRIER RECOVERY" DEDUCTION WILL RESULT IN ZERO PAID FOR ANY ITEMS NOT LISTED ON THE DD-1840R. The reason is that the Government can usually recovers 100% of the carrier's liability in the majority of shipments. If you don't report the loss or damage on the DD-1840R, the government can't recover any money and in turn will not pay you.
Even if you have a large shipment, you must complete the DD-1840R within 70 days. This means you need to do all your unpacking to make sure you have found all loss or damage so that you can report it. It is permissible to file more than one DD-1840R if you discover loss or damage after you filed the first form, but all DD-1840s must be filed within 70 days. (There are some limited exceptions to the 70-day rule, but you shouldn't rely on them, unless absolutely necessary, as you may risk not being paid for items reported late.).
Before filling out the DD-1840R, ensure you reverse the carbon paper.
Be careful to record correct inventory numbers for all items; even items missing from cartons.
Ask the claims office for help with the form if you have any questions - don't let the 70 days expire without reporting all losses and damages
By federal law, the Government may not pay more than $40,000 per claim. If the value of your household goods is greater than $40,000, you should obtain insurance to guard against a total loss. More detailed info can be found in the "It's Your Move" booklet. NOTE: Full Replacement Value coverage is up to $50,000 per shipment.
There are also maximum amounts, which can be paid on most items. Some examples of maximums are (claimants are expected to have insurance above these amounts):
Why are there maximums? In enacting the claims law, Congress only provided for payment for property that was "reasonable or useful" under the circumstances of military service. The maximums set limits on payment to quantities and quality of items that are generally considered reasonable or useful for military members and civilian employees to own. In certain circumstances, these maximum amounts for types of items may be waived.
You need to have substantiation of ownership and value for expensive and valuable items that you claim. It is an excellent idea to have your own personal inventory of your household goods. You should keep a list of all major items along with their purchase prices and purchase dates and the receipts to prove it. Also, consider using photographs to document your ownership of the items and their condition and value. Keep inventories and photographs separate form your property. Don't ship these items with your household goods. You may wish to obtain pre-shipment value appraisals of expensive and valuable property.
If you do not keep an item for inspection, you may not be paid for it. There may be a partial or a full deduction of the value of the item from the payment due to you.
If an item is repaired before inspection and there is no way to verify whether the damage was shipment related, you may not be paid for the item.
Yes, there are exceptions that allow you to dispose of items without inspection which pose a safety or health hazard (moldy mattress or broken glass) or to repair essential items that otherwise could not be used (a refrigerator). Check with the claims office, which should keep a memo for record on any permission given to you to dispose or repair without inspection.
The carrier has the right to inspect within 45 days (60 days for overseas destination shipments) after delivery of the household goods or dispatch of the DD FORM 1840 (pink form), whichever is later. The carrier can contact you directly and you must cooperate. The government may not be able to collect from the carrier if you do not allow an inspection. Contact the claims office if problems arise.
Salvage If you are paid the actual value (depreciated replacement cost) of an item, it will belong to either the government or the carrier. However, if you want to keep the item instead of turning it in, you should let the claims office know when you file your claim. In that case, a salvage deduction may be taken from your payment, which will allow you to keep the item. The amount of any salvage value deduction will depend on the type of item and its condition.
Carrier salvage. If you do not want the item and the carrier pays the government for it, the carrier has salvage rights. The carrier must pickup the item at your residence or the government pays other mutually agreeable location within 45 days after your claim. Again, you must cooperate with the carrier or you may have to return the payment you received. If the carrier does not pick the item up in the time allowed, you may dispose of it as you wish.
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