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NEWS | Sept. 14, 2009

Claims process allows full replacement value

By Tech. Sgt. Lawrence Williams 437th Airlift Wing Legal Office

With permanent changes of station, come household goods moves, and with that comes the possibility of filing a claim for loss or damage.

Luckily, the procedure to process personal claims has changed and allows for quicker processing and payment.

The Department of Defense has entered into a new contract with the carrier industry called "full replacement value."

Full replacement value means the carrier will replace any item lost or destroyed with a new item, or pay the cost of a similar item of the same kind and quality without deducting for depreciation.

Under the rules of FRV, claims are filed directly with the carrier. The carrier should pay, deny, or make an offer within 60 days of a complete, substantiated claim receipt. The carrier should complete the payment within 30 days of the claimant's settlement acceptance receipt.

This contract applies to shipments picked up on or after Oct. 1, 2007, for international shipments; Nov. 1, 2007, for domestic shipments; and March 1, 2008, for non-temporary storage and direct procurement method shipments.

In order to take advantage of the FRV, claimants will now have nine months to file their claim directly with the carrier. If you file your claim beyond the nine-month mark and under two years, standard depreciation rules will apply. This means getting less money compared to filing within the nine-month period.

The most important change to the claims service is the new deadline in order to receive full replacement value for damage or loss to household goods.

A pink Department of Defense Form 1840R, received at the time of household goods delivery, must be sent to the AFCSC or directly to the carrier within 70 days of delivery. If submitted to the AFCSC, receipt of the 1840R for damage or loss discovered will be recorded, and the claimant will receive current contact information to begin a claim with the carrier.

There are two ways to submit the pink form:

· Submit the relevant form online with the Air Force at within 70 days of delivery.

· Submit the relevant form with the local base legal office. The legal office will send the pink form to the carrier with the additional damage or loss noted.

If a disagreement occurs with the carrier, claimants may seek assistance by calling the Air Force Claims Service Center 24-hour service number.

Also, claimants may opt to file a claim with the AFCSC rather than the carrier. The AFCSC will pay the appropriate repair or depreciated value and try to collect the FRV from the carrier. If the AFCSC collects more money from the carrier than it initially paid to the claimant, it will award the extra money collected from the carrier to the claimant.

As always, if not filed within two years, a claim may not be payable due to the statute of limitations, absent goodwill of the carrier.

For any questions regarding the new claims service, contact the Air Force Claims Service Center 24 hours a day, seven days a week, toll free at 877-754-1212 or DSN 986-8044.