32 CFR § 536.26 - Identification of a proper claim.

§ 536.26 Identification of a proper claim.

(a) A claim is a writing that contains a sum certain for each claimant and that is signed by each claimant, or by an authorized representative, who must furnish written authority to sign on a claimant's behalf. The writing must contain enough information to permit investigation. The writing must be received not later than two years from the date the claim accrues. A claim under the Foreign Claims Act (FCA) may be presented orally to either the United States or the government of the foreign country in which the incident occurred, within two years, provided that it is reduced to writing not later than three years from the date of accrual. A claim may be transmitted by facsimile or telegram. However, a copy of an original claim must be submitted as soon as possible.

(b) Where a claim is only for property damage and it is filed under circumstances where there might be injuries, the CJA should inquire if the claimant desires to split the claim as discussed in § 536.60.

(c) Normally, a claim will be presented on a Standard Form (SF) 95 (Claim for Damage, Injury, or Death). When the claim is not presented on an SF 95, the claimant will be requested to complete an SF 95 to ease investigation and processing.

(d) If a claim names two claimants and states only one sum certain, the claimants will be requested to furnish a sum certain for each. A separate sum certain must be obtained prior to payment under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), Military Claims Act (MCA), National Guard Claims Act (NGCA) or the FCA. The Financial Management Service will only pay an amount above the threshold amount of $2,500 for the FTCA, or $100,000 for the other statutes.

(e) A properly filed claim meeting the definition of “claim” in paragraph (a) of this section tolls the two-year statute of limitations (SOL) even though the documents required to substantiate the claim are not present, such as those listed on the back of an SF 95 or in the Attorney General's regulations implementing the FTCA, 28 CFR 14.1 - 14.11. However, refusal to provide such documents may lead to dismissal of a subsequent suit under the FTCA or denial of a claim under other subparts of this part.

(f) Receipt of a claim by another federal agency does not toll the SOL. Receipt of a U.S. Army claim by DOD, Navy, or Air Force does toll the SOL.

(g) The guidelines set forth in federal FTCA case law will apply to other subparts of this part in determining whether a proper claim was filed.

Note to § 536.26:

See the parallel discussion at DA Pam 27-162, paragraph 2-5.