32 CFR § 751.9 - Presentment of claim.

§ 751.9 Presentment of claim.

(a) General. A claim shall be submitted in writing and, if practicable, be presented to the Personnel Claims Unit or Marine Corps claims office serving the area where the claim accrued, such as where the House Hold Goods were delivered. If submission in accordance with the foregoing is impractical under the circumstance, the claim may be submitted in writing to any installation or establishment of the Armed Forces which will forward the claim to the appropriate Navy or Marine Corps claims office for processing. To constitute a filing, a claim must be presented in writing to one of the military departments.

(b) Statute of limitations. A claim must be presented in writing to a military installation within 2 years after it accrues. This requirement is statutory and may only be waived if a claim accrues during armed conflict, or armed conflict intervenes before the 2 years have run, and good cause is shown. In this situation, a claim may be presented not later than 2 years after the end of the armed conflict. A claim accrues on the day the claimant knows or should know of the loss. For losses that occur in shipment of personal property, normally the day of delivery or the day the claimant loses entitlement to storage at Government expense (whichever occurs first) is the day the claim accrues. If a claimant's entitlement to Government storage terminates, but the property is later delivered at Government expense, the claim accrues on delivery. In computing the 2 years, exclude the first day (day of delivery or incident) and include the last day. If the last day falls on a non-workday, extend the 2 years to the next workday.

(c) Substantiation. The claimant is responsible for substantiating ownership or possession, the fact of loss or damage, and the value of property. Claimants are expected to report losses promptly. The greater the delay in reporting a loss, the more substantiation the claimant is expected to provide.

(1) Obviously damaged or missing inventory items that are not reported at delivery. Claimants are expected to list missing inventory items and obvious damage at time of delivery. Claimants who do not should be questioned. Obviously some claimants will simply not notice readily apparent damage. If, however, the claimant cannot provide an explanation or lacks credibility, payment should be denied based on lack of evidence that the item was lost or damaged in shipment.

(2) Later-discovered shipment loss or damage. A claimant has 70 days to unpack, discover, and report loss and damage that is not obvious at delivery. In most cases, loss and damage that is discovered later and reported in a timely manner should be deemed to have been incurred in shipment.

(3) Damage to POVs in shipment. Persons shipping POVs are expected to list damage on DD Form 788 (Private Vehicle Shipping Document for Automobile) when they pick up the vehicle. Obvious external damage that is not listed is not payable. Damage the claimant could reasonably be expected not to notice at the pickup point should be considered if the claimant reports the damage to claims or transportation office personnel within a short time, normally a few days after arriving at the installation.

(4) Credibility. Factors that indicate a claimant's credibility is questionable include amounts claimed that are exaggerated in comparison with the cost of similar items, insignificant or almost undetectable damage, very recent purchase dates for most items claimed, and statements that appear incredible. Such claimants should be required to provide more evidence than is normally expected.

(5) Inspections. Whenever a question arises about damage to property, the best way to determine a proper award is to examine the items closely to determine the nature of the damage. For furniture, undersurfaces and the edges of drawers and doors should be examined to determine whether the material is solid hardwood, fine quality veneer over hardwood, veneer over pressed wood, or other types of material. If the inspection is conducted at the claimant's quarters, the general quality of property should be determined. Observations by repairmen and transportation inspectors are very valuable, but on occasion, claims examiners may request an inspection. Such inspections are necessary to reduce the number of reconsiderations and fraudulent claims and are invaluable in enabling claims personnel to understand the facts in many situations.

[57 FR 5055, Feb. 12, 1992, as amended at 72 FR 53423, Sept. 19, 2007]

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