32 CFR Appendix D to Part 282, Processing a Claim
(a)Initial Component Processing. Upon receipt of a claim, the Component concerned must:
(1) Date stamp the claim on the date received.
(2) Determine whether the claim was received within the required time limit (time limits are summarized at Appendix C to this part, paragraph (f)) and follow the procedures in paragraph (b) of this Appendix if the claim was not timely.
(3) Investigate the claim.
(4) Decide whether the claimant provided clear and convincing evidence that proves all or part of the claim.
(5) Issue an initial determination that grants the claim to the extent proved or denies the claim, as appropriate. The initial determination must state how much of the claim is granted and how much is denied, and must explain the reasons for the determination.
(6) Notify the claimant of the initial determination. The Component must send the claimant a copy of the initial determination and a notice that explains:
(i) The action the Component shall take on the claim, if the initial determination is or becomes a final action (the finality of an initial determination is explained at paragraph (c) of this Appendix); and
(ii) The procedures the claimant must follow to appeal an initial determination that denies all or part of the claim (those appeal procedures are explained at Appendix E to this part), if applicable.
(b)Untimely Claims. When the Component concerned determines that a claim was not received within the statutory time limit, the Component must make an initial determination of untimely receipt. (The statutory time limits are explained in Appendix C to this part, paragraph (f).)
(1) The initial determination must cite the applicable statute and explain the reasons for the finding of untimely receipt. The Component must send the initial determination to the claimant with a notice that:
(i) States the claim was not received within the statutory time limit and, therefore, may not be considered, unless that finding is reversed on appeal, and explains how the claimant may appeal the finding (those appeal procedures are explained at Appendix E to this part); and either
(ii) If the claim does not qualify under 31 U.S.C. 3702(e), states that the statutory time limit may not be extended or waived; or
(iii) If the claim does qualify under 31 U.S.C. 3702(e), states that the claim may be further considered only if the time limit is waived, and explains how the claimant may apply for a waiver. (Paragraph (d) of this Appendix explains which claims qualify and the procedures for applying for a waiver).
(2) Except in cases where a claimant has applied under paragraph (d) of this Appendix to request a waiver of the time limit, the Component must return the claim to the claimant when the initial determination becomes a final action with a notice that the finding in the initial determination is final and, therefore, the claim may not be considered. If the claim qualifies under 31 U.S.C. 3702(e), the notice must also state that the claimant may resubmit the claim with an application under paragraph (d) of this Appendix.
(c)Finality of an Initial Determination. An initial determination that grants all of a claim is a final action when it is issued. Otherwise, an initial determination (including one of untimely receipt) is a final action if the Component concerned does not receive an appeal within 30 days of the date of the initial determination (plus any extension of up to 30 additional days granted by the Component concerned for good cause shown).
(d)Waiver of Certain Time Limits. When the Component concerned determines that a claim was not received within the statutory time limit in 31 U.S.C. 3702(b) or (c), the claimant may request a waiver of the time limit. Waiver is permitted only for those claims that satisfy the requirements of 31 U.S.C. 3702(e). 1 This provision confers no right or entitlement on a claimant. It is solely within the discretion of the Secretary of Defense whether to grant such a waiver in a particular case.
1 When this part was issued, 31 U.S.C. 3702(e) allowed time limit waivers only for claims up to $25,000 for Uniformed Service member's pay, allowances, travel, transportation, payments for unused accrued leave, retired pay, and survivors benefits. Since 31 U.S.C. 3702(e) could be amended at any time to modify these restrictions, always consult the current provisions of that Section to determine which claims are included.
(1) The claim must contain the information and documents that are generally required for claims (those requirements are explained at Appendix C to this part, paragraph (c)).
(2) The Component concerned must investigate the claim and make an initial determination concerning the merits of the claim.
(3) If the initial determination grants all or part of the claim, and if the Secretary concerned agrees with the determination, the Secretary may request or recommend that the time limit be waived. 2 Requests and recommendations must be in writing and signed by the Secretary concerned. (This authority may not be delegated below the level of an Assistant Secretary.)
2 31 U.S.C. 3702(e) currently requires a Secretarial request only in the case of a claim by or with respect to a member of the Uniformed Services who is not under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of a Military Department. As a matter of policy, the Department of Defense currently requires a Secretarial recommendation in all other cases.
(i) The Secretary concerned shall forward the request or recommendation to the following address: Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals, Claims Division, P.O. Box 3656, Arlington, VA 22203-1995.
(ii) The entire record concerning the claim, including the initial determination, must be attached to the request.
(4) The Director, DOHA, must review the request and the written record and must:
(i) Grant the request and waive the statutory time limit, if the Director finds that all or part of the claim has been proven. The Director may also modify the finding concerning the amount of the claim that has been proven.
(ii) Deny the request, if the Director finds that no part of the claim has been proven.
(iii) Notify the Secretary concerned and the claimant of the decision and the reasons for the findings.
(5) In the event the Director, DOHA, denies the request, or grants the request but modifies the finding concerning the amount of the claim proven, the Secretary concerned or the claimant may request reconsideration (the procedures are explained at Appendix E to this part). The Director's decision is a final action if the Director does not receive a request for reconsideration within 30 days of the date of the Director's decision (plus any extension of up to 30 additional days granted by the Director for good cause shown).