Moving can be stressful and when the movers don’t arrive to pick up your household goods or to deliver them, it’s time to file an inconvenience claim.
What is an inconvenience claim?
An inconvenience claim is a request for reimbursement of money unexpectedly spent due to the moving company not arriving on the agreed upon pack or pick up date or delivered on the Required Delivery Dates (RDDs). You can apply for reimbursement, but it is not guaranteed that you will receive it. Moving companies will generally honor your inconvenience claim however.
What is covered?
Items that you may be reimbursed for with an inconvenience claim include:
- laundry service
- furniture and appliance rentals
- pots and pans
- paper plates
- disposable cutlery
Rental furniture includes beds and air mattresses, cribs, sofa, chairs, table, appliances and one TV. Receipts for purchases must accompany your inconvenience claim.
The total amount they will pay back to you cannot exceed the daily lodging and meal per diem rate.
It is expected that military families will minimize these expenses in ways such as sharing a hotel room with the entire family if possible. If multiple rooms are needed, you must get pre-approval in writing by the transportation service provider (TSP).
It should be noted that if the TSP reimburses you for physical items such as pots and pans, they can reclaim those items once your household goods are delivered if they choose to, though it is not likely.
What is not covered?
Don’t go crazy purchasing things thinking you can just add them to your inconvenience claim. There are many items that are not covered including: food if the family is in a residence, cleaning supplies, toiletries and cosmetics, snacks, military uniform pieces, school supplies, receipts for items out of the local area, receipts dated prior to the missed moving date, expenses that you do not have a receipt for, toys, personal clothing, dry cleaning, ATVs, boats, trailers, bikes, gifts, alcohol or drugs or tickets to amusement parks.
What is the timeline for reimbursement?
The process for filing an inconvenience claim and receiving a reimbursement is actually quite quick. The moving company or TSP is required to acknowledge they received an inconvenience claim filed within 7 calendar days. The TSP will reimburse the family within 30 days. The TSP can choose to voluntarily approve your reimbursement without receipts during this time as well.
You can begin charging the TSP for failure to pick up household goods as of the first day of the missed pick up through the actual pick up date. If they failed to deliver your items, you can charge them from the first day after the missed delivery date up until the date it is actually delivered.
Who is not eligible?
There are some instances in which you are not able to file an inconvenience claim. This includes delays due to: a natural disaster, an act of the public enemy, acts of the government, acts of the public authority, violent strikes, mob interference or delays of Code 5, Code J, or Code T shipments that stem from the government and not the TSP. Also, service members on Temporary Living Allowances (TLA) are not authorized to file an inconvenience claim.
How do you file a claim?
It is a short and easy process to file an inconvenience claim. These are filed directly with the claim department of the moving company that failed to meet its move dates. Each business has a different procedure however, but most are simple. Stevens Worldwide Van Lines, for example, has a form you can download from their website.
It is also a good idea to notify the traffic management office after you PCS. They can provide assistance in filling out the paperwork to file an inconvenience claim. If your claim is denied, they can appeal to the carrier’s home office. If the appeal is not fruitful, your case can then go on to the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command that will review it and make a final ruling.
Help can be found at the destination ITO for Air Force and Army and at the local ITO, Legal Assistance Office or the Claims Processing Office for Navy and Marine Corps. While they can help with the process, you still must file with the TSP. The inconvenience claim package must include at a minimum:
- A copy of the member’s inconvenience claim letter
- Copies of receipt for out-of-pocket expenses
- Copies of the Government Bill of Lading, DD Form 1299 and DD Form 619-1
- A statement of the reasonableness for the claim