One of the recurring burdens faced by Army families is constant relocations, and one of the issues with relocating is having to file a claim for damages to your household goods, or HHG, after the move. Now the Army is changing an important part of how those claims get filed.
Starting on July 5, 2017, the Army is opening a consolidated Household Goods Claims Center at Fort Knox, Kentucky to support and assist Soldiers with their HHG claims. The Consolidated Center replaces the old system of having individual claims offices located on each military post provide that assistance. The Air Force has used a consolidated HHG claims center for several years with good results. The Consolidated Center brings the best experts together to assist all CONUS Soldiers with these claims while saving the Army a substantial amount of money.
HHG claims are currently filed directly with the moving company through the Defense Personnel Property Program (DP3) via the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) website. DP3 and DPS replaced the older Personnel Claims rules in 2005, resulting in payment of full replacement value on claims versus the Personnel Claims payment of depreciated value. In exchange for the higher payments, Soldiers must now file their claims faster. While Soldiers had two years to file under the Personnel Claims Act, now they must file a Notice of Loss or Damage within 75 days of delivery and then file the final claim within nine months. Both of these items can be filed through the DPS website. However, the DPS website has proven to be difficult to navigate and can create stress and problems when Soldiers try to file their claims.
Assistance with the claims process has been provided by each installation’s claims office by experienced claims workers. This means that there is substantial duplication of effort with each installation having to employ its own HHG claims experts. The new claims center at Fort Knox is bringing together the top experts in the field to assist Soldiers worldwide with one single point of contact. The center will assist Soldiers via telephone and email with filing their claims on the DPS system, negotiating payment amounts with the moving companies, and transferring claims for items to the Army for payment under the old Personnel Claims program when the Soldier and the moving company cannot agree on an amount. Although Soldiers will lose the ability to receive face to face assistance with HHG claims, the new center will ensure every Soldier will receive the highest level of expert assistance on their claim.
HHG claims assistance will be provided directly by the APG Client Services Division until July 5, 2017. APG Client Services is located in the Janet M. Barr Solider Readiness Center, Bldg. 4305, room 317. For more information, call 410-278-1583 during hours of operation, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Thursday.