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As military families deal with longer-than-normal wait times for their household goods (HHG) to be delivered, many incur out-of-pocket costs as they try to regain a semblance of normal. This is set to be an unprecedented Permanent Change of Station (PCS) season, in part because so many PCSs were delayed last year due to COVID. A labor shortage plus a civilian sector that's also eager to move is making this military move cycle more difficult than usual. If your family is experiencing a delay in your HHG or Unaccompanied Baggage (UAB) being delivered, know that you do have options.
Your main course of action is to file an Inconvenience Claim with the transportation service provider (TSP). The TSP is the company that was awarded your move from the Department of Defense (DoD). The TSP is required to deliver a shipment on or before the required delivery date that's shown on your orders. If the TSP fails to do that, you are eligible to file for an Inconvenience Claim.
An Inconvenience Claim is different from any of the other PCS entitlements that you might be eligible for. As a reminder, Service Members are not entitled to a per diem when HHG doesn't arrive on time, but you might be eligible for certain expenses to be reimbursed. The maximum amount of reimbursement can't exceed your daily meal and per diem rate.
What does an Inconvenience Claim cover?
An Inconvenience Claim is a claim for things you have to rent or buy while you wait for your HHG to be delivered. This might include anything you need to live while your HHG is delayed, including kitchen items, bedding, towels, and clothing.
Rental furniture like beds, cribs, appliances, and other items might be covered, along with sheets, towels, pots and pans, and disposable dishes. Itemized receipts are required for all Inconvenience Claims. The TSP has the final say in what is and is not covered.
Filing an Inconvenience Claim is different from filing a Loss and Damage claim, and one does not override the other.
Military families are authorized to file Inconvenience Claims if HHG delivery is delayed beyond its Required Delivery Date (RDD). The RDD is listed on your moving paperwork, but you'll need to have a residence before you can begin the process of filing an Inconvenience Claim.
You can file an Inconvenience Claim if your shipment is placed in Storage in Transit and can't be delivered promptly. If you're PCSing during peak season (June to September), your TSP has ten business days to deliver your HHG after your request. If it's not peak season, the TSP has five business days. You are also authorized to file an Inconvenience Claim if your HHG is placed into Storage in Transit before you are notified of the change.
If your delivery is at least two days late from the RDD, you might want to consider filing the claim, but it's not recommended that you make any purchases until the RDD has passed. You do not need to inform your command of the Inconvenience Claim, but it's a good idea to do so. This ensures that everyone is tracking the latest developments and your Housing Office knows what's happening.
When you call your TSP to notify them that you intend to file an Inconvenience Claim, they should provide you with a list of items that you can rent or purchase. These generally include rental furniture, appliance rentals, linens, kitchen goods, and other items your house needs to function. Your TSP reserves the right to reclaim any items you purchase, so keep that in mind.
You can't file a claim if your HHG is delayed due to a natural disaster, an act of the government, or strikes. Check with your TSP for specific guidelines.
The TSP has seven days to acknowledge receipt of your claim and an additional 30 days to pay it.
Points to Remember
You'll need the name of the TSP, not the name that's on the moving truck. The TSP usually sends an email when the shipment is first awarded that includes contact information relating to your PCS shipment. That's the information you'll need to file the claim.
The best point of contact is the Personal Property/Transportation Office at your current installation. If there are issues with packing or pickup, call your losing installation. If you're having challenges with delivery, contact your gaining installation office.
If you are experiencing financial hardship relating to your PCS, you are encouraged to contact your branch military relief society for assistance.
Looking for more answers on delayed goods, inconvenience claims, and DITY moves? Check out move.mil for answers to these questions and more or visit the Department of Defense Customer Moving Portal for more information.
Visit our resource page on Personal Procured Moves to help make this PCS season as smooth as possible.