Air Force opens moving claims Web site

By LISA BURGESS | STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 14, 2008

(This is the corrected version of a story that was originally posted May 13.)

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Air Force is going live with a new Web site Thursday that will make it easier to file claims for household goods lost or damaged during moves, even as the deadline for filing the paperwork is getting tighter.

The changes go hand-in-hand with policy that took effect March 1 that automatically covers all moves authorized by the Defense Department with full replacement value protection for any loss or damage to household goods.

For airmen and their families "in a nutshell, they have a great new benefit, but they also have a new process that goes with it," Lt. Col. Eric Bee, an official at the Air Force Claims Service Center, near Dayton, Ohio, said in a Tuesday interview.

As of Thursday, Air Force members and civilians being moved by the service will be able to file a DOD form known as DD 1840R online, Bee said. The site, which is a password-protected, is at https://claims.jag.af.mil.

Moving companies hand servicemembers a copy of the document — which is universally known as "the Pink Form," because of its distinctive color — on the day their goods are delivered, Bee said.

But two other elements of the process have changed. First, instead of a full two years to file a claim for damaged or missing items, members now have just 70 days.

And those claims must be filed directly with the carrier or moving company, not the Air Force, as was the practice in the past.  

The next step is filing a claim for the damaged or missing goods.

The good news is that under the new law, "carriers will replace missing items with new items, pay the full cost to replace them or repair damaged items," Bee said.

In the past, the only way a DOD employee or servicemember could get full replacement value for goods during a move was to purchase, from their own pockets, full replacement value insurance.

If airmen are not happy with what they get from a carrier,  they can submit a claim for only those item or items to the Claims Service Center and will receive the depreciated value, Bee said.  The Air Force  will then pursue collection from the carrier for the full value. Whatever the service can collect above and beyond the depreciated value goes directly to the member, Bee said.

The Air Force is maintaining a hot line that is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, specifically to help airmen and their families with any questions or problems they might have with moving, Bee said.

The Air Force Claims Service Center’s commercial number is (877) 754-1212, or DSN 986-8044 (area code 312, if dialing from outside the United States).