Tips for preparing for your PCS move

All Things Legal

By Daniel A. Lauretano, Supervisory Attorney Advisor, Chief, Claims Division, OSJA

To ensure a smooth and successful permanent change of station (PCS) move, here are seven tips:

  • Consider whether purchasing insurance for your household goods or valuables is necessary. If you have homeowners insurance, talk to your agent and find out if it will cover your move.

Keep all insurance records with you when you move. Although the transportation service provider, or TSP, will provide full replacement value for your lost, damaged or destroyed household goods, if you miss the notice and filing deadlines with the TSP, you may need to file your claim with the U.S. Army Center for Personnel Claims Support.

CPCS, however, only provides the depreciated value of any lost, damaged or destroyed item.

  • Know the value of your property, especially your valuables.

Keep receipts or have your property appraised. Documenting your property’s value will help you with your claim should you need to file for damage or loss to your property.

  • Immediately prior to the pickup date, take photographs or video of your household goods, especially your valuables.

Take note of any pre-existing damage to your property. This is the best evidence showing the condition of your property prior to the pickup date and handling of your property by the TSP.

  • You and your spouse should be present when the TSP arrives to pack your household goods.

Take note of how they pack, and if you don’t like how they are packing your household goods, say something.

If the TSP damages your property as they are packing, take note, take photographs and ensure the damage is recorded on their form.

  • At the receiving end, you and your spouse should be present when the TSP arrives to deliver your household goods.

It is important to witness the moving and unpacking of your household goods. If the TSP damages your property as they are unpacking, take note, take photographs and ensure the damage is recorded on their form.

  • Keep in mind three deadlines:

If you identify damage to your household goods, you have 75 days from the date of delivery to notify the TSP that you intend to file a claim. Make sure you use the Notice of Loss/Damage form provided to you by the TSP.

Once you provide notice, you have nine months to file the claim to receive full replacement value.

If you are unhappy with the offer the TSP provides to settle your claim, you may reject it and transfer your claim to the CPCS online at www.JAGCNet.army.mil/Pclaims. But you have two years from the date of delivery to do so.

You may also call CPCS at 502-626-3000 or email usarmy.knox.hqda.otjag.mbx.cpcs@mail.mil.

  • When in doubt, contact your local claims office for assistance in filing your claim.

Although your local claims office will not adjudicate your household goods claim, it can provide you with basic assistance and information about the filing of your claim with the TSP or the CPCS.

Questions concerning your PCS move and the claims process should be referred to the Claims Division, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, 4217 Morrison St., Fort Meade, MD 20755-5030.

For more information, call 301-677-9898.

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