What is an inconvenience claim anyway?
An Inconvenience Claim can be submitted directly to the Transportation Service Provider (TSP) for failing to meet agreed upon Pack, Pick-up, or Required Delivery Dates as reflected on your Government Bill Of Lading; when failing to do so causes serious inconvenience, and adds stress to the military member and their family. This type of claim is intended to reimburse the military member for “out of pocket expenses” incurred as a result of the TSP missing these critical timelines. Inconvenience Claims are not a customer entitlement, therefore the military member is advised to contact their TSP prior to purchasing any items which will result in paying out of pocket expenses.
What is considered an out of pocket expense? Out of pocket expenses include, but are not limited to:
- Laundry Service
- Appliance Rental
- The purchase of items such as sheets, towels, pots/pans, disposable cutlery, etc.
- Furniture you must purchase/rent. Rental furniture includes: beds/air mattress, cribs, couches, chairs, dinning table and chairs, and one Television per military member.
All of these purchases/rentals MUST be supported with receipts. It is VITAL you keep all receipts, I cannot stress that enough when it comes to inconvenience claims. Also, you have to keep in mind the maximum TSP liability for lodging and meal expenses cannot exceed the daily allowance normally allotted for lodging and meal per diem. This is based on the number of dependents in your family. The last time we PCSed for example, my spouse and I were allotted one hotel room (bed), and our additional dependents (the kiddos), based on their age and sex required separate beds. Before you purchase any additional rooms call the TPS and have it approved, and I would ask for the approval in writing. Meaning ask them to follow the phone call up with an email.
Once again, keep all your receipts for the inconvenience claim, you do not want anything to be denied due to a missing receipt.
Don’t get out of hand with this inconvenience claim either and think everything will be reimbursed. Everything you claim must be within reason and related directly to the hardship you have had to endure. Let me give you an example, if you are staying in a hotel use the towels at the hotel. Do not go purchase new ones as the TPS could and more then likely will deny the purchase as they can state you had access to towels at the hotel. If you can stay at an extended stay hotel where pots, pans, dishes, etc are provided and all you have to pay for out of pocket is food. It will save you time and money… oh and added stress with the inconvenience claim.
What items are considered non reimbursable?
This is so important to know! You do not want to go on a vacation and think the TSP is going to pay for it. Here are a few examples of what is more than likely be denied for an inconvenience claim.
- Groceries if you have already accepted housing.
- Cleaning Supplies
- Make-Up i.e cosmetics
- Snacks AKA: Junk Food
- Military Pro-Gear
- School and Office Supplies
- Any and all receipts that are not from your new duty station zip code.
- Any and all receipts dated before your missed Required Delivery Date (RDD).
- Toys for the kiddos, pets… any toys.
- Tickets to any entertainment venue.
- Alcohol of any kind. The reimbursement of alcohol in any quantity is prohibited. So, if you are going to claim any food, I would purchase any of your alcohol separate to get separate receipts. It will save you a great deal of trouble later.
How long do you have to file an inconvenience claim?
Well, this is very important as this is different from a damage claim. You MUST and I mean MUST contact the TSP ASAP and send them the receipts along with the inconvenience claim. You do not want to sit on this one. The TPS has to contact you within seven calendar days from when they receive the claim and then the TSP has 30 days to issue a reimbursement for the out of pocket expenses.
Am I even eligible for an inconvenience claim?
If you have orders for a PCS move and your HHGs are delayed then yes you are eligible. However, most TSPs will not be held liable for delays caused by a natural disaster, 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 caused by the Government, wherein TSP negligence did not contribute to the delay.
If you are on Temporary Living Allowances (TLA), unfortunately you are not authorized to file an Inconvenience Claim.
For all shipments that were ordered into SIT at destination, unless the need for SIT is a direct result of the TSP’s failure to deliver the military members HHGs on or before the required delivery date, the TSP may not be liable for inconvenience claims. This is only if shipments are placed into SIT without notifying the military member. Here is an example as this can get really confusing: if the military member is available to accept their HHGs after the RDD and they are officially ordered away prior to arrival of the shipment, The TSP will reimburse the military member for inconvenience through the day prior to their departure on orders, but not for time after (since the military ordered them away—not TSPs fault).
Can you dispute an inconvenience claim?
All Inconvenience Claims will include the military members initial Claim notification to the TSP stating how they were inconvenienced by the situation: do not make this a one liner!! You will need to make sure you explain to the TSP the who, what, where, when, why, how! Then add the item(s) purchases/rented, and an itemized list of all charges, ensuring you include all accompanying receipts. This is another reason I say it’s so important to keep your receipts. In the event of a disputed claim, the origin PPSO i.e. missed pickup or destination PPSO i.e. delivery will make every effort possible to resolve the dispute between the military member and the TSP.