From 21st Space Wing
Judge Advocate office
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The Peterson legal office has established a claims process for service members and base federal civilian employees who suffered hail damage to their personal property June 7.
The Military Personnel and Civilian Employees Claims Act provides an avenue for compensation for damage to personal property caused by extraordinary acts of nature, like severe weather events. Ultimately the base legal office determines whether a weather event is sufficiently “unusual” to trigger the act.
There are caveats for claims filed under the act, said Lt. Col. Ira Perkins, 21st Space Wing Staff Judge Advocate. In Colorado Springs, hail occurs routinely, and damage from regularly occurring hail storms is not typically covered. However, the June 7 storm was severe enough to invoke the protections of the act.
There was a smaller hail storm on June 6, but only the June 7 storm was designated as warranting compensation.
The act provides assistance to Airmen and federal civilian employees, but not contractors or non-appropriated fund personnel. It does not provide insurance coverage and is not designed to make the United States a comprehensive insurer of personal property on a military installation.
To qualify, the damage to your property must have occurred incident to military service or employment. For example, if your car was damaged anywhere on base, such as the commissary, the fitness center, or on-base housing, you may be able to file a claim. However, if your car was damaged at your off-base residence, you are less likely to qualify for a claim.
To successfully file a claim, a claimant must first file a damage or loss claim with their private insurer. This insurance settlement paperwork will be part of the government claim.
Because the act is not a substitute for private insurance, recovery under the act will come after recovery under a private insurance policy, if appropriate.
There is a two-year filing deadline, starting from the date of the incident or when the claimant discovered or reasonably should have discovered the damage.
The process is started online via the Air Force Claims Service Center website at https://claims.jag.af.mil. You may also reach the Air Force Claims Service Center at DSN 986-8044 or (877) 754-1212.