Office of the Staff Judge Advocate
Claims are accepted on a walk-in basis, you do not need an appointment. However, if you would like to speak with a particular claims examiner, we recommended that you call to ensure that the examiner will be available and able to assist you. You may call (706) 545-2285 with any questions.
The mission of the Fort Benning Claims Office is to promptly and thoroughly investigate, adjudicate, and settle claims filed both on behalf of the United States and against the United States. These include personnel claims, tort claims, affirmative claims, and Article 139 claims.
Personnel claims arise from damage to personal property incident to service. These claims include damage to household goods during shipment and claims for damage in on-post quarters caused by fire, flood, unusual occurrence, theft, or vandalism. If you need assistance or guidance in filing a Personnel Claim you may come into our office on Fort Benning. Call us at (706) 545-2285.
Tort Claims are claims arising out of personal injury, wrongful death, or property damage allegedly caused by the negligence of a government employee acting within the scope of his or her employment. Tort Claims include both medical malpractice, some motor vehicle accidents, and some slip and fall claims. If you believe that you may have a tort claim please contact us at (706) 545-2285.
Affirmative Claims include medical care recovery claims and property damage claims filed by the Government against a third-party for the recovery of Government expenses. For example, if a service member or family member is injured in motor vehicle accident and the government provides medical care, then the Claims Office will seek to recover the costs of the medical care (and lost wages of the service member) from the person/agency responsible for the accident. We may require that the service member or family member provide information to our office via a questionnaire. Please contact Affirmative Claims Office at (706) 544-1170 should you have any questions concerning these claims.
Article 139, UCMJ, Claims
An Article 139 (UCMJ) Claim is an administrative mechanism for assessing and paying restitution to the victims of certain types of criminal offenses committed by active duty service members. While any individual (to include both civilians and service members), business entity, state or local government, or charity may submit a claim under Article 139, an Article 139 Claim may only be filed for property that is willfully damaged (i.e. vandalism) or wrongfully taken (i.e. theft). Therefore the act which caused the damage must be a criminal act. Claims founded in breach of contract or fiduciary duty or not proper Article 139 Claims. In addition, losses due to accident or negligence, even gross negligence, are not payable. If your service member neighbor ran over your motorcycle while it was parked in the street outside your quarters, you would not be able to file an Article 139 claim against your neighbor unless the damage was done intentionally, i.e. willfully damaged. Further, if you rented an apartment to a service member and s/he left your property in an unsatisfactory condition, your remedy is contained in the terms of your lease agreement and is contractual in nature. Your damages could not form the basis of an Article 139 claim. The key factor is that at the time when the damage or loss was caused, the service member was committing the criminal act of either wrongful taking, or willful damage.
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