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File a Claim

Insured mail, whether insurance was purchased separately or was included with a service, is eligible for an indemnity claim if the mailpiece was lost or arrived damaged, including with broken or missing pieces.

  • Insured mail services
  • Collect on Delivery (COD) items
  • Registered Mail® items with insurance
  • Priority Mail Express® items

Alert: USPS can no longer accept or deliver international mail to several countries due to COVID-19 service impacts. See all countries with temporary service and guaranteed-delivery suspensions. Read More

If your international package was returned due to COVID-19 and you need a postage refund, click the International Shipments tab above.

How to File a Claim

Either the person who sent the mailpiece or the person who received it may file a claim for insured mail that is lost, arrived damaged, or was missing contents. The person filing must have the original mailing receipt. Each claim must be filed within a certain time period and include proof of insurance, value, and damage.

NOTE: These instructions do not include all the details and exceptions in the Postal Regulations in the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®).
Filing Indemnity Claims (DMM 609)

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Step 1: Check Filing Periods

Each mail service has a different filing period. The filing period is based on the mailing date on your receipt and whether your package arrived damaged.

Damaged or Missing Contents

If your item arrives damaged or is missing contents, you may file a claim immediately but must file no later than 60 days after the mailing date.

Lost Mail or Package

If your item does not arrive at all, file a claim in the time period for the service you used.

Step 2: Gather Your Documents

Including the right documentation with your claim helps USPS® approve it more quickly. Save all your evidence documents until your claim is resolved.

Tracking or Label Number

The tracking or label number is found on your online label record, package label, mailing receipt, or sales receipt. Tracking and label numbers are between 13 and 34 characters.

Evidence of Insurance Purchased

Any of these items show evidence of insurance:

  • Original mailing receipt issued at the time of mailing
  • Outer packaging showing the names and addresses of the sender and the addressee and the proper label showing that the article was sent insured
  • Printed electronic online label record or computer printout from the application used to print the label and purchase the insurance

NOTE: USPS may not legally pay compensation for uninsured lost or damaged articles. If your uninsured mail is missing or delayed you may request a Missing Mail Search.

Proof of Value

Proof of value is the cost or value of an item when it was mailed. Any of these can be used to show proof of value:

  • Sales receipt
  • Paid invoice or paid bill of sale
  • Statement of value and/or estimates of repair costs from a reputable dealer
  • Credit card billing statement
  • Receipt of costs incurred for reconstruction of non-negotiable documents
  • Printouts of the online transaction identifying the purchaser and seller, price paid, date of transaction, description of item purchased, and assurance that the transaction status is completed

Proof of Damage

Photos that clearly show the extent of damage will help with your case. For damaged claims, you’ll also need to provide an estimate of the repair costs from a reputable dealer.

  • Save the original packaging and everything in the package until your claim is settled.
  • Do not throw out damaged items, even after you photograph them.
  • Do not reship items that were not damaged. Save them with the damaged items.
  • You may be asked to take the entire package to your local Post Office™ facility for inspection.

Step 3: File Your Claim

The fastest and easiest way to file your claim is online. If you cannot file a claim on USPS.com, you can start a claim process by mail. After you file, keep all your evidence documents until the claim is resolved.

Filing Online

To file online, log in to or create your free USPS.com account. Your claim case will be associated with your account.

  • You will be able to save your claim to finish later if you cannot complete the form in one session.
  • Once you have filed a claim, you can see it in your Claim History.

Start an Online Claim

Filing by Mail

If you’re unable to file a claim online, you can have a Domestic Claim Form mailed to you.

  1. Call the USPS National Materials Customer Service and request a Domestic Claim PS Form.
  2. Complete the form and mail it, along with proof of value and evidence of insurance, to the address on the form.

National Materials Customer Service
1-800-332-0317

Hours of Operation
Monday–Friday: 6 AM–6 PM CT
Saturdays and Sundays: Closed
Federal Holidays: Closed

After You File – Next Steps

USPS Accounting Services determines whether to pay a claim in full or in part, or to deny a claim.

Claims Decisions

USPS usually sends claim decisions within 5-10 days. You can also check Claim History in your USPS.com account for updates.

  • Claim processing times depend on whether an item is damaged or lost.
  • Claims for damaged items are usually processed more quickly than lost mail claims.
  • Before processing lost mail claims, USPS will first perform a Missing Mail Search.

Approved Claims

  • Your claim may be completely approved or approved in part. After your claim is approved, you should receive payment for the claim amount in 7-10 business days.
  • USPS does not pay a claim higher than an item’s actual value.

Denied Claims

  • Claims can be partially or fully denied.
  • Your decision letter will list the reasons for the denial.

Making an Appeal

If your refund was only partially paid or completely denied, you may file an appeal within 30 days of receiving the decision.

First Appeal

  • Submit your appeal the same way you submitted the original claim, whether online or by mail. You can start an online claim from your Claim History.
  • Focus your appeal on the reasons your claim was denied.
  • You may submit new documentation to support your appeal.

Final Appeal

If your appeal is denied, you can file a second appeal within 30 days of the date you received the appeal denial. Follow the same process for final review as for your first appeal.

Appealing Denied Claims FAQs