Understanding Your Rights Under the Military Claims Act

Before the Military Claims Act (MCA), former military personnel and their families couldn’t legally sue the military for injuries. This notion was based on the Feres doctrine and falls under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). However, now military personnel, veterans, and military family members can file claims for death or personal injury in certain situations. 

The MCA permits you to sue the military for causing property damage or injury to a loved one – with limitations. For instance, active military personnel cannot file a claim for the death of a loved one who was also part of the military. It’s important to note that the claims process under the Military Claims Act is similar to filing one under the FTCA, but there are distinct differences.   

Federal Tort Claims Act vs Military Claims Act

The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) allows individuals in the United States to bring claims against the federal government for certain wrongdoings committed by federal employees in the course of their employment. It can include claims related to personal injury, property damage, or other harm caused by the negligence or wrongful acts of government employees. 

The Military Claims Act allows a claimant to recover damages resulting from personal injury, death or property damage caused by military personnel or civilian employees acting within the scope of their employment. It also allows certain military personnel and their families to recover compensation for medical malpractice and other injuries.

The Military Claims Act helps in a manner similar to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), but allows qualified plaintiffs to resolve their claims when the injuries or wrongful death occurred outside of the U.S. In addition, if a claim is denied under the Military Claims Act, the claimant does not have a right to file a lawsuit against the Government. 

Filing a Claim Under the Military Claims Act

Though it is now possible to file a claim against the military today, the process is still complex.  Below is what is needed in order to file a claim under the Military Claims Act:  

  • Collect evidence (personal accounts, medical documents, witness testimonies, etc.)  
  • Consult an experienced attorney 
  • Fill out and submit standard form 95 and then present it to the federal agency you claimed cause the injury or loss. 


After you have submitted the form and completed the claim, you may wait up to six months for the military to respond. In the event they reject your claim, you get an additional six months to file a lawsuit. 

Military Law Attorneys You Can Trust

Filing a claim against the military can be sensitive and rigorous. When filing a charge against the federal government under the Military Claims Act, it’s important to retain a military law attorney you can trust.  As active and retired military members, our team has more than 100 years of combined experience in filing claims against the military and the government.   

Specializing in fields like personal injury, bad faith insurance, and wrongful death, our experienced team can help you navigate the Military Claims Act to ensure a positive outcome. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

It is suggested you seek an attorney the moment you are notified of possible disciplinary action. There is a wide range of disciplinary action a service member might face, and the consequences of those actions vary greatly. A military law attorney can discuss the possible consequences, and how best to proceed in your particular case.  

Service members have the right to always remain silent. This right is listed in Article 31(b) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The natural inclination is to explain why you are not guilty of the allegation. However, the military will always try to use the statement against the service member. For this reason, we always advise clients to exercise their right to remain silent under Article 31(b). The military cannot use your right to remain silent against you.  

You always have the right to consult with an attorney. Depending of the type of investigation or disciplinary action, you may also have the right to have an attorney present with you. It is best to discuss your particular situation with a military law attorney to understand if that right applies to you. 

Yes, each one of the branches has a Court of Criminal Appeals. If you receive either a punitive discharge or in excess of 1 year of confinement, you have the right to an automatic appeal. Just like at the Court-Martial, you will have be detailed a military appellate defense counsel.  

Yes, most service members will be entitled to either an administrative separation board (or, if an officer, a Board of Inquiry). Each branch requires the service member to have been in a certain number of years before they can request to appear before a Board. If you are entitled to a Board, you will have the right to appear with a defense counsel, and present a defense before three Board members. 

 It depends on what the legal issue, and how you are able to challenge the legal issue. The military law attorneys at FPG have represented service members at trial that resulted in a not-guilty verdict. These clients were able to continue their military career as though the Court-Martial never happened.

Speak with a Military Claims Act Attorney today