Section 8 owner/agents may be reimbursed by HUD for financial loss by submitting a special claim. There are three types of special claims: Regular Vacancy, Unpaid Rent and Damages. Indiana Quadel’s Special Claims Analyst, Darci McWilliams, reviews an estimated 1,000 special claims per year through Quadel’s PBCA contracts. She discusses the special claims process and how owner/agents can prevent delays in reimbursement.

Review Resources and Checklists

Each type of special claim – Regular Vacancy, Unpaid Rent and Damages – has certain eligibility requirements the claim must meet in order for the owner/agent to be reimbursed. A checklist must also be submitted with all required supporting documentation. While the documentation may be extensive, McWilliams recommends owner/agents use resources available to them, including the HUD Special Claims Guidebook, the Special Claims Processing Guide FAQs, and HUD’s Multifamily Housing Occupancy Handbook, 4350.3.

“If the property follows the INQ Special Claim checklist when submitting their claim package to INQ and the documents are correct once reviewed, the claim will be approved. If information is not included in the original submission, INQ will make an additional information request within 30 days of original receipt of submission” McWilliams said. “Common omissions preventing approval, particularly on the first review, are unsigned HUD forms. The property will then have an opportunity to collect and resubmit the information that needs to be corrected.”

Limit the Number of Claims Per Form

McWilliams has been reviewing special claims for four years. In her experience, the larger the number of special claims on a single HUD-52670-A Part 2, the bigger chance required documentation is missing.

“We encourage owners to submit no more than 10-15 requests on a single form HUD-52670-A Part 2. Owners are allowed one original submission, one resubmission, and one appeal,” McWilliams said. “For the properties within our portfolio, they should be using the INQ Special Claims checklist specific to the type of claim that the property is submitting. I am looking for clean, complete packages.”

Understand the Special Claims Process can be Complex 

Claims are commonly denied because owner/agents have not provided enough information to support the claim. For example, Regular Vacancy claims may not have complete waiting list documentation for actions taken with each applicant; Damages and/or Unpaid Rent Claims may not identify charges by type, period, and amount or have pictures to support the claim.

While the process may seem complex or frustrating to some owners, McWilliams enjoys helping owners receive the money they are due and appreciates the compliance aspect of the process.

“I enjoy helping property owners have the ability to be successful while providing affordable housing,” McWilliams said. “The aspect of special claims that I think is very important is accountability – ensuring owners remain compliant while assisting them in offsetting financial loss. Doing so allows these dedicated owners to continue providing safe, decent, and affordable housing.”