Claims Against Foreign Governments

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
Department of State , Office of the Legal Adviser
CFDA #: 19.200

Purpose of this program:

To resolve, or assist in resolving, valid claims of United States nationals against foreign governments.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

At the discretion of the Secretary of State, the United States government can provide various types of assistance to United States nationals in resolving their claims against foreign governments. A claim may result from any one of a number of situations in which a United States national has been injured by a foreign government in violation of international law. Types of assistance can include, as appropriate, assisting claimants who are seeking to negotiate a settlement of their claims with foreign governments; raising claims directly with foreign governments through diplomatic channels; and encouraging governments to agree to arbitration of the claim or to establish claims settlement programs. In very limited situations, the United States government may espouse a claim. When a claim is espoused, it becomes the claim of the United States, which the United States may pursue or settle at its discretion.

Who is eligible to apply...

Assistance is generally available only to a United States national who has demonstrated that: (1) the claim was owned by United States national continuously from the time the claim arose; (2) all local administrative and judicial remedies in the foreign country have been exhausted or submitted evidence that to do so would be futile; and (3) its claim resulted from a violation of international law attributable to the foreign government.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

Applicants must submit persuasive and credible evidence that they meet the eligibility requirements set forth in the applicant eligibility section of this program. Applicants must also submit documents and other evidence to substantiate the facts relevant to their claim.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

Initial inquiries relating to property claims should include the following information: (1) the means by which (e.g. birth in the United States, naturalization, etc.) and the date on which, the applicant acquired United States nationality; (2) a description of the property or other basis for the claim; (3) the date on which the applicant acquired ownership of the property; (4) if other than the applicant, the identity and nationality of the owner of the property at the time the claim arose; (5) the identity and nationality of any subsequent owner(s) of the property; (6) the action(s) taken against the property or otherwise giving rise to the claim (including an identification of relevant laws, decrees, governmental agencies and government officials) of a violation of international law, and the date(s) on which such action(s) occurred; (7) the steps taken by the applicant to pursue all local and administrative and judicial remedies in the foreign country; and, (8) the nature and amount of any and all losses to the applicant resulting from the action(s) giving rise to the claim. Initial inquiries relating to death or personal injury claims should include the following information: (1) the means by which (e.g. birth in the United States, naturalization, etc.), and the date on which, the applicant acquired United States nationality, (2) for death claims, the deceased's nationality; (3) for death claims, the relationship of the applicant to the deceased; (4) the date on which, and the circumstances under which, the death or injury occurred (including an identification of the persons, officials or agencies causing the injury or death); (5) for personal injury claims, the nature and extent of the injury suffered; and, (6) the nature and amount of any and all losses to the applicant resulting from the death or injury.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

Actual payment in settlement of a claim is generally the responsibility of the foreign government, not the United States. In the case of an espoused claim, the United States government will accept and disburse the funds pursuant to 22 U.S.C 2668a.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


For claims in any particular international claims forum, specific deadlines will apply, otherwise unlimited. Applicants should be aware that international law establishes a general limitation on the time allowed for bringing claims arising under international law.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Requests for assistance are acknowledged as soon as possible.

Preapplication Coordination

Potential applicants are invited to discuss possible claims prior to submitting documentation. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.


Not applicable.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).


Not applicable.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

United States nationals.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Provision of Specialized Services

Programs which provide Federal personnel directly to perform certain tasks for the benefit of communities or individuals. These services may be performed in conjunction with nonfederal personnel, but they involve more than consultation, advice, or counseling.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance


Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


Not separately identifiable.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Not applicable.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

During fiscal year 2001, millions of dollars were awarded to U.S. claimants by the the United Nation's Compensation Commission against Iraq. It is estimated that millions of dollars more will be awarded in fiscal years 2002 and 2003.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Not applicable.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance


Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...



Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.



Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).



Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



Section 3 of Article II of the Constitution of the United States delegates powers and duties to the President upon which the authority to act is based and transferred to the Secretary of State.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

International law defines the levels of appropriate compensation.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office


Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Mark A. Clodfelter, Assistant Legal Adviser for International Claims and Investment Disputes, Office of the Legal Adviser, Suite 203, South Building, 2430 E St., NW., Washington, DC 20037-2800. Telephone: (202) 776-8360.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: