The TSA describes the process by which travellers can claim for property & goods damaged by a TSA screener's negligence
If not for the involvement of the Coast Guard (who doesn't love the Coast Guard), I would suspect this was an intentionally tortuous & complex process designed to discourage claims
Once a claim has been received by the Claims Management Branch, it is entered into a Claims Management System.
If the claim is NOT sufficient, the claimant will be sent an insufficient letter requesting additional information. If it is sufficient, the claimant will be sent an acknowledgement letter with a control number.
The claim will then be assigned to a TSA Claims Investigator.
The investigator will fully examine the claim. This could include:
Checking receipts, appraisals, flight information, etc.
Contacting the claimant
Contacting origin-of-receipt stores, airport personnel, air carriers, etc.
The investigator will then make a 'recommendation' on the claim. The recommendation will be to either approve the claim in full, offer a settlement, or deny the claim entirely.
Once done, the claim will be forwarded to a TSA 'Delegated Authority Official' (DAO). This person has been granted the right to disperse taxpayer funds on behalf of the Federal Government to pay tort claims. They have the responsibility to confirm or deny the recommendation of the investigator.
If the DAO rejects the investigator's recommendation, the claim will be sent back to the investigator for further review.
If the DAO accepts the recommendation of the investigator, a letter will be sent to the claimant with the final decision.
If the decision is to approve the claim in full or to offer a settlement, the letter will include a form to complete regarding settlement agreement and/or payment methods.
Once the form is returned to the Claims Management Branch, the claim payment will be processed through the Coast Guard Finance Center (the Coast Guard Finance Center processes all payments for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS))
The Coast Guard Finance Center will then process the payment through the U.S. Treasury.