A-12274, JANUARY 6, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 460

A-12274: Jan 6, 1926

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WHO ARE LIVING TOGETHER AS HUSBAND AND WIFE. 1926: THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION THE CLAIM OF MR. FRANCIS FOR AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE WHICH WAS ISSUED TO HIM AS OF JANUARY 1. THE SITUATION IN THE PRESENT CASE IS THAT THE VETERAN MADE APPLICATION IN OCTOBER. ADJUSTED COMPENSATION CERTIFICATE APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN ISSUED IN DECEMBER. SAID CERTIFICATE WITH DEMAND FOR PAYMENT INDORSED THEREON WAS RECEIVED IN THE VETERANS' BUREAU MARCH 25. A FORM LETTER WAS ADDRESSED BY THE VETERANS' BUREAU TO THE VETERAN (WHO HAD BEEN DEAD MORE THAN THREE MONTHS). ADVISING THAT IT HAD BEEN HELD THAT A VETERAN MAY NAME ONLY ONE BENEFICIARY AND SUGGESTING IF HE SHOULD DESIRE TO HAVE THE AMOUNT OF HIS CERTIFICATE DISTRIBUTED EQUALLY AMONG TWO OR MORE RELATIVES.

A-12274, JANUARY 6, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 460

VETERANS' BUREAU - ADJUSTED COMPENSATION - BENEFICIARIES THE DESIGNATION OF THE PARENTS OF A VETERAN OF THE WORLD WAR, WHO ARE LIVING TOGETHER AS HUSBAND AND WIFE, MAY BE CONSIDERED AS THE DESIGNATION OF A BENEFICIARY UNDER AN ADJUSTED COMPENSATION CERTIFICATE WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT OF MAY 19, 1924, 43 STAT. 125.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, JANUARY 6, 1926:

THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION THE CLAIM OF MR. AND MRS. JAMES H. FRANCIS AS PARENTS AND DESIGNATED BENEFICIARIES IN THE APPLICATION OF WILLIAM J. FRANCIS FOR AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE WHICH WAS ISSUED TO HIM AS OF JANUARY 1, 1925, IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,557. THE VETERAN DIED JANUARY 9, 1925. THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT OF MAY 19, 1924, 43 STAT. 125, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THE VETERAN SHALL NAME THE BENEFICIARY OF THE CERTIFICATE AND MAY FROM TIME TO TIME, WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE DIRECTOR, CHANGE SUCH BENEFICIARY * * *.

THE SITUATION IN THE PRESENT CASE IS THAT THE VETERAN MADE APPLICATION IN OCTOBER, 1924, FOR AN ADJUSTED COMPENSATION CERTIFICATE, NAMING HIS MOTHER AND FATHER AS DESIGNATED BENEFICIARIES. ADJUSTED COMPENSATION CERTIFICATE APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN ISSUED IN DECEMBER, 1924, AS OF JANUARY 1, 1925. THE VETERAN DIED JANUARY 9, 1925. MARCH 23, 1925, THE PARENTS EXECUTED, BEFORE A POSTMASTER IN MISSOURI, THE "FORM OF DEMAND FOR PAYMENT" APPEARING ON THE REVERSE OF THE CERTIFICATE. SAID CERTIFICATE WITH DEMAND FOR PAYMENT INDORSED THEREON WAS RECEIVED IN THE VETERANS' BUREAU MARCH 25, 1925. ON APRIL 13, 1925, A FORM LETTER WAS ADDRESSED BY THE VETERANS' BUREAU TO THE VETERAN (WHO HAD BEEN DEAD MORE THAN THREE MONTHS), ADVISING THAT IT HAD BEEN HELD THAT A VETERAN MAY NAME ONLY ONE BENEFICIARY AND SUGGESTING IF HE SHOULD DESIRE TO HAVE THE AMOUNT OF HIS CERTIFICATE DISTRIBUTED EQUALLY AMONG TWO OR MORE RELATIVES, THAT HE NAME HIS ESTATE AS BENEFICIARY. THE VETERAN WAS DEAD AT THE TIME OF THIS NOTICE AND THERE WAS BEFORE THE BUREAU THE APPLICATION OF THE PARENTS FOR PAYMENT. THE PARENTS WERE APPARENTLY DESIGNATED JOINTLY. THERE WAS PROBABLY NO THOUGHT WITH THE VETERAN OF PROVIDING SEPARATELY FOR THE TWO BUT HIS THOUGHT WAS TO CONSIDER THE TWO HAVING THE RELATIONSHIP OF HIS PARENTS AS A SINGLE BENEFICIARY. THE FATHER AND MOTHER LIVING TOGETHER AS HUSBAND AND WIFE MAY BE CONSIDERED IN THIS CASE AS ONE PERSON WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE LAW, AND THEREFORE, AS ONE BENEFICIARY. IT IS BELIEVED THAT A SUFFICIENT COMPLIANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT IN THIS CASE HAS BEEN MADE.

IN VIEW OF ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES DISCLOSED, PAYMENT SHOULD BE MADE IN THIS CASE TO THE PARENTS OF WILLIAM J. FRANCIS JOINTLY.