A-14003, APRIL 29, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 876

A-14003: Apr 29, 1926

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WERE LEFT ORPHANS BY THE DEATH OF THEIR PARENTS AND WHO MAINTAINED A COMMON HOUSEHOLD. THE SISTER IS NOT ENTITLED TO THE ADJUSTED SERVICE CREDIT BASED ON THE MILITARY SERVICE OF HER VETERAN BROTHER. IN SECTION 607 OF THE STATUTE THE TERM "MOTHER" IS DEFINED TO INCLUDE "PERSONS WHO HAVE. HAD DIED BY THE TIME CLAIMANT WAS 17 YEARS OLD AND HER BROTHER A YEAR AND ONE-HALF YOUNGER. THAT THERE WERE TWO OTHER YOUNGER CHILDREN. THAT BECAUSE CLAIMANT WAS THE OLDEST SHE ASSUMED THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE HOME FROM THE YEAR 1907 UNTIL AFTER THE BROTHER HAD ENTERED THE MILITARY SERVICE IN 1917. THAT FOR SOME TIME PRIOR TO THE BROTHER'S ENTRANCE INTO THE SERVICE HE AND HIS TWO SISTERS WERE EMPLOYED TO MAINTAIN A COMMON HOUSEHOLD.

A-14003, APRIL 29, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 876

VETERANS' BUREAU - ADJUSTED COMPENSATION - PERSONS STANDING IN "LOCO PARENTIS" THE RELATIONSHIP OF A SISTER TO A SLIGHTLY YOUNGER BROTHER, BOTH OF WHOM, TOGETHER WITH YOUNGER CHILDREN, WERE LEFT ORPHANS BY THE DEATH OF THEIR PARENTS AND WHO MAINTAINED A COMMON HOUSEHOLD, MAY NOT REASONABLY BE CONSIDERED AS THAT OF LOCO PARENTIS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT OF MAY 19, 1924, 43 STAT. 121, AND THE SISTER IS NOT ENTITLED TO THE ADJUSTED SERVICE CREDIT BASED ON THE MILITARY SERVICE OF HER VETERAN BROTHER.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, APRIL 29, 1926:

AGNES H. CARLSON HAS REQUESTED REVIEW OF THE ACTION OF THIS OFFICE IN DENYING APPROVAL OF HER CLAIM FOR THE AMOUNT OF $573 ADJUSTED SERVICE CREDIT BASED ON THE MILITARY SERVICE OF HER BROTHER, OSCAR A. CARLSON, DECEASED WORLD WAR VETERAN.

THE VETERAN DIED JULY 25, 1924, WITHOUT HAVING FILED AN APPLICATION FOR AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE. CLAIMANT ALLEGES A RIGHT TO THE ADJUSTED SERVICE CREDIT AS THE VETERAN'S DEPENDENT ,MOTHER," ON THE BASIS THAT SHE STOOD IN LOCO PARENTIS TO HIM FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR PRIOR TO HIS MILITARY SERVICE.

THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT DOES NOT AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF THE ADJUSTED SERVICE CREDIT TO A DEPENDENT SISTER OF THE VETERAN. SECTION 601 OF THE STATUTE AUTHORIZES PAYMENT TO THE DEPENDENT MOTHER, IF NO UNMARRIED WIDOW OR CHILD SURVIVE THE VETERAN. SECTION 602 OF THE STATUTE REQUIRES THE DEPENDENCY OF THE MOTHER AT THE TIME OF THE VETERAN'S DEATH TO BE SHOWN. IN SECTION 607 OF THE STATUTE THE TERM "MOTHER" IS DEFINED TO INCLUDE "PERSONS WHO HAVE, FOR A PERIOD OF NOT LESS THAN ONE YEAR, STOOD IN LOCO PARENTIS TO THE VETERAN AT ANY TIME PRIOR TO THE BEGINNING OF HIS SERVICE.'

IT APPEARS THAT BOTH OF THE PARENTS OF CLAIMANT AND HER BROTHER, THE VETERAN, HAD DIED BY THE TIME CLAIMANT WAS 17 YEARS OLD AND HER BROTHER A YEAR AND ONE-HALF YOUNGER; THAT THERE WERE TWO OTHER YOUNGER CHILDREN, ONE OF WHOM DIED ABOUT 1909; THAT BECAUSE CLAIMANT WAS THE OLDEST SHE ASSUMED THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE HOME FROM THE YEAR 1907 UNTIL AFTER THE BROTHER HAD ENTERED THE MILITARY SERVICE IN 1917; THAT FOR SOME TIME PRIOR TO THE BROTHER'S ENTRANCE INTO THE SERVICE HE AND HIS TWO SISTERS WERE EMPLOYED TO MAINTAIN A COMMON HOUSEHOLD; THAT THE BROTHER MADE AN ALLOTMENT OF $10 PER MONTH TO HIS OLDER SISTER AND $5 PER MONTH TO HIS YOUNGER SISTER DURING HIS SERVICE; THAT THE YOUNGER SISTER MARRIED IN 1920; THAT THE SALARY OF THE OLDER SISTER IS $120 PER MONTH WHEN EMPLOYED, BUT THAT, DUE TO ILL HEALTH, SHE HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO WORK CONTINUOUSLY; AND THAT AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH THE VETERAN CONTRIBUTED IN PART TO HER SUPPORT, CLAIMANT ALLEGING THAT SHE WAS DEPENDENT UPON HIM FOR SUCH AID.

THE ORDINARY DEFINITION OF LOCO PARENTIS IS ONE WHO TAKES AN ORPHAN OR DESTITUTE CHILD INTO HIS HOME AND TREATS IT AS A MEMBER OF HIS OWN FAMILY, EDUCATING IT AND SUPPORTING IT AS IF IT WERE HIS OWN CHILD, OR IT MIGHT BE EXPRESSED AS ONE WHO MEANS TO PUT HIMSELF OR HERSELF IN THE SITUATION OF LAWFUL PARENT TO THE CHILD WITH REFERENCE TO THE OFFICE AND DUTY OF MAKING PROVISION FOR THE CHILD. THE RELATIONSHIP OF A SISTER TO A SLIGHTLY YOUNGER BROTHER, BOTH OF WHOM TOGETHER WITH YOUNGER CHILDREN ARE LEFT ORPHANS BY THE DEATH OF BOTH PARENTS AND WHO MAINTAIN A COMMON HOUSEHOLD, MAY NOT REASONABLY BE CONSIDERED AS THAT OF LOCO PARENTIS. IT IS SHOWN THAT ALL OF THE CHILDREN HELPED IN MAINTAINING A COMMON HOUSEHOLD, AND IT WOULD BE ALMOST AS REASONABLE TO SUPPOSE THAT THE BROTHER STOOD IN LOCO PARENTIS TO THE SISTER. ON THE EVIDENCE OF RECORD IT MUST BE CONCLUDED, THEREFORE, THAT THE RELATIONSHIP OF "MOTHER," WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT, HAS NOT BEEN ESTABLISHED BY CLAIMANT.

IN VIEW OF THE FAILURE TO ESTABLISH SUCH RELATIONSHIP AS REQUIRED BY THE CONTROLLING STATUTE, THERE IS NO NECESSITY TO CONSIDER THE EVIDENCE OF DEPENDENCY.