A-14262, MAY 29, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 948

A-14262: May 29, 1926

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SIX MONTHS' DEATH - NAVY ENLISTED MEN THE STEPMOTHER OF A DECEASED ENLISTED MAN OF THE NAVY IS A "RELATIVE" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF JUNE 4. WHERE THE DEPENDENCY OF SUCH STEPMOTHER WHO IS THE REMAINING DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY IS ESTABLISHED. 1926: THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR REVIEW SETTLEMENT DATED APRIL 26. DISALLOWANCE WAS ON THE GROUND THAT A STEPMOTHER DOES NOT COME WITHIN THE CLASS OF RELATIONS ENTITLED TO THE GRATUITY. IT IS SHOWN THAT HIS FATHER DIED SEPTEMBER 13. RELATIVE" AS USED IN THE STATUTES PROVIDING A SIX MONTHS' PAY GRATUITY IS HELD TO INCLUDE A STEPMOTHER. UPON REVIEW THE CLAIMANT IS ADJUDGED TO HAVE BEEN A DEPENDENT RELATIVE OF THE DECEASED ENLISTED MAN WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE STATUTE AND THE SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 26.

A-14262, MAY 29, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 948

GRATUITIES, SIX MONTHS' DEATH - NAVY ENLISTED MEN THE STEPMOTHER OF A DECEASED ENLISTED MAN OF THE NAVY IS A "RELATIVE" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1920, 41 STAT. 824, PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT OF THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY, AND WHERE THE DEPENDENCY OF SUCH STEPMOTHER WHO IS THE REMAINING DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY IS ESTABLISHED, THE GRATUITY MAY BE PAID TO HER.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, MAY 29, 1926:

THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR REVIEW SETTLEMENT DATED APRIL 26, 1926, DISALLOWING THE CLAIM OF ANTONETTA MAZZUCO, MURRAY HILL, N.J., AS STEPMOTHER AND DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY OF CELESTINO PALLEGRINO MAZZUCO, WHO DIED SEPTEMBER 3, 1925, IN LINE OF DUTY WHILE SERVING IN THE NAVY AS AVIATION MACHINIST MATE, FIRST CLASS. DISALLOWANCE WAS ON THE GROUND THAT A STEPMOTHER DOES NOT COME WITHIN THE CLASS OF RELATIONS ENTITLED TO THE GRATUITY. THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1920, 41 STAT. 824, PROVIDES THAT PAYMENT OF THE GRATUITY SHALL BE MADE "TO THE WIDOW, AND IF THERE BE NO WIDOW TO THE CHILD OR CHILDREN, AND IF THERE BE NO WIDOW OR CHILD, TO ANY OTHER DEPENDENT RELATIVE PREVIOUSLY DESIGNATED.'

THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED SHOWS THAT THE ENLISTED MAN LEFT NO WIDOW OR CHILD SURVIVING HIM; THAT HE DESIGNATED AS HIS BENEFICIARY UNDER THE ACT, FIRST HIS FATHER, AND SECOND, IN CASE OF HIS FATHER'S DEATH BEFORE PAYMENT, HIS STEPMOTHER, THE PRESENT CLAIMANT. IT IS SHOWN THAT HIS FATHER DIED SEPTEMBER 13, 1925, WITHOUT PAYMENT HAVING BEEN MADE TO HIM. IN 19 COMP. DEC. 651, THE WORD ,RELATIVE" AS USED IN THE STATUTES PROVIDING A SIX MONTHS' PAY GRATUITY IS HELD TO INCLUDE A STEPMOTHER. THE EVIDENCE ESTABLISHES A CONDITION OF EXISTING OR POSSIBLE NEED ON THE PART OF THE CLAIMANT AT TIME OF DESIGNATION, AND THAT THE ENLISTED MAN MADE SUBSTANTIAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE FAMILY BY ALLOTMENT FROM HIS PAY WHILE IN THE SERVICE AND TO WITHIN A MONTH PRIOR TO HIS DEATH.

UPON REVIEW THE CLAIMANT IS ADJUDGED TO HAVE BEEN A DEPENDENT RELATIVE OF THE DECEASED ENLISTED MAN WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE STATUTE AND THE SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 26, 1926, IS THEREFORE REVISED AND AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO SIX MONTHS' PAY AT THE RATE RECEIVED BY THE DECEASED AT DATE OF DEATH, A TOTAL OF $869.40, IS CERTIFIED TO BE DUE THE CLAIMANT.