A-15102, AUGUST 21, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 149

A-15102: Aug 21, 1926

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FIXING THE EFFECTIVE DATE FOR REDUCTIONS OR DISCONTINUANCES IN COMPENSATION AS "THE 1ST DAY OF THE THIRD CALENDAR MONTH NEXT SUCCEEDING THAT IN WHICH SUCH REDUCTION OR DISCONTINUANCE IS DETERMINED. THE QUESTIONS INVOLVED WHETHER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 205 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT ARE APPLICABLE TO MAKE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE DISCONTINUANCE OR REDUCTION IN COMPENSATION "THE 1ST DAY OF THE THIRD CALENDAR MONTH NEXT SUCCEEDING THAT IN WHICH SUCH REDUCTION OR DISCONTINUANCE IS DETERMINED.'. THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF FRED SINDAR ARE STATED BY YOU AS FOLLOWS: THE CLAIMANT ENTERED THE HOSPITAL ON NOVEMBER 5. AT THAT TIME WAS RECEIVING PAYMENTS OF COMPENSATION AT THE RATE OF $15.00 PER MONTH UNDER A RATING OF FIFTEEN PERCENT.

A-15102, AUGUST 21, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 149

VETERANS' BUREAU - DISABILITY COMPENSATION - EFFECTIVE DATE OF REDUCTION OR DISCONTINUANCE THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 205 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 622, FIXING THE EFFECTIVE DATE FOR REDUCTIONS OR DISCONTINUANCES IN COMPENSATION AS "THE 1ST DAY OF THE THIRD CALENDAR MONTH NEXT SUCCEEDING THAT IN WHICH SUCH REDUCTION OR DISCONTINUANCE IS DETERMINED," RELATE ONLY TO CHANGES IN THE RATING OF DISABILITY RESULTING FROM A REVIEW OF AN AWARD OF COMPENSATION, AND DO NOT RELATE TO CHANGES IN RATES OF COMPENSATION AUTHORIZED OR REQUIRED BY OTHER PROVISIONS OF LAW OR REGULATION WHICH THEMSELVES LIMIT THE PERIOD OF THE RATING OR FIX THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF REDUCTION OR DISCONTINUANCE IN COMPENSATION BECAUSE OF SOME PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCE OR HAPPENING.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU, AUGUST 21, 1926:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 15, 1926, REQUESTING DECISION AS TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF REDUCTION OR DISCONTINUANCE OF WAR-RISK COMPENSATION IN THE CASE OF FRED SINDAR AND IN FOUR OTHER CLASSES OF CASES. THE QUESTIONS INVOLVED WHETHER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 205 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT ARE APPLICABLE TO MAKE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE DISCONTINUANCE OR REDUCTION IN COMPENSATION "THE 1ST DAY OF THE THIRD CALENDAR MONTH NEXT SUCCEEDING THAT IN WHICH SUCH REDUCTION OR DISCONTINUANCE IS DETERMINED.'

THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF FRED SINDAR ARE STATED BY YOU AS FOLLOWS:

THE CLAIMANT ENTERED THE HOSPITAL ON NOVEMBER 5, 1924, AND AT THAT TIME WAS RECEIVING PAYMENTS OF COMPENSATION AT THE RATE OF $15.00 PER MONTH UNDER A RATING OF FIFTEEN PERCENT. THE CLAIMANT WAS DISCHARGED FROM THE HOSPITAL ON NOVEMBER 21, 1924, AND THE CASE RATED ON DECEMBER 9, 1924, AS TEMPORARY TOTAL DURING THE PERIOD OF HOSPITALIZATION AND TWENTY PERCENT PERMANENT PARTIAL THEREAFTER. ON DECEMBER 10, 1924, AN AMENDED AWARD OF COMPENSATION WAS APPROVED GRANTING THE CLAIMANT $100 PER MONTH FROM NOVEMBER 5, 1924, TO NOVEMBER 21, 1924, AND $20 PER MONTH FROM NOVEMBER 22, 1924. THE CLAIMANT WAS RATED TEMPORARY TOTAL DURING THE PERIOD OF HOSPITALIZATION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF BUREAU REGULATIONS.

THE OTHER FOUR CLASSES OF CASES ARE DESCRIBED BY YOU AS FOLLOWS:

THE FIRST CLASS OF CASES ARE THOSE WHERE THE BENEFITS HAVE BEEN AWARDED UNDER SECTION 202 (5) OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, 1924, TO A CLAIMANT WHO HAD BEEN HELD TO BE SO HELPLESS AS TO BE IN CONSTANT NEED OF A NURSE OR ATTENDANT AND THE CLAIMANT HAD BEEN HOSPITALIZED OR HIS CONDITION HAD IMPROVED OR CHANGED TO SUCH AN EXTENT AS TO NO LONGER REQUIRE THE SERVICES OF A NURSE OR ATTENDANT. THIS SITUATION PRESENTS THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 205 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, 1924, SHOULD BE APPLIED OR THE PAYMENT OF THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT ON ACCOUNT OF THE NURSE OR ATTENDANT TERMINATE WHEN SUCH NEED CEASED TO EXIST. THIS BUREAU HAS HELD THAT THE ADDITIONAL SUM PAYABLE IN SUCH CASES IS COMPENSATION.

THE SECOND CLASS OF CASES ARE THOSE WHERE A CLAIMANT HAS BEEN AWARDED ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION ON ACCOUNT OF A WIFE, CHILD, OR DEPENDENT PARENT, AND SUCH WIFE, CHILD, OR DEPENDENT PARENT HAS DIED OR THERE HAS BEEN SOME CHANGE, SUCH AS DIVORCE FROM THE WIFE, THE CHILD HAS ATTAINED THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN YEARS, OR THE DEPENDENCY OF THE PARENT HAS CEASED, WHICH NO LONGER AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT. IN THESE CASES SHOULD SECTION 205 BE APPLIED OR SHOULD THE PAYMENT OF THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT TERMINATE UPON THE HAPPENING OF ONE OF THE CONTINGENCIES ABOVE MENTIONED?

THE THIRD CLASS OF CASES, WHICH ARE SOMEWHAT SIMILAR TO THE PRECEDING ONE, ARE THOSE WHERE A CLAIMANT IS RATED AS TEMPORARILY AND TOTALLY DISABLED AND BECAUSE OF HAVING A WIFE, CHILD, CHILDREN, OR DEPENDENT PARENT IS ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION IN EXCESS OF $100 PER MONTH AND BY A CHANGED RATING IS HELD AS TOTALLY AND PERMANENTLY DISABLED, THEREBY REQUIRING A REDUCTION IN COMPENSATION TO $100 PER MONTH. SHOULD THE AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF $100 PER MONTH BE PAID FOR THE PERIOD PROVIDED IN SECTION 205 OR THE PAYMENT UNDER THE PERMANENT AND TOTAL RATING COMMENCE AT ONCE?

THE FOURTH CLASS OF CASES ARE THOSE WHERE A CLAIMANT SUFFERING FROM A TUBERCULOUS DISEASE HAS BEEN DISCHARGED FROM A HOSPITAL UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS AS TO ENTITLE HIM TO A CONTINUANCE OF A TOTAL AND TEMPORARY RATING FOR A PERIOD OF THREE YEARS UNDER THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 202 (3) OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, 1924. THE QUESTION HERE IS WHETHER THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION UNDER THE CONTINUED TEMPORARY AND TOTAL RATING SHOULD BE CONTINUED UNDER SECTION 205 AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF THE THREE YEARS OR TERMINATE AT THAT TIME.

SECTION 205 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 622, DEALS WITH "REVIEW" OF AWARDS, AND THE EFFECTIVE DATE FOR REDUCTIONS OR DISCONTINUANCES IN COMPENSATION THEREUNDER RELATES TO CHANGES RESULTING FROM SUCH REVIEW. THIS SECTION DOES NOT RELATE TO CHANGES IN RATES OF COMPENSATION AUTHORIZED OR REQUIRED BY OTHER PROVISIONS OF LAW OR REGULATION WHICH THEMSELVES LIMIT THE PERIOD OF THE RATING OR FIX THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF REDUCTION OR DISCONTINUANCE IN COMPENSATION, BECAUSE OF SOME PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCE OR HAPPENING. SEE DECISION OF JUNE 7, 1924, 5 COMP. GEN. 961, WHERE IT WAS HELD THAT SECTION 205 DID NOT RELATE TO REDUCTIONS OF COMPENSATION, UNDER SECTION 202 (7) OF THE STATUTE, OF INSANE BENEFICIARIES WHO HAD BEEN HOSPITALIZED FOR SIX MONTHS.

THUS REGULATION NO. 111, ABOVE QUOTED, WHICH CONTROLS THE FRED SINDAR CASE, LIMITS THE TEMPORARY TOTAL DISABILITY RATING TO THE PERIOD OF HOSPITALIZATION. THE INCREASE OR DECREASE IN COMPENSATION PURSUANT THERETO IS ALSO EFFECTIVE ONLY DURING THE PERIOD OF HOSPITALIZATION WHETHER AUTHORIZED AT THE TIME OF HOSPITALIZATION, DURING OR SUBSEQUENT TO HOSPITALIZATION, AND RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE FROM THE BEGINNING OF HOSPITALIZATION. AS NO "REVIEW" OF THE RATING WOULD BE NECESSARY, SECTION 205 OF THE STATUTE DOES NOT APPLY TO SUCH A CASE.

AS TO THE FIRST CLASS OF CASES, SECTION 202 (5) OF THE STATUTE, 43 STAT. 619, PROVIDES:

(5) IF THE DISABLED PERSON IS SO HELPLESS AS TO BE IN CONSTANT NEED OF A NURSE OR ATTENDANT, SUCH ADDITIONAL SUM SHALL BE PAID, BUT NOT EXCEEDING $50 PER MONTH, AS THE DIRECTOR MAY DEEM REASONABLE.

THE AUTHORITY TO PAY THIS "ADDITIONAL SUM" IS BASED ON THE PHYSICAL OR MENTAL DISABILITY OF THE BENEFICIARY, AS IS THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION PROPER. THE PERIOD SAME IS PAYABLE IS NOT FIXED IN THE PROVISION, BUT IS INTENDED TO BE COEXTENSIVE WITH THE CONDITION REQUIRING THE NURSE OR ATTENDANT. A "REVIEW" TO DETERMINE WHETHER THIS CONDITION DID OR DID NOT EXIST WOULD BE NECESSARY, AND IF UPON REVIEW OF AN AWARD THERE IS FOUND UPON FACTS THEN DISCLOSED TO BE SUCH A CONDITION AS NOT TO REQUIRE A NURSE OR ATTENDANT THERE WOULD BE AS MUCH REASON FOR APPLYING SECTION 205 IN FIXING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF ANY REDUCTION OR DISCONTINUANCE IN THE AMOUNT OF THE ,ADDITIONAL SUM" FOR A NURSE OR ATTENDANT AS THERE WOULD BE IN FIXING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE REDUCTION OR DISCONTINUANCE IN THE RATE OF THE COMPENSATION PROPER. THEREFORE, SECTION 205 OF THE STATUTE WOULD BE FOR APPLICATION.

AS TO THE SECOND CLASS, SECTION 202 (1) OF THE STATUTE AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS OF COMPENSATION ON ACCOUNT OF DEPENDENT RELATIVES OF THE BENEFICIARY. PAYMENT OF THIS ADDITIONAL AMOUNT WOULD OBVIOUSLY BE LIMITED TO THE PERIOD THE RELATIONSHIP CONTINUED. DISCONTINUANCE ON ACCOUNT OF ANY PARTICULAR DEPENDENT WOULD BE AUTOMATICALLY EFFECTIVE ON THE HAPPENING THAT SEVERED THE RELATIONSHIP. AS NO "REVIEW" WOULD BE NECESSARY, SECTION 205 OF THE STATUTE WOULD NOT BE FOR APPLICATION.

THE THIRD CLASS IS NOT SIMILAR TO THE SECOND CLASS AS YOU SUGGEST. THE CHANGE IN THE RATE OF COMPENSATION IS NOT BECAUSE OF A SEVERANCE OF RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE BENEFICIARY AND A DEPENDENT ON WHOSE ACCOUNT COMPENSATION IS PAYABLE, BUT BECAUSE THE BENEFICIARY'S DEGREE OF DISABILITY HAS BEEN REVIEWED AND RERATED. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE BENEFICIARY HAS THE SAME DEPENDENTS DURING BOTH RATING OF DISABILITY. UNDER SECTION 202 (1) OF THE STATUTE ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS ARE AUTHORIZED FOR DEPENDENTS "IF AND WHILE THE DISABILITY IS RATED AS TOTAL AND TEMPORARY.' SECTION 202 (3) FIXES THE RATES OF TOTAL AND PERMANENT DISABILITY, BUT AUTHORIZES NO ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS FOR DEPENDENTS. A "REVIEW" OF AN AWARD WOULD BE NECESSARY IN THIS CLASS OF CASES, AND IF UPON REVIEW THE DISABILITY RATING IS CHANGED FROM "TOTAL AND TEMPORARY" TO "TOTAL AND PERMANENT," THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF REDUCTION IN THE TOTAL RATE OF COMPENSATION WOULD BE CONTROLLED BY SECTION 205 OF THE STATUTE.

AS TO THE FOURTH CLASS, THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 202 (3) OF THE STATUTE LIMITS THE PERIOD OF RATING OF TEMPORARY TOTAL DISABILITY ON ACCOUNT OF A TUBERCULOSIS DISEASE, UNDER THE CONDITIONS THEREIN PRESCRIBED, TO THREE YEARS FROM THE DATE OF DISCHARGE FROM THE HOSPITAL. THUS THE SECTION ITSELF LIMITS THE PERIOD OF THE RATING AND FIXES THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF DISCONTINUANCE. AS NO "REVIEW" OF THE AWARD WOULD BE NECESSARY, SECTION 205 WOULD NOT CONTROL. THE PRINCIPLE IN THIS CLASS IS SIMILAR TO THAT IN THE FRED SINDAR CASE.