A-19135, JULY 21, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 53

A-19135: Jul 21, 1927

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

REQUESTING DECISION OF A QUESTION PRESENTED AS FOLLOWS: THERE IS PRESENTED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION THE MATTER OF THE APPORTIONMENT BY THIS BUREAU OF DISABILITY COMPENSATION OTHERWISE PAYABLE TO RISTO GROZANICH. WHO IS RATED AS PERMANENTLY AND PARTIALLY DISABLED. WHO IS ALSO IN RECEIPT OF DISABILITY COMPENSATION AND IS RATED AS TEMPORARILY TOTALLY DISABLED. ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION IS BEING PAID TO THE CLAIMANT NISSEN ON BEHALF OF THE ABOVE-NAMED MINOR. NO PROVISION IS MADE IN THE WAR RISK INSURANCE ACT. FOR THE PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR DEPENDENTS WHEN A CLAIMANT IS RATED AS PERMANENTLY DISABLED. REFERENCE TO WHICH IS MADE ABOVE. IS NOT. WHICH IS LIKELY TO ARISE IN THE EVENT OF A RERATING OF THE CASES IN QUESTION.

A-19135, JULY 21, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 53

VETERANS' BUREAU - DISABILITY COMPENSATION UPON ADOPTION OF THE MINOR CHILD OF A VETERAN OF THE WORLD WAR, WHO HAS BEEN RATED AS PERMANENTLY AND PARTIALLY DISABLED, SECTION 202 (12) OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, AS AMENDED, DOES NOT REQUIRE OR AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT TO SUCH ADOPTED CHILD OR ITS FOSTER PARENTS OF ANY PORTION OF THE DISABILITY COMPENSATION OTHERWISE ACCRUING TO THE NATURAL FATHER, IN THE ABSENCE OF REGULATION BY THE VETERANS' BUREAU SO PROVIDING.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU, JULY 21, 1927:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 6, 1927, REQUESTING DECISION OF A QUESTION PRESENTED AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS PRESENTED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION THE MATTER OF THE APPORTIONMENT BY THIS BUREAU OF DISABILITY COMPENSATION OTHERWISE PAYABLE TO RISTO GROZANICH, C-273,921, WHO IS RATED AS PERMANENTLY AND PARTIALLY DISABLED. A NATURAL CHILD OF THIS VETERAN, FORMERLY KNOWN AS HELEN MARIE GROZANICH, HAS BEEN LEGALLY ADOPTED BY JAMES H. L. NISSEN, C-586,799, WHO IS ALSO IN RECEIPT OF DISABILITY COMPENSATION AND IS RATED AS TEMPORARILY TOTALLY DISABLED. ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION IS BEING PAID TO THE CLAIMANT NISSEN ON BEHALF OF THE ABOVE-NAMED MINOR. NO PROVISION IS MADE IN THE WAR RISK INSURANCE ACT, AS AMENDED, NOW REPEALED, OR THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, AS AMENDED, FOR THE PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR DEPENDENTS WHEN A CLAIMANT IS RATED AS PERMANENTLY DISABLED.

IT HAS BEEN CONSISTENTLY HELD BY THIS BUREAU THAT THE ADOPTION OF A CHILD OF A VETERAN DOES NOT VITIATE THE RIGHT OF SUCH CHILD TO PARTICIPATE IN COMPENSATION PAID TO SUCH VETERAN BY THIS BUREAU.

THE QUESTION OF DUPLICATE PAYMENTS IN CASES OF THE INSTANT CHARACTER AS DISCUSSED IN PREVIOUS DECISIONS BY YOUR OFFICE, REFERENCE TO WHICH IS MADE ABOVE, IS NOT, AS HAS BEEN INDICATED, PRESENTED IN THE INSTANT CASE AT THIS TIME. IRRESPECTIVE OF SUCH QUESTION, WHICH IS LIKELY TO ARISE IN THE EVENT OF A RERATING OF THE CASES IN QUESTION, THERE IS FOR IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION THE STATUTORY DUTY OF THIS BUREAU IN THE PREMISES. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 202 AS QUOTED ABOVE THE APPORTIONMENT OF THE COMPENSATION OTHERWISE PAYABLE TO THE CLAIMANT GROZANICH IS OBLIGATORY. THE RESULT IS THE IMPOSITION UPON SUCH CLAIMANT OF AN OBLIGATION FROM WHICH HE HAS APPARENTLY BEEN DISCHARGED BY OPERATION OF LAW, NAMELY, THE DECREE OF ADOPTION.

WHILE IT IS TRUE THAT UNDER THE STATUTES OF VARIOUS STATES WITH RESPECT TO DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION THE PARTICIPATION IN THE ESTATE OF THE ADOPTING PARENT BY THE CHILD SO ADOPTED IS SOMEWHAT RESTRICTED, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF AN ADOPTED CHILD WOULD BE AN OBLIGATION OF THE ADOPTING PARENT.

SECTION 202 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, AS AMENDED BY THE ACTS OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 618, AND JULY 2, 1926, 44 STAT. 794, PROVIDES:

THAT IF DISABILITY RESULTS FROM THE INJURY---

(1) IF AND WHILE THE DISABILITY IS RATED AS TOTAL AND TEMPORARY, THE MONTHLY COMPENSATION SHALL BE THE FOLLOWING AMOUNTS, PAYABLE MONTHLY OR SEMIMONTHLY AS THE DIRECTOR MAY PRESCRIBE:

(A) IF THE DISABLED PERSON HAS NEITHER WIFE NOR CHILD LIVING, $80.

(B) IF HE HAS A WIFE BUT NO CHILD LIVING, $90.

(C) IF HE HAS A WIFE AND ONE CHILD LIVING, $95, AND $5 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL CHILD.

(D) IF HE HAS NO WIFE AND ONE CHILD LIVING, $90, WITH $5 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL CHILD.

(E) IF HE HAS A MOTHER, OR FATHER, EITHER OR BOTH DEPENDENT ON HIM FOR SUPPORT, THEN, IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE AMOUNTS, $10 FOR EACH PARENT SO DEPENDENT.

(2) IF AND WHILE THE DISABILITY IS RATED AS PARTIAL AND TEMPORARY, THE MONTHLY COMPENSATION SHALL BE A PERCENTAGE OF THE COMPENSATION THAT WOULD BE PAYABLE FOR HIS TOTAL AND TEMPORARY DISABILITY, EQUAL TO THE DEGREE OF THE REDUCTION IN EARNING CAPACITY RESULTING FROM THE DISABILITY, BUT NO COMPENSATION SHALL BE PAYABLE FOR A REDUCTION IN EARNING CAPACITY RATED AT LESS THAN 10 PERCENTUM.

(3) IF AND WHILE THE DISABILITY IS RATED AS TOTAL AND PERMANENT, THE RATE OF COMPENSATION SHALL BE $100 PER MONTH: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THE PERMANENT LOSS OF THE USE OF BOTH FEET, OR BOTH HANDS, OR OF BOTH EYES, OR OF ONE FOOT AND ONE HAND, OR OF ONE FOOT AND ONE EYE, OR OF ONE HAND AND ONE EYE, OR THE LOSS OF HEARING OF BOTH EARS, OR THE ORGANIC LOSS OF SPEECH, OR BECOMING PERMANENTLY HELPLESS OR PERMANENTLY BEDRIDDEN, SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE TOTAL, PERMANENT DISABILITY: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE COMPENSATION FOR THE LOSS OF THE USE OF BOTH EYES SHALL BE $150 PER MONTH, AND THAT COMPENSATION FOR THE LOSS OF THE USE OF BOTH EYES AND ONE OR MORE LIMBS SHALL BE $200 PER MONTH: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT FOR DOUBLE TOTAL, PERMANENT DISABILITY THE RATE OF COMPENSATION SHALL BE $200 PER MONTH.

(4) IF AND WHILE THE DISABILITY IS RATED AS PARTIAL AND PERMANENT, THE MONTHLY COMPENSATION SHALL BE A PERCENTAGE OF THE COMPENSATION THAT WOULD BE PAYABLE FOR HIS TOTAL AND PERMANENT DISABILITY EQUAL TO THE DEGREE OF THE REDUCTION IN EARNING CAPACITY RESULTING FROM THE DISABILITY, BUT NO COMPENSATION SHALL BE PAYABLE FOR A REDUCTION IN EARNING CAPACITY RATED AT LESS THAN 10 PERCENTUM.

(12)WHERE THE DISABLED PERSON IS A PATIENT IN A HOSPITAL OR WHEREFOR ANY OTHER REASON THE DISABLED PERSON AND HIS WIFE ARE NOT LIVING TOGETHER, OR WHERE THE CHILDREN ARE NOT IN THE CUSTODY OF THE DISABLED PERSON, THE AMOUNT OF THE COMPENSATION SHALL BE APPORTIONED AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY REGULATIONS.

AS, IN THE CASE HERE PRESENTED, THE NATURAL FATHER OF THE CHILD WAS RATED AS PERMANENTLY AND PARTIALLY DISABLED, THE AMOUNT OF HIS DISABILITY COMPENSATION IS NOT DEPENDENT UPON OR AFFECTED BY THE EXISTENCE OR NONEXISTENCE OF CHILDREN. AND AS THE APPORTIONMENT UNDER SUBSECTION 12 OF SECTION 202 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, SUPRA, IS DEPENDENT UPON A REGULATION BY YOUR BUREAU, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF A REGULATION THEREUNDER PROVIDING SPECIFICALLY THAT A PART OF THE DISABILITY COMPENSATION AWARDED TO THE NATURAL FATHER SHALL BE APPORTIONED FOR THE BENEFIT OF HIS CHILD AFTER ITS ADOPTION BY ANOTHER, THE WHOLE OF SUCH COMPENSATION SHOULD BE PAID TO THE FATHER WITHOUT DEDUCTION FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE CHILD.

WITH REFERENCE TO THE GENERAL EFFECT OF ADOPTION ON THE LIABILITY OF THE NATURAL PARENT FOR SUPPORT OF THE CHILD, SEE 5 COMP. GEN. 92; 6 ID. 288.