A-25513, APRIL 30, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 570

A-25513: Apr 30, 1929

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - MEDICAL TREATMENT - EMPLOYEES INJURED COINCIDENT WITH TERMINATION OF TRAVEL STATUS AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS INJURED COINCIDENT WITH THE TERMINATION OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTY IN A TRAVEL STATUS MAY BE REIMBURSED FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES FOR THE EXPENSE INCURRED IN RETURNING TO HIS HEADQUARTERS. EVEN THOUGH THE TRIP IS DELAYED DUE TO THE INJURY. IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED THE AMOUNT THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED IF THE EMPLOYEE HAD RETURNED UNINJURED IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE COMPLETION OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES BY THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. 6 COMP. GLICK WAS INJURED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY SEPTEMBER 17TH. HE WAS GIVEN TREATMENT AT A RANCH HOSPITAL NEAR THE PLACE WHERE THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED AND THEN REMOVED TO TORREON.

A-25513, APRIL 30, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 570

TRAVELING EXPENSES - MEDICAL TREATMENT - EMPLOYEES INJURED COINCIDENT WITH TERMINATION OF TRAVEL STATUS AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS INJURED COINCIDENT WITH THE TERMINATION OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTY IN A TRAVEL STATUS MAY BE REIMBURSED FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES FOR THE EXPENSE INCURRED IN RETURNING TO HIS HEADQUARTERS, EVEN THOUGH THE TRIP IS DELAYED DUE TO THE INJURY, IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED THE AMOUNT THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED IF THE EMPLOYEE HAD RETURNED UNINJURED IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE COMPLETION OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES BY THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. 6 COMP. GEN. 278 DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE UNITED STATES EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION, APRIL 30, 1929:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 10, 1929 (FILE 240750), AS FOLLOWS:

THE COMMISSION HAS RECEIVED THE INCLOSED LETTER AND EXPENSE ACCOUNTS FROM THE BUREAU OF ENTOMOLOGY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, REGARDING THE CASE OF PERRY A. GLICK, ASSISTANT ENTOMOLOGIST. REPORTS SUBMITTED TO THE COMMISSION SHOW THAT MR. GLICK WAS INJURED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY SEPTEMBER 17TH, 1928, IN AN AIRPLANE ACCIDENT AT TLAHUALILO, DURANGO, MEXICO. HE WAS GIVEN TREATMENT AT A RANCH HOSPITAL NEAR THE PLACE WHERE THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED AND THEN REMOVED TO TORREON, MEXICO, WHERE AFTER AN EXAMINATION HE WAS ORDERED SEPTEMBER 30TH BY THE OFFICIAL SUPERIOR TO RETURN TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION, TALLULAH, LOUISIANA TO AWAIT INSTRUCTIONS FROM THIS COMMISSION AS TO FURTHER TREATMENT. AFTER ARRIVING AT TALLULAH, HIS OFFICIAL SUPERIOR ORDERED HIM TRANSFERRED TO THE U.S. MARINE HOSPITAL AT NEW ORLEANS, LA., FOR TREATMENT AS A BENEFICIARY OF THIS COMMISSION. THE REPORTS OF INJURY WERE RECEIVED BY THE COMMISSION OCTOBER 28TH, HAVING BEEN DELAYED THROUGH THE OFFICIAL SUPERIOR NOT BEING IN POSSESSION OF THE NECESSARY FORMS WHILE IN MEXICO.

THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS WHETHER MR. GLICK'S TRAVELING EXPENSES IN RETURNING TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION SHOULD BE PAID BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE OR BY THIS COMMISSION. THE AUDIT DIVISION OF YOUR OFFICE IN THE PREAUDIT OF THE ACCOUNT SUBMITTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,HELD THAT SINCE MR. GLICK WAS NOT IN A DUTY STATUS, HIS EXPENSES WERE NOT PAYABLE BY THAT DEPARTMENT BUT WERE FOR CONSIDERATION BY THIS COMMISSION. IF THIS COMMISSION HAD BEEN ADVISED PROMPTLY OF THE NECESSITY OF TRANSPORTING THE EMPLOYEE FROM MEXICO TO THE UNITED STATES FOR NECESSARY TREATMENT OF HIS INJURY, IT WOULD HAVE ORDERED HIM TO PROCEED TO EL PASO, TEXAS, THE NEAREST POINT WHERE A GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL IS LOCATED WHERE ALL NECESSARY TREATMENT COULD HAVE BEEN FURNISHED AT THE WILLIAM BEAUMONT GENERAL HOSPITAL. IT APPEARS, HOWEVER, THAT HE RETURNED TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION AT TALLULAH, WHICH HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO DO UNDER THE TRAVEL FROM TLAHUALILO, MEXICO, TO TALLULAH, LA. IS PROPERLY PAYABLE ACCIDENT, AND HIS RETURN WOULD HAVE THUS BEEN MADE IN ANY EVENT, REGARDLESS OF THE INJURY. THE COMMISSION IS OF THE OPINION THAT THE EXPENSE OF TRAVEL IN RETURNING TO OFFICIAL STATION IS PROPERLY PAYABLE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE UNDER THE TERMS OF THE TRAVEL ORDER, AND TRAVEL FROM TALLULAH TO NEW ORLEANS TO OBTAIN NECESSARY TREATMENT IS PROPERLY PAYABLE BY THIS COMMISSION UNDER PROVISIONS OF SECTION 9 OF THE COMPENSATION ACT, THE COMMISSION HAVING DETERMINED THAT TREATMENT AT THE MARINE HOSPITAL AT NEW ORLEANS, WAS NECESSARY ON ACCOUNT OF THE INJURY RECEIVED. WHEN PAYMENT IS MADE UNDER PROVISIONS OF SECTION 9 PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE IS NOT ALLOWED BUT SUCH ACTUAL EXPENSES AS ARE CONSIDERED NECESSARY AND REASONABLE INCIDENTAL TO THE PROCURING OF TREATMENT.

PLEASE ADVISE, WITH THE RETURN OF INCLOSURES, WHETHER THE EXPENSE OF TRAVEL FROM TIAHUALILO, MEXICO, TO TALLULAH, LA. IS PROPERLY PAYABLE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE OR BY THIS COMMISSION FROM THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION FUND.

THE FACTS PRESENTED TO THIS OFFICE IN CONNECTION WITH THE PREAUDIT OF THE VOUCHERS SUBMITTED BY PERRY A. GLICK FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES SUBSEQUENT TO HIS INJURY AND FOR RETURN TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION, DISCLOSED THAT HE WAS INJURED WHILE IN AN OFFICIAL TRAVEL STATUS AND WAS IMMEDIATELY PLACED ON SICK LEAVE, WHICH WAS FOLLOWED BY ANNUAL LEAVE AND LEAVE WITHOUT PAY, AND THAT THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ACCRUED, AND COST OF RETURN TRANSPORTATION TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION WAS INCURRED, DURING THE PERIOD OF SUCH LEAVE. UNDER THE RULE THAT ITEMS OF TRAVELING EXPENSE INCURRED BY AN EMPLOYEE SUBSEQUENT TO BEING PLACED IN A LEAVE-OF-ABSENCE STATUS NECESSITATED BY THE INJURY OF THE EMPLOYEE ARE CONSIDERED PERSONAL EXPENSE AND NOT PAYABLE FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS, THAT PORTION OF THE CLAIM SUBMITTED BY MR. GLICK FOR ALL ITEMS REPRESENTING EXPENDITURES SUBSEQUENT TO THE DATE OF HIS INJURY WAS DISALLOWED. 6 COMP. GEN. 278.

THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE THEN SUBMITTED WITH THE RECORD, AS NOW APPEARS IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT TO YOU UNDER DATE OF MARCH 28, 1929, THAT THIS EMPLOYEE'S DUTIES HAD BEEN COMPLETED AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT AND THAT IN ACCORDANCE WITH HIS ORDERS HE WAS TO RETURN TO HIS HEADQUARTERS IMMEDIATELY. IN VIEW OF THIS ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE TRAVEL TO TALLULAH WAS NOT BECAUSE OF THE INJURY BUT WAS INCIDENT TO THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTY. THE CASE IS DISTINGUISHABLE FROM THAT CONSIDERED IN THE ABOVE-CITED DECISION. CONSEQUENTLY, THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATION, AVAILABLE FOR THIS EMPLOYEE'S TRAVELING EXPENSES, IS CHARGEABLE WITH THE EXPENSES INCURRED ON THE RETURN TRIP, NOT TO EXCEED THE AMOUNT THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED IF THE EMPLOYEE HAD RETURNED UNINJURED IMMEDIATELY AFTER COMPLETION OF THE DUTY, BY THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE.

ANY EXCESS EXPENDITURE INCIDENT TO THE RETURN AND TREATMENT EN ROUTE IS FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 9 OF THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION ACT, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1926, 44 STAT. 772. THE QUESTION SUBMITTED IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.