A-26643, APRIL 12, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 543

A-26643: Apr 12, 1929

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A PRIVATE ACT AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE PLACING OF THE NAME OF A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES UPON THE ROLL TO RECEIVE DISABILITY COMPENSATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS AND LIMITATIONS OF THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION ACT IS OPERATIVE ONLY FROM THE DATE OF THE PRIVATE ACT AND NOT FROM ANY DATE PRIOR THERETO. IS HEREBY. ON ACCOUNT OF WHICH THIS ACT WAS PASSED AS SHOWN BY THE COMMITTEE REPORTS (HOUSE REPORT NO. 2267. INABNIT WAS THEREAFTER. THIS COMMISSION IS NOT AT PRESENT ADVISED WHETHER OR FOR HOW LONG MR. NOR IS IT ADVISED OF THE DATE UPON WHICH HE IN FACT CEASED TO DRAW SUCH PAY. SUCH INFORMATION IS. IT IS CONTENDED ON BEHALF OF MR. INABNIT THAT IN PASSING THIS ACT FOR HIS RELIEF IT WAS THE INTENTION OF CONGRESS THAT HE SHOULD BE PLACED UPON THE COMPENSATION ROLL AS OF THE DATE OF HIS INJURY AND RECEIVE COMPENSATION AT THE RATE STATED IN THE ACT FROM THAT DATE.

A-26643, APRIL 12, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 543

EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION BENEFICIARIES - EFFECTIVE DATE OF PRIVATE ACT IN THE ABSENCE OF ANOTHER DATE SPECIFICALLY FIXED IN THE STATUTE OR IMPLIED FROM ITS NATURE OR TERMS, A PRIVATE ACT AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE PLACING OF THE NAME OF A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES UPON THE ROLL TO RECEIVE DISABILITY COMPENSATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS AND LIMITATIONS OF THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION ACT IS OPERATIVE ONLY FROM THE DATE OF THE PRIVATE ACT AND NOT FROM ANY DATE PRIOR THERETO.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE UNITED STATES EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION, APRIL 12, 1929:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 27, 1929, AS FOLLOWS:

THIS COMMISSION RESPECTFULLY SUBMITS FOR YOUR DECISION THE QUESTION OF THE DATE FROM WHICH THE NAME OF W. L. INABNIT SHALL BE PLACED UPON THE COMPENSATION ROLL AND COMPENSATION BE PAID TO HIM, PURSUANT TO PRIVATE ACT NO. 466, 70TH CONGRESS, APPROVED MARCH 2, 1929, WHICH READS:

"THAT THE UNITED STATES EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION BE, AND IS HEREBY, AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO PLACE UPON ITS COMPENSATION ROLL, SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS AND LIMITATIONS OF THE COMPENSATION LAWS OF EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES, THE NAME OF W. L. INABNIT, FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND PAY HIM COMPENSATION AT THE RATE OF $66.67 PER MONTH.'

THE INJURY TO MR. INABNIT, ON ACCOUNT OF WHICH THIS ACT WAS PASSED AS SHOWN BY THE COMMITTEE REPORTS (HOUSE REPORT NO. 2267, AND SENATE REPORT NO. 1939, 70TH CONGRESS, 2D SESSION), OCCURRED ON APRIL 30, 1923, AND MR. INABNIT WAS THEREAFTER, AS A RESULT OF THE SAID INJURY, SEPARATED FROM THE FEDERAL SERVICE ON OR ABOUT APRIL 12, 1924. THIS COMMISSION IS NOT AT PRESENT ADVISED WHETHER OR FOR HOW LONG MR. INABNIT DREW PAY IN THE POSITION OF STOREKEEPER-GAUGER HELD BY HIM AT THE TIME OF HIS INJURY SUBSEQUENT TO THE DATE OF SUCH INJURY, NOR IS IT ADVISED OF THE DATE UPON WHICH HE IN FACT CEASED TO DRAW SUCH PAY. SUCH INFORMATION IS, HOWEVER, DOUBTLESS OF RECORD AND OBTAINABLE SHOULD YOUR DECISION HEREON MAKE IT NECESSARY.

IT IS CONTENDED ON BEHALF OF MR. INABNIT THAT IN PASSING THIS ACT FOR HIS RELIEF IT WAS THE INTENTION OF CONGRESS THAT HE SHOULD BE PLACED UPON THE COMPENSATION ROLL AS OF THE DATE OF HIS INJURY AND RECEIVE COMPENSATION AT THE RATE STATED IN THE ACT FROM THAT DATE. YOUR DECISION IS ACCORDINGLY REQUESTED WHETHER UNDER THE ACT REFERRED TO THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION TO MR. W. L. INABNIT IS AUTHORIZED (1) FROM THE DATE OF HIS INJURY, (2) FROM THE DATE HE CEASED TO RECEIVE PAY AS A STOREKEEPER-GAUGER, (3) FROM THE DATE OF HIS FINAL SEPARATION FROM THE POSITION OF STOREKEEPER-GAUGER, OR (4) FROM THE DATE OF THE PASSAGE OF THE ACT.

THE USUAL RULE OF CONSTRUCTION IS THAT STATUTES BECOME OPERATIVE FOR ALL PURPOSES, INCLUDING AUTHORIZATIONS FOR PAY, PENSIONS, ETC., FROM THE DATE OF THE ACT, EXCEPT WHERE THE STATUTE ITSELF FIXES ANOTHER DATE, OR WHERE BY NECESSARY IMPLICATION FROM THE PURPOSES OF THE STATUTE OR THE NATURE OR TERMS OF THE ACT, IT CLEARLY APPEARS THAT A RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE DATE WAS INTENDED. FOR EXAMPLES UNDER THE USUAL RULE OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION OF STATUTES EFFECTIVE FROM THEIR DATES, SEE 22 COMP. DEC. 704; ID. 706; 23 ID. 159; 26 ID. 201; 2 COMP. GEN. 267, AND COURT CASES THEREIN CITED; 3 ID. 123; 5 ID. 381; ID. 437; 7 ID. 266, 268, AND COURT CASES THEREIN CITED. FOR EXAMPLE OF STATUTES WHICH, BY NECESSARY IMPLICATION HAVE BEEN CONSTRUED TO BE RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE, SEE 26 COMP. DEC. 247, 248; ID. 573. AS TO MILITARY PENSIONS AUTHORIZED BY SPECIAL ACTS, SECTION 4720, REVISED STATUTES, PROVIDES FOR COMMENCING FROM THE DATE OF THE SPECIAL ACT.

REFERRING TO THE STATUTE IN QUESTION, THERE IS NOTHING EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED TO INDICATE ANY RETROACTIVE EFFECT. EVIDENTLY THE BENEFICIARY WAS NOT ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS OF THE GENERAL STATUTE, ELSE A SPECIAL STATUTE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN NECESSARY. HENCE, HIS ONLY RIGHT TO AN ALLOWANCE IS FOUND IN THE SPECIAL ACT, WHICH UNDER THE CITED RULES OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION, IS EFFECTIVE ONLY FROM ITS DATE.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT THE NAME OF W. L. INABNIT SHOULD BE PLACED UPON THE DISABILITY COMPENSATION ROLL FROM THE DATE OF APPROVAL OF THE PRIVATE ACT, MARCH 2, 1929.