A-28694, OCTOBER 8, 1929, 9 COMP. GEN. 155

A-28694: Oct 8, 1929

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VETERANS' BUREAU - INSURANCE - REVIVAL IN DETERMINING WHETHER INSURANCE IS "HEREAFTER REVIVED" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE PROVISO TO SECTION 305 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 2. OR WHETHER THE INSURANCE WAS LAPSED. TO THE EFFECT THAT INSURANCE IS TO BE CONSIDERED AS REVIVED UPON OCCURRENCE OF THE DEATH OR PERMANENT AND TOTAL DISABILITY OF THE INSURED. THE PROVISO TO SECTION 305 HERE IN QUESTION IS AS FOLLOWS: * * * PROVIDED. IN THE ORDER NAMED UNLESS OTHERWISE DESIGNATED BY THE INSURED DURING HIS LIFETIME OR BY LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT. IT WAS HELD (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS): THE WORDS "HEREAFTER REVIVED" APPEARING IN THE PROVISO ADDED TO SECTION 305 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT BY THE ACT OF JULY 2.

A-28694, OCTOBER 8, 1929, 9 COMP. GEN. 155

VETERANS' BUREAU - INSURANCE - REVIVAL IN DETERMINING WHETHER INSURANCE IS "HEREAFTER REVIVED" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE PROVISO TO SECTION 305 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 2, 1926, 44 STAT. 799, RESTRICTING PAYMENTS OF INSURANCE REVIVED AFTER JULY 2, 1926, TO A LIMITED CLASS OF BENEFICIARIES THERE MUST BE APPLIED, IN ALL CLASSES OF REVIVED INSURANCE, WHETHER BY THE APPLICATION OF UNCOLLECTED DISABILITY COMPENSATION UNDER SECTION 305 OF THE STATUTE, OR BY THE APPLICATION OF THE $60 BONUS UNDER SECTION 309 OF THE STATUTE, OR WHETHER THE INSURANCE WAS LAPSED, CANCELED, OR REDUCED, THE RULE ANNOUNCED BY THE SUPREME COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, APPROVED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, AND FINALLY ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN 7 COMP. GEN. 630, TO THE EFFECT THAT INSURANCE IS TO BE CONSIDERED AS REVIVED UPON OCCURRENCE OF THE DEATH OR PERMANENT AND TOTAL DISABILITY OF THE INSURED. AWARDS MADE AND IN COURSE OF PAYMENT ON THE DATE OF DECISION OF JUNE 13, 1929, A-27314, APPLYING THE PRINCIPLE TO INSURANCE REVIVED BY APPLICATION OF THE $60 BONUS, AND TO CANCELED OR REDUCED INSURANCE PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THIS DECISION, NEED NOT BE DISTURBED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU, OCTOBER 8, 1929:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 10, 1929, REQUESTING DECISION OF QUESTIONS INVOLVING THE APPLICATION OF THE THE INTERPRETATION PLACED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND CERTAIN COURTS, AND LATER ADOPTED BY THIS OFFICE, UPON THE PHRASE "HEREAFTER REVIVED" APPEARING IN THE PROVISO TO SECTION 305 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 2, 1926, 44 STAT. 799, AUTHORIZING REVIVAL OF LAPSED, CANCELED, OR REDUCED WAR-RISK INSURANCE BY THE APPLICATION AS PREMIUMS OF UNCOLLECTED DISABILITY COMPENSATION, AND UNDER SECTION 309, BY THE APPLICATION AS PREMIUMS OF THE $60 BONUS.

THE QUESTIONS SUBMITTED MAY BE STATED AS FOLLOWS:

(1) WHETHER CASES OF INSURANCE REVIVED UNDER SECTION 309 OF THE STATUTE BY THE APPLICATION AS PREMIUMS OF THE $60 BONUS AND SETTLED UNDER THE BUREAU PROCEDURE IN EFFECT PRIOR TO DECISION OF THIS OFFICE DATED JUNE 13, 1929, A-27314, IN THE CASE OF WILLIAM L. WATERS, XC 447307, SHOULD BE DISTURBED.

(2) WHETHER THE INTERPRETATION OF THE PHRASE "HEREAFTER REVIVED," NOW IN FORCE, SHOULD BE APPLIED TO REVIVAL OF CANCELED AND/OR REDUCED INSURANCE UNDER SECTION 305 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT AS AMENDED, AND, IF SO, WHETHER CASES SETTLED UNDER THE BUREAU PROCEDURE IN EFFECT PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THIS DECISION SHOULD BE DISTURBED.

THE PROVISO TO SECTION 305 HERE IN QUESTION IS AS FOLLOWS:

* * * PROVIDED, THAT INSURANCE HEREAFTER REVIVED UNDER THIS SECTION AND SECTION 309 BY REASON OF PERMANENT AND TOTAL DISABILITY OR BY DEATH OF THE INSURED SHALL BE PAID ONLY TO THE INSURED, HIS WIDOW, CHILD OR CHILDREN, DEPENDENT MOTHER OR FATHER, AND IN THE ORDER NAMED UNLESS OTHERWISE DESIGNATED BY THE INSURED DURING HIS LIFETIME OR BY LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT.

IN DECISION OF AUGUST 17, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 118, IN THE CASE OF HARDIN NEAL COX, IT WAS HELD (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

THE WORDS "HEREAFTER REVIVED" APPEARING IN THE PROVISO ADDED TO SECTION 305 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT BY THE ACT OF JULY 2, 1926, 44 STAT. 799, 800, AUTHORIZING REVIVAL OF INSURANCE BY APPLICATION AS PREMIUMS OF UNCOLLECTED DISABILITY COMPENSATION, WHEREIN IS NAMED A RESTRICTED PERMITTED CLASS OF BENEFICIARIES, MEAN INSURANCE WHICH IS REVIVED OR REINSTATED BY THE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION OF THE VETERANS' BUREAU SUBSEQUENT TO JULY 2, 1926, AND ANY SUCH INSURANCE IS SUBJECT TO THE RESTRICTED PERMITTED CLASS NAMED IN THE STATUTE.

LATER SUIT WAS INSTITUTED AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IN THIS CASE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND IT WAS HELD BY THE COURT THAT THE REVIVED INSURANCE IN SAID CASE WAS NOT "HEREAFTER REVIVED.' THE SUGGESTION OF THIS OFFICE YOU SUBMITTED THE MATTER TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR DETERMINATION WHETHER THE PRINCIPLE ANNOUNCED BY THE COURT SHOULD BE APPLIED IN THE ADJUDICATION OF ALL FUTURE INSURANCE CASES INVOLVING THE PROVISO OF THE STATUTE ABOVE QUOTED. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL REPLIED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE UNDER DATE OF MARCH 16, 1928. THEREUPON THIS OFFICE HELD, IN DECISION DATED APRIL 5, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 630, AS FOLLOWS (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WILL HEREAFTER APPLY IN THE AUDIT THE FOLLOWING DEFINITION, ANNOUNCED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (SYLLABUS, 35 OP.ATTY.GEN. 241) AND APPLIED BY THE VETERANS' BUREAU AND THE SUPREME COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, OF THE PHRASE "HEREAFTER REVIVED" APPEARING IN SECTION 305 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 2, 1926, 44 STAT. 799, RESTRICTING PAYMENTS OF INSURANCE REVIVED AFTER JULY 2, 1926, TO A LIMITED CLASS OF BENEFICIARIES, VIZ:

"BY THE PROVISO OF SECTION 305 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, AS AMENDED, THE REVIVAL OF INSURANCE TAKES PLACE UPON THE OCCURRENCE OF THE DEATH OR THE PERMANENT AND TOTAL DISABILITY OF THE INSURED AND NOT WHEN THE DIRECTOR OF THE VETERANS' BUREAU DECIDED THAT THE INSURANCE IS AGAIN IN EFFECT OR PAYS THE FIRST INSTALLMENT.'

DECISION IN 7 COMP. GEN. 118 WILL NO LONGER BE FOLLOWED IN SO FAR AS THE MEANING OF THE PHRASE IS CONCERNED.

AS THERE APPEARS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR GIVING THE PHRASE IN QUESTION ONE INTERPRETATION IN APPLYING IT TO ONE CLASS OF REVIVALS UNDER THE TWO SECTIONS INVOLVED AND A DIFFERENT INTERPRETATION IN APPLYING TO OTHER CLASSES OF REVIVALS UNDER SAID SECTIONS, CONSISTENCY REQUIRES THAT IN ALL CLASSES OF REVIVED INSURANCE, WHETHER BY THE APPLICATION OF UNCOLLECTED DISABILITY COMPENSATION UNDER SECTION 305, OR BY THE APPLICATION OF THE $60 BONUS UNDER SECTION 309 OF THE STATUTE, OR WHETHER THE INSURANCE WAS LAPSED, CANCELED, OR REDUCED, THERE MUST BE APPLIED THE RULE THAT INSURANCE IS TO BE CONSIDERED AS REVIVED UPON OCCURRENCE OF THE DEATH OR PERMANENT AND TOTAL DISABILITY OF THE INSURED, WHICH MATURED THE INSURANCE AND THERE APPEARS NO SOUND BASIS OR JUSTIFICATION FOR THE APPLICATION BY THE VETERANS' BUREAU OF A DIFFERENT RULE WITH RESPECT TO EITHER OF THE CLASSES OF REVIVALS INVOLVED, THE PROVISO TO SECTION 305 EXPRESSLY INCLUDING CASES ADJUDICATED UNDER SECTION 309, WITH RESPECT TO WHICH IT WAS HELD IN DECISION OF JUNE 13, 1929, IN THE CASE OF WILLIAM L. WATERS, TO WHICH YOU REFER, THAT THE SAME DEFINITION OF THE PHRASE ,HEREAFTER REVIVED" WHICH HAD BEEN ADOPTED IN APPLYING UNCOLLECTED DISABILITY COMPENSATION AS PREMIUMS UNDER SECTION 305 WAS APPLICABLE ALSO TO THE REVIVAL OF INSURANCE UNDER SECTION 309 OF THE STATUTE BY USE OF THE $60 BONUS AS PREMIUMS.

ON THE BASIS OF THE ABOVE, THE TWO QUESTIONS HEREINBEFORE STATED MAY BE ANSWERED AS FOLLOWS:

(1) CASES OF INSURANCE REVIVED UNDER SECTION 309 AND AWARDED AND IN COURSE OF PAYMENT UNDER BUREAU PROCEDURE IN EFFECT PRIOR TO THE DECISION IN THE WATERS CASE, A-27314, DATED JUNE 13, 1929, NEED NOT NOW BE DISTURBED.

(2) THE DEFINITION OR INTERPRETATION OF THE TERM "HEREAFTER REVIVED" FINALLY ADOPTED BY THIS OFFICE IN DECISION OF APRIL 5, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 630, AND APPLIED IN THE DECISION OF JUNE 13, 1929, SUPRA, SHOULD BE APPLIED, ALSO, TO THE REVIVAL OF CANCELED AND/OR REDUCED INSURANCE, BUT THIS HOLDING NEED NOT NOW AFFECT CASES OF REVIVED CANCELED AND/OR REDUCED INSURANCE AWARDED AND IN COURSE OF PAYMENT UNDER BUREAU PROCEDURE IN EFFECT PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THIS DECISION, IT BEING ASSUMED THAT NO AWARDS HAVE BEEN MADE PENDING CONSIDERATION OF YOUR SUBMISSION.