A-32695, AUGUST 27, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 94

A-32695: Aug 27, 1930

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ARE NOT ENTITLED TO BE CONSIDERED AS . PURSUANT TO THE TERMS OF SECTION 4812 OF THE REVISED STATUTES IT IS MANDATORY THAT THE VALUE OF THE RATION PER DAY DURING THEIR CONTINUANCE IN A NAVAL HOSPITAL UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES BE DEDUCTED FROM THE ACCOUNT OF THE UNITED STATES WITH SAID PERSONNEL. THERE WAS EXCLUDED FROM THE BENEFITS THEREIN AUTHORIZED. IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE SUBSTANTIAL RETAINER PAY OF TRANSFERRED MEMBERS OF THE FLEET NAVAL AND MARINE CORPS RESERVE IS THE EQUIVALENT OF RETIRED PAY AND THAT THEY WERE NOT ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION UNDER THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT. 6 COMP. IS AS FOLLOWS: (10) THAT ALL HOSPITAL FACILITIES UNDER THE CONTROL AND JURISDICTION OF THE BUREAU SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR EVERY HONORABLY DISCHARGED VETERAN OF THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR.

A-32695, AUGUST 27, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 94

MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL TREATMENT - RETIRED ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS AND TRANSFERRED MEMBERS OF THE FLEET NAVAL RESERVE AND THE FLEET MARINE CORPS RESERVE RETIRED ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS AND TRANSFERRED MEMBERS OF THE FLEET NAVAL RESERVE AND THE FLEET MARINE CORPS RESERVE, ADMITTED TO NAVAL HOSPITALS ON THEIR OWN APPLICATION AND WITHOUT REFERENCE TO THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU, ARE NOT ENTITLED TO BE CONSIDERED AS ,VETERANS" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF JUNE 11, 1930, 46 STAT. 556, AND RELIEVED FROM THE PAYMENT OF 75 CENTS PER DAY FOR HOSPITAL RATION, BUT PURSUANT TO THE TERMS OF SECTION 4812 OF THE REVISED STATUTES IT IS MANDATORY THAT THE VALUE OF THE RATION PER DAY DURING THEIR CONTINUANCE IN A NAVAL HOSPITAL UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES BE DEDUCTED FROM THE ACCOUNT OF THE UNITED STATES WITH SAID PERSONNEL.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, AUGUST 27, 1930:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 19, 1930, CITING THE ACT OF JUNE 11, 1930, 46 STAT. 556, AND REQUESTING DECISION OF THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:

MAY RETIRED ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS AND TRANSFERRED MEMBERS OF THE FLEET NAVAL RESERVE AND FLEET MARINE CORPS RESERVE, TRANSFERRED THERETO AFTER SIXTEEN OR MORE YEARS' SERVICE, BE ADMITTED TO A NAVAL HOSPITAL ON THEIR OWN APPLICATION AND WITHOUT REFERENCE TO THE VETERANS' BUREAU, WITHOUT DEDUCTION FROM THEIR RETIRED PAY OR RETAINER PAY OF THE SUM OF 75 CENTS PER DAY FOR HOSPITAL RATIONS?

THE ACT OF JUNE 11, 1930, PROVIDES:

THAT RETIRED ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS AND TRANSFERRED MEMBERS OF THE FLEET NAVAL RESERVE AND FLEET MARINE CORPS RESERVE, TRANSFERRED THERETO AFTER SIXTEEN OR MORE YEARS' SERVICE, SHALL BE CONSIDERED TO BE VETERANS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE LAWS RELATING TO HOSPITALIZATION UNDER THE VETERANS' BUREAU, AND SHALL BE ENTITLED TO MEDICAL TREATMENT OR HOSPITALIZATION AT ALL GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS WITHOUT DEDUCTION FROM THEIR RETIRED PAY OR RETAINER PAY OF THE SUM OF 75 CENTS PER DAY FOR HOSPITAL RATIONS WHILE IN A GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL.

TITLE II OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 615, SECTIONS 200 TO 213, INCLUSIVE, UNDER A CHAPTER HEADING "COMPENSATION AND TREATMENT" ESTABLISHES COMPENSATION AND MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL TREATMENT FOR PERSONS WHO SERVED IN THE MILITARY OR NAVAL FORCES DURING THE WORLD WAR AND WHO SUFFERED DISABILITY DURING SUCH SERVICE, AND BY A PROVISION CONTAINED IN SECTION 212, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 2, 1926, 44 STAT. 798, THERE WAS EXCLUDED FROM THE BENEFITS THEREIN AUTHORIZED, AT LEAST AS TO COMPENSATION, PERSONS IN RECEIPT OF ACTIVE SERVICE OR RETIREMENT PAY. IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE SUBSTANTIAL RETAINER PAY OF TRANSFERRED MEMBERS OF THE FLEET NAVAL AND MARINE CORPS RESERVE IS THE EQUIVALENT OF RETIRED PAY AND THAT THEY WERE NOT ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION UNDER THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT. 6 COMP. GEN. 223. SUBPARAGRAPH 10 OF SECTION 202 OF THE ACT, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 2, 1926, 44 STAT. 796, IS AS FOLLOWS:

(10) THAT ALL HOSPITAL FACILITIES UNDER THE CONTROL AND JURISDICTION OF THE BUREAU SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR EVERY HONORABLY DISCHARGED VETERAN OF THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR, THE PHILIPPINE INSURRECTION, THE BOXER REBELLION, OR THE WORLD WAR SUFFERING FROM NEUROPSYCHIATRIC OR TUBERCULAR AILMENTS AND DISEASES, PARALYSIS AGITANS, ENCEPHALITIS LETHARGICA, OR AMOEBIC DYSENTERY, OR THE LOSS OF SIGHT OF BOTH EYES, REGARDLESS WHETHER SUCH AILMENTS OR DISEASES ARE DUE TO MILITARY SERVICE OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING TRAVELING EXPENSES AS GRANTED TO THOSE RECEIVING COMPENSATION AND HOSPITALIZATION UNDER THIS ACT. THE DIRECTOR IS FURTHER AUTHORIZED, SO FAR AS HE SHALL FIND THAT EXISTING GOVERNMENT FACILITIES PERMIT, TO FURNISH HOSPITALIZATION AND NECESSARY TRAVELING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO HOSPITALIZATION TO VETERANS OF ANY WAR, MILITARY OCCUPATION, OR MILITARY EXPEDITION, INCLUDING THOSE WOMEN WHO SERVED AS ARMY NURSES UNDER CONTRACTS BETWEEN APRIL 21, 1898, AND FEBRUARY 2, 1901, NOT DISHONORABLY DISCHARGED, WITHOUT REGARD TO THE NATURE OR ORIGIN OF THEIR DISABILITIES: PROVIDED, THAT ANY AND ALL LAWS APPLICABLE TO WOMEN WHO BELONGED TO THE NURSE CORPS OF THE ARMY AFTER FEBRUARY 2, 1901, SHALL APPLY EQUALLY TO MEMBERS OF THE ARMY NURSE CORPS WHO SERVED UNDER CONTRACT BETWEEN APRIL 21, 1898, AND FEBRUARY 2, 1901, INCLUDING ALL WOMEN WHO SERVED HONORABLY AS NURSES, CHIEF NURSES, OR SUPERINTENDENT OF SAID CORPS IN SAID PERIOD: PROVIDED, THAT PREFERENCE TO ADMISSION TO ANY GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL FOR HOSPITALIZATION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE GIVEN TO THOSE VETERANS WHO ARE FINANCIALLY UNABLE TO PAY FOR HOSPITALIZATION AND THEIR NECESSARY TRAVELING EXPENSES: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT WHERE A VETERAN HOSPITALIZED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THIS SUBDIVISION IS FINANCIALLY UNABLE TO SUPPLY HIMSELF WITH CLOTHING, HE SHALL ALSO BE FURNISHED WITH SUCH CLOTHING AS THE DIRECTOR MAY DEEM NECESSARY: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT WHERE A VETERAN ENTITLED TO HOSPITALIZATION UNDER THIS SUBDIVISION IS SUFFERING WITH A DISEASE OR INJURY NECESSITATING THE WEARING OF A PROSTHETIC APPLIANCE AND IS FINANCIALLY UNABLE TO SUPPLY HIMSELF WITH SAME, UPON AN AFFIDAVIT TO THAT EFFECT THE DIRECTOR IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO FURNISH SUCH APPLIANCE AND TO EFFECT NECESSARY REPAIRS TO THE SAME WITHOUT COST TO THE VETERAN: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE PENSION OF A VETERAN ENTITLED TO HOSPITALIZATION UNDER THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO DEDUCTION, WHILE SUCH VETERAN IS HOSPITALIZED IN ANY GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL; FOR BOARD, MAINTENANCE, OR ANY OTHER PURPOSE INCIDENT TO HOSPITALIZATION. PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE ACT OF MAY 4, 1898, ENTITLED "AN ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE NAVAL SERVICE FOT THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1899, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1861, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 2, 1909, RELATIVE TO THE GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL FOR THE INSANE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, OR ANY OTHER ACT, IN SO FAR AS THEY ARE INCONSISTENT WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION BE, AND THEY ARE, HEREBY MODIFIED ACCORDINGLY.

IN THE INSULAR POSSESSIONS OR TERRITORIES OF THE UNITED STATES THE DIRECTOR IS FURTHER AUTHORIZED TO FURNISH HOSPITALIZATION IN OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS.

THIS PARAGRAPH HAS BEEN APPLIED AS REQUIRING AN HONORABLE DISCHARGE FROM THE LAST SERVICE, AND AS ENLISTED MEN RETIRED OR TRANSFERRED TO THE FLEET NAVAL OR MARINE CORPS RESERVE ARE NOT DISCHARGED BUT CONTINUE IN THE SERVICE, THEY WERE EXCLUDED FROM THE BENEFITS OF HOSPITAL OR MEDICAL TREATMENT PROVIDED FOR ALL OTHER VETERANS OF HONORABLE SERVICE DURING THE WARS, ETC., ENUMERATED. IN ADDITION TO PROVIDING HOSPITALS UNDER THE DIRECTION AND CONTROL OF THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU, IT IS PROVIDED BY SECTION 10 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, AS AMENDED JULY 2, 1926, 44 STAT. 790, THAT TO PROVIDE THE MEDICAL TREATMENT, HOSPITALIZATION, ETC., THE DIRECTOR---

* * * FOR THAT PURPOSE IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED, AT THE DIRECTION OF THE PRESIDENT OR WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED, TO UTILIZE THE NOW EXISTING OR FUTURE FACILITIES OF THE UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, THE WAR DEPARTMENT, THE NAVY DEPARTMENT, THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT, THE NATIONAL HOME FOR DISABLED VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS, AND SUCH OTHER GOVERNMENTAL FACILITIES AS MAY BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE PURPOSES SET FORTH IN THIS ACT; AND SUCH GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES ARE HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO FURNISH SUCH FACILITIES, INCLUDING PERSONNEL, EQUIPMENT, MEDICAL, SURGICAL, AND HOSPITAL SERVICES AND SUPPLIES AS THE DIRECTOR MAY DEEM NECESSARY AND ADVISABLE IN CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT, IN ADDITION TO SUCH GOVERNMENTAL FACILITIES AS ARE HEREBY MADE AVAILABLE.

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE HOSPITALIZATION AUTHORIZED BY SUBPARAGRAPH 10 OF SECTION 202 IS ONLY IN GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS EXCEPT IN THE INSULAR POSSESSIONS OR TERRITORIES OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE REFERENCE TO GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS IN THE ACT OF JUNE 11, 1930, IS OBVIOUSLY TO THE GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS ENUMERATED AND DESCRIBED IN SUBPARAGRAPH 10 OF SECTION 202 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, THE PURPOSE BEING TO PLACE RETIRED ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS AND TRANSFERRED MEMBERS OF THE FLEET NAVAL AND MARINE CORPS RESERVE ON THE SAME FOOTING AS TO MEDICAL OR HOSPITAL TREATMENT BY THE VETERANS' BUREAU AS ARE HONORABLY DISCHARGED VETERANS OF ANY WAR, ETC.

IN DECISION OF THIS OFFICE DATED AUGUST 18, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 126, 127, WHEREIN WAS CONSTRUED THE PROVISO TO SAID SECTION 202 (10) TO THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, AS AMENDED, WHICH EXEMPTS PENSIONS FROM DEDUCTIONS WHILE A VETERAN IS HOSPITALIZED IN ANY GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL, IT WAS HELD:

THE RIGHT TO HOSPITALIZATION UNDER SECTION 202 (10), WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, AS AMENDED, IS NOT ABSOLUTE IN THE VETERAN. BEFORE HE IS ENTITLED TO HOSPITALIZATION IT MUST BE DETERMINED BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU THAT HE COMES WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THAT SECTION, SUCH MATTERS AS TO WHETHER HE WAS HONORABLY DISCHARGED, IS NOT FINANCIALLY ABLE TO PAY, ETC., TO BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION BY THE DIRECTOR IN HIS DETERMINATION. THUS, IN ORDER FOR A VETERAN TO BE "ENTITLED TO HOSPITALIZATION UNDER THIS SUBDIVISION" SO AS TO RELIEVE HIS PENSION FROM DEDUCTION FOR BOARD, MAINTENANCE, ETC., WHILE IN A GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL, THE VETERAN MUST HAVE COME UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE VETERANS' BUREAU. YOU ARE ACCORDINGLY ADVISED THAT VETERANS WHO HAVE NOT BEEN TAKEN OVER BY THE VETERANS' BUREAU AND ARE NOT BEING HOSPITALIZED IN ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL ACCORDINGLY ARE NOT EXEMPTED FROM REIMBURSING THE HOSPITAL FOR BOARD, TREATMENT, ETC.

SIMILARLY, THE ACT OF JUNE 11, 1930, SUPRA, WHEN READ IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROVISIONS MADE FOR VETERANS IN THE LAWS "RELATING TO HOSPITALIZATION UNDER THE VETERANS' BUREAU," WAS NOT INTENDED TO GIVE SUCH RETIRED OR TRANSFERRED MEN A RIGHT ON THEIR OWN INITIATIVE AND WITHOUT AUTHORITY FROM THE VETERANS' BUREAU TO ADMISSION TO ANY GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL, NOR WAS IT DESIGNED TO SUBJECT THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR SUCH GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS TO A CHARGE FOR THEIR CARE AND SUBSISTENCE WHETHER SUCH GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS ARE UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE NAVY, THE ARMY, THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, OR THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR.

THE STATUTES PROVIDING FOR SUBSISTENCE OF PATIENTS IN NAVAL HOSPITALS NECESSARILY REQUIRE THAT PROVISION BE MADE FOR THE COST OF SUBSISTENCE OF ALL PATIENTS IN SUCH HOSPITALS.

SECTION 4812, REVISED STATUTES, PROVIDES:

FOR EVERY NAVY OFFICER, SEAMAN, OR MARINE ADMITTED INTO A NAVY HOSPITAL, THE INSTITUTION SHALL BE ALLOWED ONE RATION PER DAY DURING HIS CONTINUANCE THEREIN, TO BE DEDUCTED FROM THE ACCOUNT OF THE UNITED STATES WITH SUCH OFFICER, SEAMAN, OR MARINE.

IN THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE NAVY UNDER "BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS--- PAY, SUBSISTENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION OF NAVAL PERSONNEL" SUBHEADING "SUBSISTENCE OF NAVAL PERSONNEL" FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1930, 45 STAT. 1460, FUNDS ARE APPROPRIATED---

FOR * * * COMMUTED RATIONS STOPPED ON ACCOUNT OF SICK IN HOSPITAL AND CREDITED AT THE RATE OF 75 CENTS PER RATION TO THE NAVAL HOSPITAL FUND; *

THE RIGHT TO A RATION WAS WITHDRAWN AS TO MOST OFFICERS OF THE NAVY IN 1899 AND AS TO ALL OFFICERS OF THE NAVY IN 1908. OFFICERS ARE, THEREFORE, REQUIRED TO PAY OR BE CHARGED IN THEIR ACCOUNTS 75 CENTS PER DAY WHEN PATIENTS IN NAVAL HOSPITALS. ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY OR MARINE CORPS ON THE ACTIVE LIST, BEING ENTITLED TO RATIONS IN KIND, WHEN SICK IN HOSPITALS THEIR RATIONS ARE COMMUTED AND PAID TO THE NAVAL-HOSPITAL FUND UNDER THE FOREGOING PROVISIONS OF LAW, AND THESE ARE THE SOURCES OF THE FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR SUBSISTENCE OF PATIENTS IN NAVAL HOSPITALS. RETIRED ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS AND TRANSFERRED MEMBERS OF THE FLEET NAVAL AND MARINE CORPS RESERVE ARE NOT ENTITLED TO A RATION IN KIND, AND RATIONS FOR THEM COULD NOT BE "STOPPED ON ACCOUNT OF SICK IN HOSPITAL AND CREDITED * * * TO THE NAVAL-HOSPITAL FUND.' THE PRACTICE HAS BEEN TO REQUIRE RETIRED ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS AND TRANSFERRED MEMBERS OF THE FLEET NAVAL AND MARINE CORPS RESERVE, WHEN ADMITTED AS PATIENTS TO NAVAL HOSPITALS, TO PAY 75 CENTS A DAY FROM THEIR OWN FUNDS. THE ACT OF JUNE 11, 1930, WAS DESIGNED MERELY AND SOLELY TO GIVE TO THE PERSONNEL THEREIN DESCRIBED THE SAME RIGHTS AS VETERANS OF ANY WAR, ETC., HAVE WITH RESPECT TO MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL TREATMENT BY OR AT THE EXPENSE OF THE VETERANS' BUREAU.

ACCORDINGLY, YOUR QUESTION IS ANSWERED BY SAYING THAT WHERE RETIRED ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY OR MARINE CORPS AND TRANSFERRED MEMBERS OF THE FLEET NAVAL AND MARINE CORPS RESERVE ARE ADMITTED TO THE NAVAL HOSPITALS ON THEIR OWN APPLICATION AND WITHOUT REFERENCE TO THE VETERANS' BUREAU, SECTION 4812, REVISED STATUTES, IS MANDATORY THAT THE VALUE OF THE RATION PER DAY DURING THEIR CONTINUANCE THEREIN "BE DEDUCTED" FROM THE ACCOUNT OF THE UNITED STATES WITH SUCH PERSONNEL.