A-58421, DECEMBER 26, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 485

A-58421: Dec 26, 1934

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IS REQUIRED UNDER SECTION 4813. TO BE PAID TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE FUND FROM WHICH SUCH HOSPITAL IS MAINTAINED AT THE REDUCED RATE PRESCRIBED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF MARCH 20. WAS ADMITTED UNDER SECTION 4813. TO "ANY PERSON WHO SERVED IN THE ACTIVE MILITARY OR NAVAL SERVICE AND WHO IS DISABLED AS A RESULT OF DISEASE OR INJURY OR AGGRAVATION OF A PREEXISTING DISEASE OR INJURY INCURRED IN LINE OF DUTY IN SUCH SERVICE" WAS AUTHORIZED. THAT IS. AS FOLLOWS: ALL PUBLIC LAWS GRANTING * * * PENSION * * * TO FORMER MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY OR NAVAL SERVICE FOR INJURY OR DISEASE INCURRED OR AGGRAVATED IN THE LINE OF DUTY IN THE MILITARY OR NAVAL SERVICE * * * ARE HEREBY REPEALED.

A-58421, DECEMBER 26, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 485

PENSION - NAVY - RATE WHILE IN NAVAL HOSPITAL THE PENSION OF A NAVY PENSIONER, WHILE RECEIVING HOSPITAL CARE IN A NAVAL HOSPITAL, NOT AS A VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION BENEFICIARY, IS REQUIRED UNDER SECTION 4813, REVISED STATUTES, TO BE PAID TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE FUND FROM WHICH SUCH HOSPITAL IS MAINTAINED AT THE REDUCED RATE PRESCRIBED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF MARCH 20, 1933, 48 STAT. 8.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, DECEMBER 26, 1934:

THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION HAS REQUESTED REFUND FROM THE NAVAL HOSPITAL, CHELSEA, MASSACHUSETTS, OF AN OVERPAYMENT OF PENSION IN THE SUM OF $11.50, INCIDENT TO THE HOSPITALIZATION OF EDWARD A. BROWER, NAVAL PENSIONER, PEACE TIME SERVICE, FOR THE PERIOD NOVEMBER 8, 1933, TO DECEMBER 8, 1933.

IT APPEARS THAT EDWARD A. BROWER, NAVAL PENSIONER, WAS ADMITTED UNDER SECTION 4813, REVISED STATUTES, TO THE NAVAL HOSPITAL, NAMED AS A NAVY PENSIONER ON NOVEMBER 8, 1933, AND DISCHARGED FROM THE HOSPITAL ON DECEMBER 8, 1933, AND THAT, THROUGH ERROR, THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION PAID THE HOSPITAL AT THE RATE OF $15 PER MONTH FOR THE PERIOD NOVEMBER 8, 1933, TO DECEMBER 31, 1933, A TOTAL OF $26.50 INSTEAD OF $15.

BY PUBLIC NO. 2, ACT OF MARCH 20, 1933, SECTION 1-A, 48 STAT. 8, THE PAYMENT OF PENSIONS, SUBJECT TO SUCH REQUIREMENTS AND LIMITATIONS AS SHALL BE CONTAINED IN PRESIDENTIAL REGULATIONS, TO "ANY PERSON WHO SERVED IN THE ACTIVE MILITARY OR NAVAL SERVICE AND WHO IS DISABLED AS A RESULT OF DISEASE OR INJURY OR AGGRAVATION OF A PREEXISTING DISEASE OR INJURY INCURRED IN LINE OF DUTY IN SUCH SERVICE" WAS AUTHORIZED, THAT IS, INCLUSIVE OF PEACE-TIME SERVICE. SECTION 3 AUTHORIZED THE PRESIDENT TO PRESCRIBE, BY REGULATIONS, PENSIONS FOR DIFFERENT CLASSES OF SERVICE, INCLUDING PARAGRAPH (B) FOR DISABILITIES "IN LINE OF DUTY IN PEACE-TIME SERVICE.' SECTION 17 PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

ALL PUBLIC LAWS GRANTING * * * PENSION * * * TO FORMER MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY OR NAVAL SERVICE FOR INJURY OR DISEASE INCURRED OR AGGRAVATED IN THE LINE OF DUTY IN THE MILITARY OR NAVAL SERVICE * * * ARE HEREBY REPEALED, * * *.

THE AUTHORITY OF THE PRESIDENT, THROUGH THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION, TO FIX THE RATE OF PENSION IS, THEREFORE, CLEAR. PARAGRAPH VI, VETERANS' REGULATION 6-A (EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6232, DATED JULY 28, 1933) PROVIDES:

PENSION FOR DISABILITY THE RESULT OF INJURY OR DISEASE INCURRED OR AGGRAVATED IN THE LINE OF DUTY IN THE ACTIVE MILITARY OR NAVAL SERVICE * * * OF ANY PERSON WHO IS BEING FURNISHED HOSPITAL TREATMENT, INSTITUTIONAL OR DOMICILIARY CARE BY THE UNITED STATES, OR ANY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION THEREOF, SHALL NOT EXCEED $15 PER MONTH, PROVIDED THAT WHERE SUCH PERSON HAS A WIFE, CHILD, OR DEPENDENT MOTHER OR FATHER THE DIFFERENCE BY WHICH THE AMOUNT TO WHICH THE DISABLED PERSON WOULD OTHERWISE BE ENTITLED EXCEEDS $15 WILL BE PAYABLE TO THE WIFE, CHILD, OR DEPENDENT MOTHER OR FATHER, AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS.

SECTION 4813, REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED, PROVIDES:

WHENEVER ANY OFFICER, SEAMAN, OR MARINE ENTITLED TO A PENSION IS ADMITTED TO A NAVAL HOSPITAL, HIS PENSION, WHILE HE REMAINS THERE, SHALL BE DEDUCTED FROM HIS ACCOUNTS AND PAID TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE FUND FROM WHICH SUCH HOSPITAL IS MAINTAINED (24 U.S.C.A. 6).

ADMINISTRATOR'S DECISION, VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION, NO. 209, DATED NOVEMBER 17, 1933, AFTER QUOTING THE ABOVE SECTION, IS AS FOLLOWS:

THIS PROVISION OF THE LAW WAS FIRST ENACTED ON FEBRUARY 26, 1811, (2 STAT. 650) AND ITS OBVIOUS PURPOSE WAS TO PROVIDE FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF THE NAVY HOSPITAL FUND FROM THE PENSION, IF ANY, OF THE VETERAN DURING THE TIME HE WAS RECEIVING HOSPITALIZATION AT THE EXPENSE OF THE NAVY. IT HAS, HOWEVER, NEVER APPLIED TO THE PENSION PAYABLE TO ANY VETERAN RECEIVING HOSPITALIZATION IN A NAVY HOSPITAL AT THE EXPENSE OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION OR ITS PREDECESSORS. IT HAS BEEN EXPRESSLY HELD RELATIVE TO THE CURRENT EFFECT OF PRIOR STATUTES THAT THE PENSIONS PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 20, 1933 (PUBLIC, NO. 2, 73D CONGRESS) ARE SUBJECT TO THE RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED BY THAT ACT AND BY THE REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE PRESIDENT UNDER SECTION 4 AUTHORIZING HIM TO PRESCRIBE ANY REQUIREMENTS AS TO ENTITLEMENT AS HE SHALL DEEM EQUITABLE AND JUST. IT HAS ALSO BEEN HELD THAT WHILE A VETERAN IS HOSPITALIZED UNDER SECTION 6 OF PUBLIC NO. 2, 73D CONGRESS, AS AMENDED, AND THE REGULATIONS ISSUED THEREUNDER HIS PENSION IS SUBJECT ONLY TO THE RESTRICTIONS OF SUCH REGULATIONS. THEREFORE, ANY VETERAN WHO MAY BE PLACED IN A NAVAL HOSPITAL UNDER REGULATION 6 (A) IS SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH VI THEREOF ONLY, INSOFAR AS RESTRICTIONS ON THE PAYMENT OF PENSION ARE CONCERNED. BUT THERE IS NOTHING IN PUBLIC NO. 2, 73D CONGRESS, WHICH MODIFIES OR AMENDS THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4813, SUPRA, INSOFAR AS ANY PERSON HOSPITALIZED IN A NAVAL HOSPITAL BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IS CONCERNED. THIS PROVISION OF LAW IS OBVIOUSLY NOT ONE WHICH WAS REPEALED BY SECTION 17, PUBLIC NO. 2, 73D CONGRESS, AND PENSIONS PAYABLE TO ANY PERSON WHO MAY BE PLACED IN SUCH A HOSPITAL BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT ARE SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THAT LAW.

IT IS THE VIEW OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT, BUREAU OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY, THAT THE ABOVE-QUOTED DECISION OF THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS RECOGNIZED THE RIGHT TO FULL PAYMENT OF PENSION, STATED TO HAVE BEEN $22 PER MONTH IN THIS CASE ( (?) INFORMAL INFORMATION IS THAT IT WAS INCREASED TO $34 PER MONTH PRIOR TO ADMISSION TO HOSPITAL) WHILE IN THE NAVAL HOSPITAL AS A PATIENT OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT.

HOWEVER, UNDER THE LAW AND REGULATIONS, BROWER'S PENSION WHILE IN THE NAVAL HOSPITAL WAS FIXED AT $15 PER MONTH. ADMINISTRATOR'S DECISION SPECIFICALLY HELD THAT ANY VETERAN WHO MAY BE PLACED IN A NAVAL HOSPITAL IS UNDER REGULATIONS 6 (A) SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH VI THEREOF ONLY INSOFAR AS THE RESTRICTIONS ON PAYMENT ARE CONCERNED, THAT IS, SUBJECT TO REDUCTION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS. IT HOLDS THAT SECTION 4813, REVISED STATUTES, AS TO THE PAYMENT OF SUCH REDUCED PENSION TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE NAVAL HOSPITAL FUND IS STILL IN EFFECT. UNDER SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 20, 1933, 48 STAT. 9, THE DECISION OF THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS IS FOR APPLICATION IN THE ADJUSTMENT OF THE PRESENT MATTER.

PAYMENT AT THE RATE OF $15 PER MONTH SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE TO THE HOSPITAL FOR THE PERIOD NOVEMBER 8, 1933, TO DECEMBER 8, 1933, 1 MONTH, OR $15, INSTEAD OF AT THE RATE OF $15 PER MONTH FOR THE PERIOD NOVEMBER 8, 1933, TO DECEMBER 31, 1933, 1 MONTH AND 23 DAYS, OR $26.50. THE DIFFERENCE, AMOUNTING TO $11.50, REPRESENTS THE NET OVERPAYMENT MADE TO THE HOSPITAL.

A TRANSFER SETTLEMENT WILL ISSUE ACCORDINGLY CHARGING THE APPROPRIATION (7S815) "NAVAL HOSPITAL FUND" AND CREDITING THE APPROPRIATION (03/4840) "ARMY AND NAVY PENSIONS, 1933 AND 1934," WITH THE AMOUNT OF $11.50 TO ADJUST THE OVERPAYMENT.