A-82394, DECEMBER 23, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 619

A-82394: Dec 23, 1936

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ARE NOT QUALIFIED INDIVIDUALS. THERE SHALL BE PAID TO HIS ESTATE AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO 3 1/2 PERCENTUM OF THE TOTAL WAGES DETERMINED BY THE BOARD TO HAVE BEEN PAID TO HIM. IS NOT A QUALIFIED INDIVIDUAL. AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO 3 1/2 PERCENTUM OF THE TOTAL WAGES DETERMINED BY THE BOARD TO HAVE BEEN PAID TO HIM. THE SOCIAL SECURITY BOARD WILL MAKE PAYMENTS TO PERSONS UNDER THE ABOVE-QUOTED SECTIONS. INASMUCH AS THESE PAYMENTS ARE BASED ON WAGES EARNED ON AND AFTER JANUARY 1. THE AMOUNTS WILL BE COMPARATIVELY SMALL FOR A CONSIDERABLE PERIOD. THE AMOUNT OF BENEFITS PAYABLE WILL VARY FROM A FEW CENTS TO NOT MORE THAN $525 (UNLESS A VERY UNUSUAL CASE AROSE WHERE A HIGH-SALARIED EMPLOYEE WORKED SIMULTANEOUSLY OR SUCCESSIVELY FOR A NUMBER OF EMPLOYERS DURING A GIVEN CALENDAR YEAR).

A-82394, DECEMBER 23, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 619

SOCIAL SECURITY - PAYMENTS - EVIDENCE REQUIRED AS TO AGE OF, AND RELATIONSHIP TO, BENEFICIARIES AMOUNTS PAYABLE UNDER SECTIONS 203 (A) AND 204 (A) OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, 49 STAT. 623, 624, IN THE CASE OF BENEFICIARIES WHO DIE BEFORE ATTAINING THE AGE OF 65, OR WHO, UPON ATTAINING THAT AGE, ARE NOT QUALIFIED INDIVIDUALS, MAY BE PAID IN CASES OF DECEASED BENEFICIARIES NOT SUCH AS TO REQUIRE ADMINISTRATION, ON THE SWORN STATEMENT OF THE CLAIMANT AS TO THE RELATIONSHIP TO THE DECEASED, IF SO PROVIDED BY REGULATION, AND CLAIMS OF LIVING BENEFICIARIES NOT IN EXCESS OF $100 MAY BE PAID ON THE CLAIMANT'S STATEMENT AS TO AGE WHERE THERE APPEARS NO REASON FOR ACTION OTHERWISE, BUT CLAIMS OF THE LATTER TYPE IN EXCESS OF $100 MAY NOT BE PAID WITHOUT CORROBORATIVE EVIDENCE OF AGE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE CHAIRMAN, SOCIAL SECURITY BOARD, DECEMBER 23, 1936:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 16, 1936, AS FOLLOWS:

PUBLIC NO. 271, 74TH CONGRESS, SECTION 203 (A) PROVIDES:

"IF ANY INDIVIDUAL DIES BEFORE ATTAINING THE AGE OF SIXTY-FIVE, THERE SHALL BE PAID TO HIS ESTATE AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO 3 1/2 PERCENTUM OF THE TOTAL WAGES DETERMINED BY THE BOARD TO HAVE BEEN PAID TO HIM, WITH RESPECT TO EMPLOYMENT AFTER DECEMBER 31, 1936.'

SECTION 204 (A) PROVIDES:

"THERE SHALL BE PAID IN A LUMP SUM TO ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO, UPON ATTAINING THE AGE OF SIXTY-FIVE, IS NOT A QUALIFIED INDIVIDUAL, AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO 3 1/2 PERCENTUM OF THE TOTAL WAGES DETERMINED BY THE BOARD TO HAVE BEEN PAID TO HIM, WITH RESPECT TO EMPLOYMENT AFTER DECEMBER 31, 1936, AND BEFORE HE ATTAINED THE AGE OF SIXTY-FIVE.'

BEGINNING THE FIRST OF JANUARY 1937, THE SOCIAL SECURITY BOARD WILL MAKE PAYMENTS TO PERSONS UNDER THE ABOVE-QUOTED SECTIONS.

INASMUCH AS THESE PAYMENTS ARE BASED ON WAGES EARNED ON AND AFTER JANUARY 1, 1936 (1937), THE AMOUNTS WILL BE COMPARATIVELY SMALL FOR A CONSIDERABLE PERIOD. AS A MATTER OF FACT, UNTIL JANUARY 1, 1942, THE AMOUNT OF BENEFITS PAYABLE WILL VARY FROM A FEW CENTS TO NOT MORE THAN $525 (UNLESS A VERY UNUSUAL CASE AROSE WHERE A HIGH-SALARIED EMPLOYEE WORKED SIMULTANEOUSLY OR SUCCESSIVELY FOR A NUMBER OF EMPLOYERS DURING A GIVEN CALENDAR YEAR). ALSO A PERSON WOULD BE PAYING TAXES. FOR EXAMPLE, AFTER A PERSON HAS EARNED $1,000 OF WAGES, THE BENEFIT WOULD BE ONE PAYMENT OF $35.00. THE TOTAL TAX UNDER TITLE VIII WOULD BE $20.00 ON THE SAME $1,000 IN WAGES, IF EARNED IN THE NEXT THREE YEARS, AND $30.00 IF EARNED AFTER 1939 AND BEFORE 1943. ONE-HALF THE TAXES COME FROM THE INDIVIDUAL.

THERE WOULD ACCORDINGLY NOT USUALLY BE MUCH INDUCEMENT FOR MISSTATING AGE IN CONNECTION WITH THESE BENEFIT PAYMENTS AND THE LIKELIHOOD OF MISSTATEMENT WOULD FURTHER BE SAFEGUARDED BY THE PENAL PROVISIONS OF SECTION 209 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT.

STANDARD FORM NO. 1055, APPROVED BY YOUR OFFICE APRIL 21, 1928, DOES NOT APPEAR TO REQUIRE EVIDENCE OF RELATIONSHIP OTHER THAN THE AFFIDAVIT OF THE CLAIMANT, WHERE THE AMOUNT IS $500.00 OR LESS AND THERE IS NO ADMINISTRATION OF AN ESTATE, AND IT IS THE THOUGHT OF THE BOARD THAT WHERE SMALL AMOUNTS WERE INVOLVED IT WOULD BE VERY DESIRABLE IF MERELY AFFIDAVITS AS TO AGE, AS WELL AS RELATIONSHIP, MIGHT BE REQUIRED IN MAKING PAYMENTS UNDER TITLE II OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT.

YOUR OPINION UPON THE SUFFICIENCY OF THIS EVIDENCE IN MAKING THESE PAYMENTS IS REQUESTED. IF, IN YOUR OPINION, SUCH EVIDENCE WOULD BE ACCEPTABLE IN MAKING ANY PAYMENTS, THE BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR FURTHER OPINION AS TO THE LIMITATION OF AMOUNT OF PAYMENT WHICH SHOULD BE MADE MERELY ON CLAIMANT'S AFFIDAVIT SUPPORTING DATE OF BIRTH AND RELATIONSHIP.

THE LATEST EDITION OF STANDARD FORM 1055, REVISED DECEMBER 2, 1932, TO BE USED IN FILING APPLICATIONS FOR MONEYS DUE DECEASED PERSONS FROM THE UNITED STATES, REQUIRES ALL STATEMENTS OF THE CLAIMANT TO BE ATTESTED BY THE JURAT OF TWO PERSONS WHO KNEW THE DECEDENT AND WHO KNOW THE APPLICANT.

AS THE AMOUNT TO BE PAID UNDER EITHER SECTION 203 OR 204 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT IS DEPENDENT UPON THE AMOUNT OF WAGES EARNED AFTER DECEMBER 31, 1936, AND BEFORE ATTAINING THE AGE OF 65 YEARS, THE AGE OF THE WAGE EARNER IS A MATERIAL FACT TO BE ESTABLISHED. HOWEVER, WHERE THE AMOUNT INVOLVED DOES NOT EXCEED $100, THE SWORN STATEMENT OF THE APPLICANT MAY BE ACCEPTED AS SUFFICIENT TO ESTABLISH THE AGE, PROVIDED IT AGREES WITH THE AGE STATED WHEN REGISTERING FOR THE BENEFITS OF THE ACT AND THERE APPEARS NO REASON TO SUSPECT A MISREPRESENTATION IN THE MATTER.

WHERE THE AMOUNT EXCEEDS $100 THE SWORN STATEMENT OF THE APPLICANT AS TO AGE SHOULD BE CORROBORATED, EITHER BY A BIRTH CERTIFICATE, OR SWORN STATEMENTS OF TWO OTHER PERSONS HAVING KNOWLEDGE THEREOF, OR OTHER EVIDENCE OF EQUAL PROBATORY VALUE.

SECTION 205 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, 49 STAT. 624, PROVIDES:

IF ANY AMOUNT PAYABLE TO AN ESTATE UNDER SECTION 203 OR 204 IS $500 OR LESS, SUCH AMOUNT MAY, UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE BOARD, BE PAID TO THE PERSONS FOUND BY THE BOARD TO BE ENTITLED THERETO UNDER THE LAW OF THE STATE IN WHICH THE DECEASED WAS DOMICILED, WITHOUT THE NECESSITY OF COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF LAW WITH RESPECT TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF SUCH ESTATE.

THIS SECTION VESTS IN THE BOARD AUTHORITY TO DETERMINE WHO MAY BE ENTITLED TO THE AMOUNT DUE THE ESTATE OF A DECEASED WAGE EARNER WHEN THE AMOUNT IS NOT SUCH AS TO REQUIRE ADMINISTRATION. ACCORDINGLY, THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT SHOULD THE BOARD BY REGULATION REQUIRE ONLY THE SWORN STATEMENT OF THE CLAIMANT AS TO HIS OR HER RELATIONSHIP TO THE DECEASED IN DETERMINING THE PERSON OR PERSONS ENTITLED TO THE PAYMENT UNDER THE LAW OF THE STATE IN WHICH THE DECEASED WAS DOMICILED.