A-83189, FEBRUARY 13, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 759

A-83189: Feb 13, 1937

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VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION - ADJUSTED COMPENSATION - PAYMENT ON DUPLICATE CERTIFICATE NOTWITHSTANDING KNOWN EXISTENCE OF ORIGINAL PAYMENT ON A DUPLICATE ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE IS NOT AUTHORIZED ON THE REQUEST OF A VETERAN WHEN IT IS KNOWN THAT THE ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE IS IN EXISTENCE AND IN THE POSSESSION OF ANOTHER. IS AS FOLLOWS: PURSUANT TO CERTIFICATION FROM THE OFFICE OF THE ADJUTANT GENERAL. WAS ISSUED EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1. WHICH CITED AMONG OTHER THINGS THAT THE ABOVE DESCRIBED CERTIFICATE WAS LOST OR RETURNED AND THAT IT HAD NOT BEEN RECEIVED BY HIM. A DUPLICATE CERTIFICATE NO. 3613146 WAS ISSUED ON FEBRUARY 9. WHICH READS IN PART: "AS I UNDERSTAND THERE IS A BUREAU REGULATION THAT AFTER A 7-YEAR DISAPPEARANCE OF A VETERAN WHO MAY HOLD OR BE ENTITLED TO AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE.

A-83189, FEBRUARY 13, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 759

VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION - ADJUSTED COMPENSATION - PAYMENT ON DUPLICATE CERTIFICATE NOTWITHSTANDING KNOWN EXISTENCE OF ORIGINAL PAYMENT ON A DUPLICATE ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE IS NOT AUTHORIZED ON THE REQUEST OF A VETERAN WHEN IT IS KNOWN THAT THE ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE IS IN EXISTENCE AND IN THE POSSESSION OF ANOTHER-- IN THIS CASE THE VETERAN'S WIFE, WHO HAS FILED APPLICATION FOR PAYMENT ON THE ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE ON A PRESUMPTION OF DEATH AFTER SEVEN YEARS' ABSENCE BASIS--- NOTWITHSTANDING THERE HAS BEEN FURNISHED A BOND IN CONNECTION WITH THE ISSUANCE OF THE DUPLICATE CERTIFICATE FOR THE PURPOSE OF INDEMNIFYING THE GOVERNMENT FOR ANY LOSS ARISING OUT OF THE ISSUANCE OF THE ORIGINAL, AND THAT HYPOTHECATION OF THE ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE FOR A LOAN MAY BE BUT A REMOTE POSSIBILITY.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS, FEBRUARY 13, 1937:

YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 19, 1937, IS AS FOLLOWS:

PURSUANT TO CERTIFICATION FROM THE OFFICE OF THE ADJUTANT GENERAL, AN ADJUSTED-SERVICE CERTIFICATE NO. 1393972, IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,017.00, WAS ISSUED EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 1925, AND MAILED TO JOSEPH C. THOMPSON, A- 2515803, ON MARCH 7, 1925.

IN JANUARY, 1929, MR. THOMPSON COMPLETED FORM 6920, AFFIDAVIT--- SUBMITTED AS EVIDENCE OF LOSS, DESTRUCTION, OR DEFACEMENT OF ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE, WHICH CITED AMONG OTHER THINGS THAT THE ABOVE DESCRIBED CERTIFICATE WAS LOST OR RETURNED AND THAT IT HAD NOT BEEN RECEIVED BY HIM. UPON SUBMISSION OF A SATISFACTORY BOND OF INDEMNITY, A DUPLICATE CERTIFICATE NO. 3613146 WAS ISSUED ON FEBRUARY 9, 1931, AND MAILED TO THE VETERAN THAT DATE, CARE OF THE AMERICAN LEGION, WASHINGTON, D.C.

ON JANUARY 22, 1932, MRS. MARY E. THOMPSON, WIFE OF JOSEPH C. THOMPSON, ADDRESSED A LETTER TO THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION, GIVING IN THE CAPTION THE VETERAN'S NAME, A-NUMBER, CERTIFICATE NUMBER AND AMOUNT OF CERTIFICATE, WHICH READS IN PART:

"AS I UNDERSTAND THERE IS A BUREAU REGULATION THAT AFTER A 7-YEAR DISAPPEARANCE OF A VETERAN WHO MAY HOLD OR BE ENTITLED TO AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE, HIS BENEFICIARY MAY CLAIM AS DECEASED, COLLECTING THE BENEFITS DUE. I HAVE IN MY POSSESSION MY HUSBAND'S BONUS CERTIFICATE AND WOULD NOW LIKE TO MAKE SUCH CLAIM. I HAVE HIS AND MY CHILD TO SUPPORT AND HAVE CAREFULLY ADVERTISED FOR HIM WITH NO RESULT. PLEASE INFORM ME OF THE PROPER PROCEDURE IN THIS CASE.'

MRS. THOMPSON WAS INFORMED THAT THE ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE HAD BEEN CANCELLED ON THE RECORDS AND REQUESTED TO RETURN THE ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE TO THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION. ON MARCH 8, 1932, MR. THOMPSON WAS REQUESTED TO RECOVER HIS CERTIFICATE FROM HIS WIFE AND FORWARD IT TO THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION. THIS LETTER WAS RETURNED UNCLAIMED. MR. THOMPSON HAS OBTAINED LOANS ON HIS DUPLICATE ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE WHICH ON APRIL 9, 1931, AGGREGATED $508.50 OR ONE HALF OF ITS FACE VALUE. THERE IS NO RECORD OF A LOAN HAVING BEEN MADE ON THE ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE, AND SO FAR AS IS KNOWN, THE ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE IS STILL IN THE POSSESSION OF MRS. MARY E. THOMPSON, HIS WIFE, WHOSE LAST ADDRESS OF RECORD IS 317 ATLANTIC STREET, STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT.

APPLICATION (FORM 1701) HAS BEEN FILED BY THE VETERAN FOR SETTLEMENT OF THE BALANCE DUE ON HIS DUPLICATE ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE. THE BOND OF INDEMNITY WAS PREDICATED UPON SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE OF THE LOSS, THEFT, DEFACING, MUTILATION, OR DESTRUCTION OF THE ORIGINAL ADJUSTED-SERVICE CERTIFICATE, AND CARRIED A CONDITION THAT IN THE EVENT OF THE RECOVERY OF THE ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE AFTER THE ISSUANCE OF THE DUPLICATE, IT MUST BE IMMEDIATELY SURRENDERED TO THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FOR CANCELLATION.

IT HAS BEEN CONTENDED BY PARTIES INTERESTED IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THE DUPLICATE CERTIFICATE OF JOSEPH C. THOMPSON THAT THE UNITED STATES IS AMPLY PROTECTED IN THIS CASE NOTWITHSTANDING THE KNOWN EXISTENCE OF THE ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE CITING IN SUPPORT THEREOF YOUR DECISIONS A-55478 DATED MAY 26, 1934, AND A-81031 DATED OCTOBER 27, 1936, IN THE CASES OF CLAY P. KIRKPATRICK AND HARRY GLATSTEIN, RESPECTIVELY.

IN VIEW OF THE CONDITION CARRIED BY THE BOND OF INDEMNITY, THE QUESTION ARISES AS TO WHETHER OR NOT IT WOULD BE PROPER FOR THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION TO CERTIFY A VOUCHER IN SETTLEMENT OF THE DUPLICATE CERTIFICATE IN THIS CASE PRIOR TO THE SURRENDER OF THE ORIGINAL, WHICH IS KNOWN TO BE IN EXISTENCE.

WHILE A BOND OF INDEMNITY FURNISHED BY A VETERAN UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 705 OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1929, 45 STAT. 1561, ON THE BASIS OF WHICH A DUPLICATE CERTIFICATE IS ISSUED IN LIEU OF A LOST OR DESTROYED ORIGINAL, IS FOR THE PURPOSE OF INDEMNIFYING THE GOVERNMENT FOR ANY LOSS ARISING OUT OF THE ISSUANCE OF THE ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE, 14 COMP. GEN. 770, 773, IT IS NOT CONTEMPLATED BY THE STATUTE, OR IN THE DECISIONS CITED IN YOUR LETTER, THAT THE GOVERNMENT SHALL PAY A VETERAN ON A DUPLICATE CERTIFICATE WHEN IT IS KNOWN THAT THE ORIGINAL IS IN POSSESSION OF A PARTICULAR INDIVIDUAL, SUCH AS HERE. EVEN THOUGH THE RECORDS OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION BE NOTED TO SHOW THE CANCELLATION OF THE DUPLICATE CERTIFICATE, THE FACT REMAINS THAT THE ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE ITSELF HAS NOT BEEN CANCELLED ON ITS FACE. HAVING IN VIEW THE POSSIBILITY--- HOWEVER REMOTE--- OF THE HYPOTHECATION OF THE ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE FOR A LOAN, THE HAZARD OR LIABILITY OF THE SURETY SHOULD NOT BE INCREASED BY THE GOVERNMENT THROUGH PAYMENT OF THE DUPLICATE CERTIFICATE. COMPARE A-82729, DATED JANUARY 13, 1937, TO YOU. THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION SHOULD ADVISE THE VETERAN OF THE WHEREABOUTS OF HIS ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE AND REFUSE TO CONSIDER HIS APPLICATION FOR PAYMENT OF HIS ADJUSTED-SERVICE CERTIFICATE UNDER THE ADJUSTED COMPENSATION PAYMENT ACT, 1936, UNLESS AND UNTIL THE ORIGINAL BE OBTAINED FROM HIS WIFE AND SUBMITTED TO YOUR ADMINISTRATION.