A-83434, MARCH 1, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 789

A-83434: Mar 1, 1937

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ARE NOT LIMITED TO THE PERIOD OF IMPRISONMENT. MAY BE CHARGED AGAINST THE PRISON INDUSTRIES FUND PROVIDED THERE IS FURNISHED AN ADMINISTRATIVE CERTIFICATE THAT NO GOVERNMENT MEDICAL FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE. IS AS FOLLOWS: YOUR ADVICE IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE PRISON INDUSTRIES FUND MAY BE USED FOR THE PAYMENT OF MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS OF DISCHARGED FEDERAL PRISONERS WHO HAVE BEEN INJURED WHILE EMPLOYED IN THE INSTITUTIONS AND WHO CLAIM COMPENSATION FOR SUCH INJURIES UNDER THE TERMS OF SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF CONGRESS APPROVED JUNE 23. THERE IS ENCLOSED A PAMPHLET EXPLAINING THE POLICY OF THE CORPORATION WITH REGARD TO PAYMENT OF ACCIDENT COMPENSATION AND SETTING FORTH FULLY THE PROCEDURE NOW BEING FOLLOWED.

A-83434, MARCH 1, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 789

COMPENSATION - DISABILITY - FEDERAL PRISONERS - PERIOD OF PAYMENT AND COSTS OF MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION FOR INJURIES SUFFERED BY INMATES OF PENAL INSTITUTIONS, AND THE FILING OF CLAIMS THEREFOR, ARE NOT LIMITED TO THE PERIOD OF IMPRISONMENT, BUT THE BASIS FOR PAYMENT OF SUCH COMPENSATION MUST OF NECESSITY BE THE OFFICIAL RECORD OF THE INJURY AT THE TIME OF OCCURRENCE--- DURING IMPRISONMENT. THE COST OF MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS OF FORMER INMATES OF PENAL INSTITUTIONS MADE NECESSARY BECAUSE OF DEVELOPMENTS SUBSEQUENT TO THEIR DISCHARGE AND IN ORDER TO ASCERTAIN THE BASIS OF A CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION BECAUSE OF INJURY SUFFERED WHILE IMPRISONED, MAY BE CHARGED AGAINST THE PRISON INDUSTRIES FUND PROVIDED THERE IS FURNISHED AN ADMINISTRATIVE CERTIFICATE THAT NO GOVERNMENT MEDICAL FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE PRESIDENT, FEDERAL PRISON INDUSTRIES, INC., MARCH 1, 1937:

YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 28, 1937, IS AS FOLLOWS:

YOUR ADVICE IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE PRISON INDUSTRIES FUND MAY BE USED FOR THE PAYMENT OF MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS OF DISCHARGED FEDERAL PRISONERS WHO HAVE BEEN INJURED WHILE EMPLOYED IN THE INSTITUTIONS AND WHO CLAIM COMPENSATION FOR SUCH INJURIES UNDER THE TERMS OF SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF CONGRESS APPROVED JUNE 23, 1934.

THERE IS ENCLOSED A PAMPHLET EXPLAINING THE POLICY OF THE CORPORATION WITH REGARD TO PAYMENT OF ACCIDENT COMPENSATION AND SETTING FORTH FULLY THE PROCEDURE NOW BEING FOLLOWED.

IT WOULD SEEM TO THIS OFFICE THAT THE CORPORATION FUNDS MAY BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE IN ORDER THAT A FAIR ADJUSTMENT OF THE CLAIM MAY BE MADE AND THAT THE AUTHORITY GRANTED THE CORPORATION TO PAY DISCHARGED INMATES ACCIDENT COMPENSATION NECESSARILY IMPLIES THE RIGHT TO USE THE FUNDS FOR THE PAYMENT OF SPECIAL MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS AND SERVICES IN LOCALITIES WHERE NO REGULAR GOVERNMENT MEDICAL FACILITIES EXIST.

SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 23, 1934, 48 STAT. 1211, PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THE CORPORATION IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO EMPLOY THE AFORESAID FUND, AND ANY EARNINGS THAT MAY HEREAFTER ACCRUE TO THE CORPORATION, AS OPERATING CAPITAL FOR THE PURPOSES ENUMERATED IN THE SAID ACT OF MAY 27, 1930, AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS GENERALLY APPLICABLE TO THE EXPENDITURES OF THE SEVERAL DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND ALSO FOR THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION IN SUCH AMOUNTS AS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL MAY AUTHORIZE TO INMATES OF PENAL INSTITUTIONS OR THEIR DEPENDENTS FOR INJURIES SUFFERED IN ANY INDUSTRY: * * *

THE REGULATIONS ISSUED JANUARY 1, 1937, COPIES OF WHICH WERE FORWARDED WITH YOUR LETTER, PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

FIRST: NO ACCIDENT COMPENSATION WILL BE PAID TO AN INMATE WHEN INJURED WHILE SUCH INMATE REMAINS IN THE INSTITUTION. HOWEVER, EXCEPT IN SPECIAL CASES, THE INMATE'S REGULAR COMPENSATION WILL BE PAID TO HIM AND CHARGED TO THE OPERATIONS OF THE INDUSTRY IN WHICH THE INJURY WAS SUSTAINED.

SECOND: ACCIDENT COMPENSATION WILL BE PAID TO SUCH INJURED INMATES AS ARE TOTALLY OR PARTIALLY DISABLED AT THE TIME OF THEIR DISCHARGE FROM THE INSTITUTION, BEGINNING THE FIRST OF THE FOLLOWING MONTH SUCCEEDING THE DATE OF THEIR DISCHARGE, OR APPROVAL OF CLAIM.

THE PHRASE IN THE LAW "INMATES OF PENAL INSTITUTIONS OR THEIR DEPENDENTS" IS DESCRIPTIVE OF THE PERSONS ENTITLED TO ACCIDENT COMPENSATION "FOR INJURIES SUFFERED IN ANY INDUSTRY," AND WHILE NOT NECESSARILY LIMITING THE PAYMENT OF THE COMPENSATION OR THE FILING OF CLAIMS THEREFOR DURING THE PERIOD OF IMPRISONMENT, THE BASIS OF PAYING SUCH COMPENSATION MUST OF NECESSITY BE THE OFFICIAL RECORD OF THE INJURY AT THE TIME IT OCCURRED OR DURING SUCH PERIOD OF IMPRISONMENT. IN THIS CONNECTION IT IS NOTED THE REGULATIONS PROPERLY PROVIDE FOR MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS, TREATMENT, ETC., AT TIME OF INJURY, AND FOR REPORTING AND RECORDING THE NATURE, CAUSE, ETC., OF THE INJURY. IF, HOWEVER, DUE TO CONDITIONS ALLEGED TO HAVE DEVELOPED AFTER THE DISCHARGE OF THE PRISONER, OR FOR OTHER REASONS, ADDITIONAL MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS ARE NECESSARY TO ASCERTAIN THE BASIS OF A CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION AND THUS PROPERLY PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND NO GOVERNMENT MEDICAL FACILITIES ARE AVAILABLE IN THE PARTICULAR LOCALITY, THE COST OF SUCH EXAMINATIONS WOULD CONSTITUTE A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST THE PRISON INDUSTRIES FUND. IT IS OBSERVED, HOWEVER, THAT THE PROBLEM WHICH CONFRONTS THE FEDERAL PRISON INDUSTRIES, INC., WITH RESPECT TO THIS MATTER WITH WHICH THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION MUST BE FAMILIAR AND AS TO WHICH PROPER CONNECTIONS HAVE BEEN MADE. IT IS POSSIBLE THE COMMISSION MAY HAVE SOME HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS IF ASKED TO COOPERATE. IN ANY EVENT, ACCOUNTS TRANSMITTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR AUDIT COVERING CHARGES AGAINST THE PRISON INDUSTRIES FUND FOR THESE ADDITIONAL MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS SHOULD CONTAIN AN ADMINISTRATIVE CERTIFICATE THAT NO GOVERNMENTAL MEDICAL FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE.