A-87483, JULY 22, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 49

A-87483: Jul 22, 1937

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WHERE SUCH AMOUNT IS NOT THE SOLE ASSET. IS AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 203 (A) OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT 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. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE IN THE FILE ESTABLISHING THE EXISTENCE OF RELATIVES. FROM A FIELD REPORT IT APPEARS THAT THE ADMINISTRATOR CAN GIVE AFFIDAVIT THAT ASSETS OF THE ESTATE ARE SOME $6. THAT ABOUT $700 FUNERAL EXPENSES AND $240 OF DECEASED'S DEBTS HAVE BEEN PAID AND THAT THERE WILL BE A FEW ADDITIONAL SMALL CHARGES AGAINST THE ESTATE. WILL PROBABLY BE FOUND IN LITHUANIA. YOUR OPINION IS REQUESTED WHETHER PAYMENT CAN BE MADE THE ADMINISTRATOR PRIOR TO A DETERMINATION OF THE EXISTENCE OF HEIRS.

A-87483, JULY 22, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 49

DECEDENTS, ESTATES OF - ESCHEAT - SOCIAL SECURITY PAYMENTS AMOUNT DUE ESTATE UNDER SECTION 203 (A) OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT OF AUGUST 14, 1935, 49 STAT. 623, IF SOLE ASSET OF ESTATE, MAY BE PAID ADMINISTRATOR ONLY UPON A SHOWING OF HEIRS, CREDITORS, ETC., AND THAT THE RESULT WOULD NOT BE AN ESCHEAT TO THE STATE, BUT WHERE SUCH AMOUNT IS NOT THE SOLE ASSET, PAYMENT MAY BE MADE TO ADMINISTRATOR NOTWITHSTANDING AN ESCHEAT MAY RESULT.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE CHAIRMAN, SOCIAL SECURITY BOARD, JULY 22, 1937:

YOUR LETTER OF JULY 2, 1937, IS AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 203 (A) OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT 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.'

ANTHONY BAJORUNAS DIED BEFORE ATTAINING AGE SIXTY-FIVE, HAVING EARNED TOTAL WAGES OF $59.11 WITH RESPECT TO EMPLOYMENT AFTER DECEMBER 31, 1936. CLAIM FOR THE AMOUNT PAYABLE UNDER THE SECTION ABOVE QUOTED HAS BEEN MADE BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF HIS ESTATE. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE IN THE FILE ESTABLISHING THE EXISTENCE OF RELATIVES, BUT FROM A FIELD REPORT IT APPEARS THAT THE ADMINISTRATOR CAN GIVE AFFIDAVIT THAT ASSETS OF THE ESTATE ARE SOME $6,300, THAT ABOUT $700 FUNERAL EXPENSES AND $240 OF DECEASED'S DEBTS HAVE BEEN PAID AND THAT THERE WILL BE A FEW ADDITIONAL SMALL CHARGES AGAINST THE ESTATE. DECEASED'S HEIRS, IF ANY, WILL PROBABLY BE FOUND IN LITHUANIA. YOUR OPINION IS REQUESTED WHETHER PAYMENT CAN BE MADE THE ADMINISTRATOR PRIOR TO A DETERMINATION OF THE EXISTENCE OF HEIRS.

THE RULE FOLLOWED BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES HAS BEEN UNIFORM THAT WHERE THE CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IS THE SOLE ASSET, THERE MUST BE A SHOWING OF HEIRS, CREDITORS, ETC., BEFORE THE PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM MAY BE ALLOWED AND THAT SUCH PAYMENT WILL NOT BE ALLOWED WHERE THE SOLE RESULT WOULD BE AN ESCHEAT TO THE STATE. HOWEVER, WHERE THE CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IS NOT THE SOLE ASSET, PAYMENT MAY BE MADE TO THE EXECUTOR OR ADMINISTRATOR DULY APPOINTED AND QUALIFIED NOTWITHSTANDING THAT AN ESCHEAT MAY RESULT. A 30716, JUNE 6, 1930; 11 COMP. GEN. 104. YOUR SUBMISSION IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.