B-120126, JULY 14, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 21

B-120126: Jul 14, 1954

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QUARTERS ALLOWANCE - DEPENDENTS - HUSBAND WITH TEMPORARY DISABILITY A FEMALE OFFICER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHOSE HUSBAND INCURRED A TEMPORARY DISABILITY WHICH PREVENTS HIM FROM BEING GAINFULLY EMPLOYED FOR ONLY A LIMITED PERIOD OF TIME MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE A HUSBAND "IN FACT DEPENDENT" UPON HER FOR OVER HALF OF HIS SUPPORT WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF SECTION 102 (G) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949. - ORIGINAL ESTIMATE OF MY CONTRIBUTION TO MY HUSBAND'S SUPPORT WAS APPROXIMATELY $275.00 A MONTH. ACTUALLY IT WAS ABOUT $400.00 FOR JANUARY 1954 AND ABOUT $325.00 FOR FEBRUARY 1954. FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH 1954 IT WILL BE OVER $410.00 BECAUSE OF REGULAR MONTHLY EXPENSES PLUS PAYMENT OF $187.28 BALANCE DUE ON FEDERAL INCOME TAX FOR 1953 ( ARMY HAD FIGURED MY INCOME TAX DEDUCTIONS ALMOST EXACTLY.

B-120126, JULY 14, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 21

QUARTERS ALLOWANCE - DEPENDENTS - HUSBAND WITH TEMPORARY DISABILITY A FEMALE OFFICER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHOSE HUSBAND INCURRED A TEMPORARY DISABILITY WHICH PREVENTS HIM FROM BEING GAINFULLY EMPLOYED FOR ONLY A LIMITED PERIOD OF TIME MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE A HUSBAND "IN FACT DEPENDENT" UPON HER FOR OVER HALF OF HIS SUPPORT WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF SECTION 102 (G) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, SO AS TO ENTITLE THE OFFICER TO INCREASED BASIC QUARTERS ALLOWANCE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL JAMES H. COMINGS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, JULY 14, 1954:

BY FIRST ENDORSEMENT DATED MAY 17, 1954, THE CHIEF OF FINANCE FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 26, 1954, SUBMITTING FOR ADVANCE DECISION A MILITARY PAY ORDER ( DD FORM 114) DATED APRIL 15, 1954, STATED IN FAVOR OF MAJOR CLARA B. MCILWRAITH, L-221, WAC, RA, COVERING INCREASED BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS AS FOR AN OFFICER WITH A DEPENDENT HUSBAND FOR THE PERIOD BEGINNING JANUARY 1, 1954.

THE OFFICER'S CERTIFICATE OF DEPENDENCY ( DD FORM 137) DATED MARCH 12, 1954, SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER, DOES NOT SHOW THE AVERAGE MONTHLY INCOME OR LIVING EXPENSES FOR HER HUSBAND OR THE AMOUNT OF INCOME PRODUCING PROPERTY OWNED BY HIM, IF ANY. IN EXPLAINING HER CONTRIBUTIONS TO HIS SUPPORT, SHE STATES---

ORIGINAL ESTIMATE OF MY CONTRIBUTION TO MY HUSBAND'S SUPPORT WAS APPROXIMATELY $275.00 A MONTH. ACTUALLY IT WAS ABOUT $400.00 FOR JANUARY 1954 AND ABOUT $325.00 FOR FEBRUARY 1954. FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH 1954 IT WILL BE OVER $410.00 BECAUSE OF REGULAR MONTHLY EXPENSES PLUS PAYMENT OF $187.28 BALANCE DUE ON FEDERAL INCOME TAX FOR 1953 ( ARMY HAD FIGURED MY INCOME TAX DEDUCTIONS ALMOST EXACTLY, BUT MADISON COLLEGE HAD NOT WITHHELD SUFFICIENT AMOUNT FROM MY HUSBAND'S SALARY CHECKS IN 1953).

AMOUNT OF MY MONTHLY CONTRIBUTION TO MY HUSBAND WILL UNDOUBTEDLY CONTINUE TO VARY ACCORDING TO SUCH "ONE-TIME" EXPENSES, AS WELL AS ACCORDING TO VARIATION IN MEDICAL EXPENSES; THE FULL AMOUNT OF HIS LIVING AND ALL OTHER EXPENSES WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE TO BE MET BY ME ALONE, HOWEVER.

THERE ALSO WAS RECEIVED WITH YOUR LETTER A STATEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 10, 1954, BY THOMAS S. SAPPINGTON, M.D., 1103 16TH STREET, N.W., WASHINGTON 6, D.C., IN WHICH HE STATES THAT THE OFFICER'S HUSBAND CAME UNDER HIS CARE AS A PATIENT ON DECEMBER 29, 1953; THAT A THOROUGH EXAMINATION REVEALED JAUNDICE AND CIRRHOSIS OF THE LIVER; THAT HE ADVISED HIM THAT HE REQUIRED HOSPITALIZATION FOLLOWED BY A PROLONGED PERIOD OF CONVALESCENCE; AND THAT HE WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO RETURN TO HIS PROFESSIONAL DUTIES BEFORE SEPTEMBER 1954. IN AN AFFIDAVIT DATED FEBRUARY 12, 1954, THE PRESIDENT OF MADISON COLLEGE, HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA, AVERS THAT THE OFFICER'S HUSBAND IS PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AT THE COLLEGE; THAT HE IS ON SICK LEAVE FROM THE COLLEGE FROM JANUARY 1, 1954, TO SEPTEMBER 1, 1954; THAT HIS SALARY EACH MONTH FROM JANUARY THROUGH JUNE 1954 IS $545, LESS DEDUCTIONS OF $120.42, OR A NET AMOUNT OF $424.58; THAT A SUBSTITUTE HAS BEEN ARRANGED FOR THE HUSBAND AT A SALARY OF $460 A MONTH WHICH IS TO BE PAID BY THE HUSBAND DIRECTLY TO THE SUBSTITUTE; THAT THE HUSBAND WILL NOT RECEIVE A SALARY FOR THE MONTHS OF JULY AND AUGUST 1954, SINCE HE WILL NOT BE ON THE FACULTY OF THE SUMMER SESSION OF THE COLLEGE; AND THAT A SUBSTITUTE WILL NOT BE EMPLOYED FOR THE SUMMER SESSION.

SECTION 102 (G) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 804, PROVIDES THAT THE TERM ,DEPENDENT" SHALL INCLUDE IN THE CASE OF FEMALE OFFICERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES, A HUSBAND, BUT ONLY WHEN THE HUSBAND IS IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON THE FEMALE MEMBER FOR OVER HALF OF HIS SUPPORT.

TO BE REGARDED AS IN FACT DEPENDENT ON HIS WIFE IN THE SERVICE, A HUSBAND MUST ON ACCOUNT OF PHYSICAL OR MENTAL INCAPACITY OR FOR OTHER REASON BE INCAPABLE OF SELF-SUPPORT. 32 COMP. GEN. 364. IN THE PRESENT CASE, ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT THE OFFICER HAS FAILED TO SUBMIT INFORMATION NECESSARY TO ESTABLISH THE DEPENDENCY STATUS OF HER HUSBAND, IT APPEARS THAT HE WAS GAINFULLY EMPLOYED PRIOR TO JANUARY 1, 1954; THAT HIS DISABILITY APPARENTLY IS ONLY TEMPORARY, AND THAT HE WILL BE ABLE TO RESUME HIS PROFESSIONAL DUTIES IN SEPTEMBER 1954.

IT LONG HAS BEEN HELD UNDER STATUTES AUTHORIZING INCREASED ALLOWANCES FOR OFFICERS WITH DEPENDENTS "IN FACT DEPENDENT" UPON THEM FOR THEIR "CHIEF SUPPORT," OR IN WORDS MEANING ESSENTIALLY THE SAME THING, FO "OVER HALF" OF THEIR SUPPORT, THAT AN OFFICER WHO ONLY OCCASIONALLY CONTRIBUTES, WHETHER GRATUITOUSLY OR NECESSARILY, TOWARD THE LIVING EXPENSES OF THE CLAIMED DEPENDENT IS NOT ENTITLED TO RECEIVE SUCH ALLOWANCES. 2 COMP. GEN. 41.

SINCE THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED DOES NOT ESTABLISH DEPENDENCY WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE STATUTE, YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT OF THE MILITARY PAY ORDER, WHICH, TOGETHER WITH THE OTHER PAPERS SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER, WILL BE RETAINED IN THIS OFFICE.