B-124911, DEC. 6, 1955

B-124911: Dec 6, 1955

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THE VOUCHER IS SUPPORTED BY THE OFFICER'S CERTIFICATE OF DECEMBER 5. THAT THE AMOUNT REQUIRED FOR THE REASONABLE AND PROPER LIVING EXPENSES OF THE STEPDAUGHTERS IS $178 A MONTH ($89 EACH). THAT THEIR GROSS INCOME FROM ALL OTHER SOURCES WAS $100 A MONTH ($50 EACH). IS. CHILDREN" SHALL BE HELD TO INCLUDE STEPCHILDREN AND ADOPTED CHILDREN WHEN SUCH STEPCHILDREN OR ADOPTED CHILDREN ARE IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON SUCH MEMBER: * SUCH PROVISIONS. INSOFAR AS STEPCHILDREN AND ADOPTED CHILDREN ARE CONCERNED. ARE SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME AS THE PROVISIONS OF PRIOR SIMILAR STATUTES RELATING TO THE ENTITLEMENT OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES TO TRANSPORTATION AND OTHER ALLOWANCES ON ACCOUNT OF SUCH DEPENDENTS.

B-124911, DEC. 6, 1955

TO MAJOR JAMES M. WEIDNER, USMC, DISBURSING OFFICER, THROUGH COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS:

YOUR LETTER OF JULY 27, 1955, SUBMITTED FOR ADVANCE DECISION A VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF COLONEL GEORGE BROOKER BELL, 15281, USMC, COVERING REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS STEPDAUGHTERS, SARA LEE RAMSAY, BORN MAY 16, 1943, AND BOBBIE JANE RAMSAY, BORN DECEMBER 23, 1947, FROM AUBURN, ALABAMA, TO CAMP LEJEUNE, NORTH CAROLINA, ON JUNE 20 TO 22, 1954, UNDER THE OFFICER'S PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS DFL-1302-1BH- 7, DATED MARCH 15, 1954.

THE VOUCHER IS SUPPORTED BY THE OFFICER'S CERTIFICATE OF DECEMBER 5, 1954, THAT THE AMOUNT REQUIRED FOR THE REASONABLE AND PROPER LIVING EXPENSES OF THE STEPDAUGHTERS IS $178 A MONTH ($89 EACH); THAT DURING THE PERIOD COVERED BY THE CLAIM HE CONTRIBUTED FOR THEIR SUPPORT $78 A MONTH ($39 EACH); AND THAT THEIR GROSS INCOME FROM ALL OTHER SOURCES WAS $100 A MONTH ($50 EACH).

SUBSECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 814, 815, IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD HERE INVOLVED, PROVIDES THAT UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES, WHEN ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION IN KIND FOR DEPENDENTS, OR TO REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, OR TO A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION IN KIND. SEE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PARAGRAPH 7003. SUBSECTION 102 (G) OF THE CITED ACT, 63 STAT. 804, DEFINING THE TERM "DEPENDENT" FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE STATUTE, IS, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"THE TERM "DEPENDENT" SHALL INCLUDE AT ALL TIMES AND IN ALL PLACES THE LAWFUL WIFE AND UNMARRIED LEGITIMATE CHILDREN, UNDER TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE, OF ANY MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES, EXCEPT AS HEREINAFTER LIMITED IN THIS SUBSECTION. * * * PROVIDED, THAT THE TERM ,CHILDREN" SHALL BE HELD TO INCLUDE STEPCHILDREN AND ADOPTED CHILDREN WHEN SUCH STEPCHILDREN OR ADOPTED CHILDREN ARE IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON SUCH MEMBER: *

SUCH PROVISIONS, INSOFAR AS STEPCHILDREN AND ADOPTED CHILDREN ARE CONCERNED, ARE SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME AS THE PROVISIONS OF PRIOR SIMILAR STATUTES RELATING TO THE ENTITLEMENT OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES TO TRANSPORTATION AND OTHER ALLOWANCES ON ACCOUNT OF SUCH DEPENDENTS. THE WORDS "IN FACT DEPENDENT" WERE USED TO EXPRESS THE INTENT THAT A STEPCHILD OR ADOPTED CHILD MAY BE CONSIDERED A DEPENDENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE STATUTES ONLY WHEN IT IS ESTABLISHED THAT THE STEPCHILD OR ADOPTED CHILD ACTUALLY IS DEPENDENT ON THE MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES FOR ITS SUPPORT, MAINTENANCE, AND EDUCATION. WHERE SUFFICIENT FUNDS ARE AVAILABLE FROM SOURCES OTHER THAN THE MEMBER, EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, FOR THE SUPPORT, MAINTENANCE, AND EDUCATION OF A STEPCHILD OR AN ADOPTED CHILD, THE CHILD IS NOT IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON THE MEMBER. THE FACTS THAT THE CHILD MAY LIVE WITH THE MEMBER, THAT ITS TRANSPORTATION IS NECESSARY INCIDENT TO THE MEMBER'S CHANGE OF STATION, OR THAT THE AMOUNT CONTRIBUTED BY THE MEMBER IMPROVES THE LIVING CONDITIONS OF THE CHILD, DO NOT, OF THEMSELVES, MAKE THE CHILD IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON THE MEMBER. B-23084, APRIL 2, 1942; B-89140, OCTOBER 5, 1949; B-94657, FEBRUARY 9, 1951.

THE STATUTE, HOWEVER, WHILE NO DOUBT CONTEMPLATING SUBSTANTIAL DEPENDENCY, DOES NOT SPECIFY CHIEF SUPPORT OR REQUIRE THAT ANY CERTAIN DEGREE OF DEPENDENCY BE SHOWN WITH REGARD TO STEPCHILDREN OR ADOPTED CHILDREN. SINCE THE OFFICER NECESSARILY AND REGULARLY CONTRIBUTES SUBSTANTIALLY TO THE SUPPORT, MAINTENANCE, AND EDUCATION OF HIS STEPCHILDREN WHO ARE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD, AND ARE NOT IN RECEIPT OF FUNDS, EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, FROM SOURCES OTHER THAN THE OFFICER SUFFICIENT FOR THEIR SUPPORT, MAINTENANCE, AND EDUCATION, IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE CHILDREN ARE IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON THE OFFICER FOR THE PURPOSE OF TRANSPORTATION ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. 34 COMP. GEN. 193.

PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER IS AUTHORIZED ACCORDINGLY, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT. THE VOUCHER, THE OFFICER'S ORIGINAL TRAVEL ORDERS, AS AMENDED, AND THE OTHER SUPPORTING PAPERS WITH YOUR SUBMISSION ARE RETURNED.