B-126036, DEC. 27, 1955

B-126036: Dec 27, 1955

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RUCKER: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 21. THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE DECEDENT WAS SURVIVED BY A WIDOWER. WHO IS ENTITLED TO HER UNPAID COMPENSATION PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 3. TO THE BENEFICIARY OR BENEFICIARIES DESIGNATED BY THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IN WRITING TO RECEIVE SUCH COMPENSATION FILED WITH THE GOVERNMENT AGENCY IN WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WAS EMPLOYED AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH. YOU STATE THAT THE DECEDENT WAS DESERTED BY HER HUSBAND OVER 30 YEARS AGO AND HIS WHEREABOUTS DURING SUCH TIME HAS BEEN UNKNOWN TO YOUR FAMILY. IN THIS CONNECTION YOU ARE ADVISED THAT SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 3. OR INTEREST PAYABLE UNDER THE RETIREMENT ACT APPLICABLE TO THE DECEDENT'S SERVICE OR TO AMOUNTS THE DISPOSITION OF WHICH IS OTHERWISE EXPRESSLY PRESCRIBED BY FEDERAL LAW.'.

B-126036, DEC. 27, 1955

TO MRS. CLARA D. RUCKER:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 21, 1955, REQUESTING A REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 14, 1955, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM, AS DAUGHTER, FOR UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE THE ESTATE OF CLARA M. DICKERSON, A FORMER CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, WASHINGTON, D.C., WHO DIED ON JULY 3, 1955.

THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE DECEDENT WAS SURVIVED BY A WIDOWER, LOUIS DICKERSON, WHO IS ENTITLED TO HER UNPAID COMPENSATION PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 3, 1950, PUBLIC LAW 636, 64 STAT. 395, WHICH READS IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"THAT IN ORDER TO FACILITATE THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF DECEASED CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (INCLUDING WHOLLY OWNED AND MIXED- OWNERSHIP GOVERNMENT CORPORATIONS) ALL UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE SUCH AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH SHALL BE PAID TO THE PERSON OR PERSONS SURVIVING AT THE DATE OF DEATH, IN THE FOLLOWING ORDER OF PRECEDENCE, AND SUCH PAYMENT SHALL BE A BAR TO RECOVERY BY ANY OTHER PERSON OF AMOUNTS SO PAID:

"FIRST, TO THE BENEFICIARY OR BENEFICIARIES DESIGNATED BY THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IN WRITING TO RECEIVE SUCH COMPENSATION FILED WITH THE GOVERNMENT AGENCY IN WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WAS EMPLOYED AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH, AND RECEIVED BY SUCH AGENCY PRIOR TO THE OFFICER'S OR EMPLOYEE'S DEATH;

"SECOND, IF THERE BE NO SUCH BENEFICIARY, TO THE WIDOW OR WIDOWER OF SUCH OFFICER, OR EMPLOYEE; "

IN SUPPORT OF YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW, YOU STATE THAT THE DECEDENT WAS DESERTED BY HER HUSBAND OVER 30 YEARS AGO AND HIS WHEREABOUTS DURING SUCH TIME HAS BEEN UNKNOWN TO YOUR FAMILY. ALSO, YOU STATE THAT THE DECEDENT TOLD YOU "MANY TIMES" THAT SHE HAD DESIGNATED YOU AS HER BENEFICIARY, AND YOU ENCLOSE A COPY OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION FORM 2806-1, DATED AUGUST 26, 1944, DESIGNATING YOU AS HER SOLE BENEFICIARY OF MONEYS TO HER CREDIT IN THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACCOUNT AT THE TIME OF HER DEATH. YOU ALSO ENCLOSE AN UNDERTAKER'S BILL SHOWING THAT YOU PAID THE FUNERAL EXPENSES OF THE DECEDENT.

THE DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY (FORM 2806-1) SUBMITTED BY YOU RELATES TO THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT FUND ONLY. IN THIS CONNECTION YOU ARE ADVISED THAT SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 3, 1950, REFERRED TO ABOVE, PROVIDES THAT:

"THIS ACT SHALL NOT APPLY TO ANY BENEFITS, REFUNDS, OR INTEREST PAYABLE UNDER THE RETIREMENT ACT APPLICABLE TO THE DECEDENT'S SERVICE OR TO AMOUNTS THE DISPOSITION OF WHICH IS OTHERWISE EXPRESSLY PRESCRIBED BY FEDERAL LAW.'

SINCE THE RECORD HERE INDICATES THAT THE DECEDENT FAILED TO DESIGNATE A BENEFICIARY IN WRITING TO RECEIVE THE UNPAID COMPENSATION AT HER DEATH, AND SHE IS SURVIVED BY A WIDOWER, WHO UNDER THE SECOND ORDER OF PRECEDENCE SET OUT ABOVE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE THE AMOUNT, OUR OFFICE HAS NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO DENY THE CLAIM OF ANY OTHER PERSON. THE FACT THAT THE DECEDENT AND HER HUSBAND MAY HAVE BEEN SEPARATED DOES NOT AFFECT HIS LEGAL RIGHT TO THE AMOUNT SO LONG AS HE PROPERLY MAY BE CONSIDERED HER WIDOWER AT THE TIME OF HER DEATH. ALSO, THE FACT THAT YOU PAID THE FUNERAL EXPENSES, AND THAT THE DECEDENT MAY HAVE MISUNDERSTOOD THE EFFECT OF DESIGNATING YOU TO BE BENEFICIARY OF ANY AMOUNT WHICH MAY BE PAYABLE UNDER THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT OR INTENDED THAT THE UNPAID COMPENSATION BE PAID YOU AS WELL, IS NOT CONTROLLING. OUR OFFICE IS BOUND BY THE PLAIN PROVISIONS OF OF THE 1950 STATUTE, AND ACCORDINGLY, THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.