B-126187, DEC. 30, 1955

B-126187: Dec 30, 1955

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TO GAGLIO GUISEPPA: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 4. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THE RECORDS OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION SHOW THAT THE DECEDENT WAS SURVIVED BY A LEGITIMATE SPOUSE. WHICH CHECKS WERE RECEIVED BUT NOT NEGOTIATED PRIOR TO HIS DEATH ON JUNE 21. THE RULE FOR APPLICATION IN SUCH CASES IS THAT THE PROCEEDS OF THE CHECKS ARE FOR DISPOSITION. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS OF THE COUNTRY IN WHICH HE WAS DOMICILED. IT APPEARS THAT OUR OFFICE HAS NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO WITHHOLD THE AMOUNT OF THE PROCEEDS OF THE CHECKS FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE DECEDENT'S LEGAL HEIRS WHO HAVE PRIORITY OVER YOU. THAT THIS IS TRUE IRRESPECTIVE OF THE FACT THAT YOU MAY HAVE BEEN PAID A LUMP-SUM DEATH BENEFIT PAYMENT.

B-126187, DEC. 30, 1955

TO GAGLIO GUISEPPA:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 4, 1955, REQUESTING WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM, AS GOVERNESS, FOR THE PROCEEDS OF OLD-AGE AND SURVIVORS INSURANCE CHECKS NO. 83,636,659, DATED MAY 3, 1951, AND NO. 84,906,924, DATED JUNE 3, 1951, FOR $46 EACH, DRAWN TO THE ORDER OF FRANK VARVARA, NOW DECEASED, BY DON ILER, SYMBOL 402.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THE RECORDS OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION SHOW THAT THE DECEDENT WAS SURVIVED BY A LEGITIMATE SPOUSE, GIUSEPPA GIARAMITA, VIA MARCATO NO. 16,PARTANNA, TRAPANI, ITALY, AND A SON, ANTHONY VARVARA, 93-18 74TH PLACE, WOODHAVEN, NEW YORK.

IT APPEARS THAT THE CHECKS REPRESENT OLD-AGE INSURANCE BENEFIT PAYMENTS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE DUE MR. VARVARA FOR THE MONTHS OF APRIL AND MAY 1951, WHICH CHECKS WERE RECEIVED BUT NOT NEGOTIATED PRIOR TO HIS DEATH ON JUNE 21, 1951, BY THE PAYEE. SO FAR AS MATERIAL HERE, THE RULE FOR APPLICATION IN SUCH CASES IS THAT THE PROCEEDS OF THE CHECKS ARE FOR DISPOSITION, AS PART OF THE DECEDENT'S ESTATE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS OF THE COUNTRY IN WHICH HE WAS DOMICILED. SEE BEERS V. FEDERAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATOR, ET AL., 172 F.2D 34. PURSUANT THERETO, IT APPEARS THAT OUR OFFICE HAS NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO WITHHOLD THE AMOUNT OF THE PROCEEDS OF THE CHECKS FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE DECEDENT'S LEGAL HEIRS WHO HAVE PRIORITY OVER YOU; AND THAT THIS IS TRUE IRRESPECTIVE OF THE FACT THAT YOU MAY HAVE BEEN PAID A LUMP-SUM DEATH BENEFIT PAYMENT, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 402 (I), TITLE 42, OF THE U.S.C. AS PAYER OF THE FUNERAL EXPENSES OF THE DECEDENT.

CONCERNING THE ADDITIONAL PERIOD REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER (JUNE 1 TO 21, 1951), IT MAY BE POINTED OUT THAT, UNDER THE LAW, THE PAYMENTS IN QUESTION ENDED WITH THE MONTH PRECEDING THE DATE OF DEATH OF THE DECEDENT. IT FOLLOWS THAT--- SINCE THE BENEFICIARY DIED ON JUNE 21, 1951- -- HIS ENTITLEMENT TO SUCH PAYMENTS ENDED WITH THE PAYMENT FOR THE MONTH OF MAY 1951, WHICH WAS COVERED BY CHECK NO. 84,906,924, DATED JUNE 3, 1951. SEE, IN THIS CONNECTION, SECTION 202 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, AS AMENDED, 64 STAT. 482.

WITH RESPECT TO THE MATTER OF YOUR ENTITLEMENT, PERSONALLY, TO PAYMENTS UNDER THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, AS AMENDED, YOUR ATTENTION MAY BE INVITED TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 416 (C), TITLE 42, OF THE UNITED STATES CODE. HOWEVER, IF FILED, YOUR CLAIM THEREFOR WOULD BE FOR CONSIDERATION AND DETERMINATION BY THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE, RATHER THAN BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.

IN THE LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING, THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM WAS CORRECT AND UPON REVIEW IT MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.