B-127384, JUN. 5, 1956

B-127384: Jun 5, 1956

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

VIOLET SMITH ALMENCION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF OCTOBER 26. ADVISED US OF THE INDEBTEDNESS AS FOLLOWS: "/A) COMPENSATION WAS AWARDED TO VIOLET SMITH ALMENCION AS UNREMARRIED WIDOW OF MATEO ALMENCION WHEN NOTICE WAS RECEIVED THAT THE VETERAN WAS PRESUMED TO HAVE DIED ON DECEMBER 17. PAYMENTS WERE MADE AT THE MONTHLY RATE OF $50 EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 18. PAYMENTS WERE DISCONTINUED WHEN A CASUALTY REPORT WAS RECEIVED SHOWING THE VETERAN WAS RETURNED TO NAVAL JURISDICTION UNDER HIS OWN POWER. THE OVERPAYMENT WAS CONSIDERED BY THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE ON WAIVERS AND FORFEITURES AND ON AUGUST 2. 1950 A DECISION WAS RENDERED WHEREBY RECOVERY WAS NOT WAIVED. "/B) THE PAYEE WAS ADVISED OF THE INDEBTEDNESS AS WELL AS THE DECISION BY THE COMMITTEE ON WAIVERS AND FORFEITURES AND WAS REQUESTED TO MAKE REFUND IN A LETTER DATED AUGUST 30.

B-127384, JUN. 5, 1956

TO MRS. VIOLET SMITH ALMENCION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF OCTOBER 26, 1955, WRITTEN IN YOUR BEHALF BY MRS. CALVIN H. CHILDRESS OF KING AND KING, ATTORNEYS, REQUESTING THAT OUR OFFICE WAIVE YOUR INDEBTEDNESS OF $1,021.67 TO THE UNITED STATES.

THE INDEBTEDNESS REPRESENTS PAYMENTS OF COMPENSATION MADE BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION TO YOU AS UNREMARRIED WIDOW OF MATEO ALMENCION, FOR THE PERIOD DECEMBER 18, 1945, TO AUGUST 31, 1946, AT $50 PER MONTH AND SEPTEMBER 1, 1946, TO JUNE 30, 1947, AT $60 PER MONTH BECAUSE OF THE PRESUMED DEATH OF YOUR HUSBAND AS THE RESULT OF ENEMY ACTION ON DECEMBER 17, 1945. THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION BY REPORT OF MARCH 30, 1955, 3072/4ACB, ADVISED US OF THE INDEBTEDNESS AS FOLLOWS:

"/A) COMPENSATION WAS AWARDED TO VIOLET SMITH ALMENCION AS UNREMARRIED WIDOW OF MATEO ALMENCION WHEN NOTICE WAS RECEIVED THAT THE VETERAN WAS PRESUMED TO HAVE DIED ON DECEMBER 17, 1945, AS THE RESULT OF ENEMY ACTION. PAYMENTS WERE MADE AT THE MONTHLY RATE OF $50 EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 18, 1945, AND $60 FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 1946 THROUGH JUNE 30, 1947. PAYMENTS WERE DISCONTINUED WHEN A CASUALTY REPORT WAS RECEIVED SHOWING THE VETERAN WAS RETURNED TO NAVAL JURISDICTION UNDER HIS OWN POWER. IN THE ADJUSTMENT OF THE ACCOUNT AN OVERPAYMENT OF $1,021.67 RESULTED. THE OVERPAYMENT WAS CONSIDERED BY THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE ON WAIVERS AND FORFEITURES AND ON AUGUST 2, 1950 A DECISION WAS RENDERED WHEREBY RECOVERY WAS NOT WAIVED.

"/B) THE PAYEE WAS ADVISED OF THE INDEBTEDNESS AS WELL AS THE DECISION BY THE COMMITTEE ON WAIVERS AND FORFEITURES AND WAS REQUESTED TO MAKE REFUND IN A LETTER DATED AUGUST 30, 1950. ADDITIONAL REQUESTS WERE MADE MARCH 15, 1951, SEPTEMBER 3, 1952 AND JANUARY 25, 1955.'

THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS AFFAIRS IS THE OFFICIAL CHARGED WITH THE DUTY OF ADMINISTERING THE LAWS RELATING TO VETERANS' BENEFITS, INCLUDING THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION TO THE UNREMARRIED WIDOW OF A DECEASED SERVICEMAN. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 11 OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 17, 1940, 54 STAT. 1197, THE DECISION OF THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS AFFAIRS IS MADE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE ON THE PARTIES, BOTH AS TO LAW AND THE FACTS AND NOT SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY ANY OTHER OFFICIAL OR COURT OF THE UNITED STATES. LYNCH V. UNITED STATES, 292 U.S. 571, 587; VAN HORNE V. HINES, 122 F.2D 207, CERTIORARI DENIED 314 U.S. 689, REHEARING DENIED 314 U.S. 717; UNITED STATES V. MROCH, 88 F.2D 888, 890. SINCE THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HAS CONSIDERED THIS CASE AND HAS DETERMINED THAT YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THE COMPENSATION IN QUESTION, WE HAVE NO DISCRETION IN THE MATTER BUT UNDER THE LAW MUST INSIST UPON PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT FOUND DUE BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION.

THE DECISION REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 26, 1955, B 120683, DATED APRIL 1, 1955, 34 COMP. GEN. 494, WOULD NOT BE APPLICABLE IN YOUR SITUATION AS THAT CASE HAS REFERENCE TO CREDIT OF PAY AND ALLOWANCES MADE IN THE ACCOUNT OF A MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES PURSUANT TO A DETERMINATION BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY CONCERNED OR HIS DESIGNEE, WHERE THE CREDIT RELATES TO A PERIOD WHEN THE MEMBER WAS IN AN ABSENT CASUALTY STATUS. WHETHER A PAYMENT WAS MADE TO YOU OR TO YOUR HUSBAND UNDER THE MISSING PERSONS ACT IS NOT SHOWN BY THE RECORD. THE PAYMENTS MADE IN YOUR CASE BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION ARE GOVERNED BY LAWS RELATING TO VETERANS BENEFITS.

ACCORDINGLY, IT IS REQUESTED THAT THE AMOUNT DUE BE REMITTED TO OUR OFFICE. IF PAYING THE AMOUNT IN FULL IN ONE INSTALLMENT WOULD WORK A HARDSHIP YOU SHOULD SUBMIT AN INITIAL PAYMENT TOGETHER WITH A DEFINITE PLAN FOR PAYMENT OF THE BALANCE IN MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS OVER A REASONABLE LENGTH OF TIME. EACH PAYMENT SHOULD BE IN THE FORM OF A BANK DRAFT, CHECK OR POSTAL MONEY ORDER MADE PAYABLE TO "U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE" AND FORWARDED TO THE CLAIMS DIVISION, UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, POST OFFICE BOX 2610, WASHINGTON 13, D.C., REFERRING TO CLAIM NO. DW Z- 1603843-10.