B-132136, JUN. 17, 1957

B-132136: Jun 17, 1957

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WAS DESIGNED TO OBVIATE THE INCONVENIENCE AND DELAYS INCIDENT TO THE PROCEDURES IN EFFECT PRIOR TO ITS PASSAGE WHICH QUITE OFTEN RESULTED IN EXTREME HARDSHIP TO THE FAMILY OF A DECEASED EMPLOYEE WHO MAY NEED FUNDS TO COVER THE EXPENSES CONNECTED WITH THE EMPLOYEE'S LAST ILLNESS AND DEATH "AND FOR THE TEMPORARY SUPPORT OF THE FAMILY.'. HE CONTENDS THAT PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT TO YOU AS ADMINISTRATRIX WOULD AVOID HARDSHIP TO THE DECEDENT'S MOTHER AND SISTERS WHO HAVE UNDERGONE CONSIDERABLE EXPENSE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE DECEDENT. WAS NOT DEPENDENT UPON HIM AND HARDLY RECOGNIZED THE DECEASED AS HER PARENT. ITS PURPOSE IS TO FACILITATE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION DUE DECEASED FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AND BY EXPEDITING SETTLEMENT RELIEVE THEIR FAMILIES OF THE DELAY.

B-132136, JUN. 17, 1957

TO MRS. EUNICE S. BARRETT:

ON MAY 24, 1957, YOUR ATTORNEY, EDWARD L. OAST, JR., REQUESTED RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 15, 1957, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM AS ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF GEORGE M. STARKE, DECEASED, FOR UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE THE DECEDENT FOR SERVICES RENDERED AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE NAVAL AIR STATION, NORFOLK, VIRGINIA.

YOUR ATTORNEY DIRECTS OUR ATTENTION TO CERTAIN STATEMENTS IN THEU.S.C. CONGRESSIONAL SERVICE, 1950, AT PAGE 2868 TO THE EFFECT THAT THE ACT OF AUGUST 3, 1950, 64 STAT. 395, WAS DESIGNED TO OBVIATE THE INCONVENIENCE AND DELAYS INCIDENT TO THE PROCEDURES IN EFFECT PRIOR TO ITS PASSAGE WHICH QUITE OFTEN RESULTED IN EXTREME HARDSHIP TO THE FAMILY OF A DECEASED EMPLOYEE WHO MAY NEED FUNDS TO COVER THE EXPENSES CONNECTED WITH THE EMPLOYEE'S LAST ILLNESS AND DEATH "AND FOR THE TEMPORARY SUPPORT OF THE FAMILY.' HE CONTENDS THAT PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT TO YOU AS ADMINISTRATRIX WOULD AVOID HARDSHIP TO THE DECEDENT'S MOTHER AND SISTERS WHO HAVE UNDERGONE CONSIDERABLE EXPENSE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE DECEDENT. ALSO, HE SAYS THE MINOR CHILD OF THE DECEDENT DID NOT LIVE WITH HIM, WAS NOT DEPENDENT UPON HIM AND HARDLY RECOGNIZED THE DECEASED AS HER PARENT.

AS INDICATED BY THE TITLE OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 3, 1950, AND ITS FIRST SECTION, ITS PURPOSE IS TO FACILITATE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION DUE DECEASED FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AND BY EXPEDITING SETTLEMENT RELIEVE THEIR FAMILIES OF THE DELAY, INCONVENIENCE AND EXPENSE INCIDENT TO PROCEDURES IN EFFECT PRIOR TO ITS PASSAGE. UNDER ITS PROVISIONS, THE DECEDENT COULD HAVE DESIGNATED YOU OR HIS MOTHER AS BENEFICIARY TO RECEIVE HIS COMPENSATION AND THE FACT THAT HE DID NOT DO SO MAY INDICATE HE WAS SATISFIED TO LET SUCH COMPENSATION BE PAID TO HIS DAUGHTER WHO UNDER THE STATUTE WOULD BE ENTITLED IF NO BENEFICIARY WAS DESIGNATED. WHETHER THAT WAS HIS INTENTION OR NOT, THE STATUTE IS SPECIFIC AS TO THE PERSON TO WHOM PAYMENT "SHALL BE MADE.' ITS PROVISIONS ARE MANDATORY UPON OUR OFFICE AND WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO DISREGARD THEM. UNDER THE STATUTE NO BENEFICIARY HAVING BEEN DESIGNATED BY THE DECEDENT, OR SPOUSE SURVIVING HIM, THE COMPENSATION WAS PAYABLE TO HIS CHILD, WHETHER OR NOT SHE RESIDED WITH HIM OR WAS ESTRANGED FROM HIM. PAYMENT WAS ACCORDINGLY CERTIFIED TO THE LEGAL GUARDIAN OF THE DAUGHTER WHO IS A MINOR. SUCH PAYMENT UNDER THE STATUTE IS A BAR TO RECOVERY BY ANY OTHER PERSON OF THE AMOUNT SO PAID.

ACCORDINGLY, AND NOTWITHSTANDING ANY EXPENSES WHICH YOU OR HIS MOTHER INCURRED ON HIS BEHALF, OUR SETTLEMENT OF MAY 15, 1957, APPEARS CORRECT AND MUST BE SUSTAINED.