B-132446, AUG. 30, 1957

B-132446: Aug 30, 1957

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

SALLY TERRY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 7. CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR THE UNPAID BALANCE OF THE PAY WHICH WAS DUE THE ESTATE OF YOUR LATE SON. YOU WERE ALLOWED THE SUM OF $254.02. YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE BALANCE WAS RESERVED FOR THE FATHER. AFTER THE RECEIPT OF A FURTHER REPORT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY THAT THE ADDITIONAL SUM OF $405 WAS DUE THE ESTATE OF YOUR LATE SON FOR COMBAT PAY. YOU WERE ALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT DATED MARCH 26. THE SUM OF $202.50 REPRESENTING YOUR SHARE OF THE COMBAT PAY AND YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE BALANCE OF THE COMBAT PAY. WAS BEING RESERVED FOR THE FATHER. WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 25. YOU SAY THAT YOU HAVE NOT HEARD FROM THE FATHER SINCE MARCH 1931 WHEN HE LEFT YOU AND THE DECEDENT.

B-132446, AUG. 30, 1957

TO MRS. SALLY TERRY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 7, 1957, AND ENCLOSURE, CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR THE UNPAID BALANCE OF THE PAY WHICH WAS DUE THE ESTATE OF YOUR LATE SON, RICHARD RALPH FAWLEY, CORPORAL, UNITED STATES ARMY, AS OF JUNE 24, 1951, THE DATE OF THE RECEIPT OF EVIDENCE OF HIS DEATH.

BY SETTLEMENT DATED MARCH 17, 1952, OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION, YOU WERE ALLOWED THE SUM OF $254.02, REPRESENTING YOUR SHARE OF THE AMOUNT OF $508.03 REPORTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY TO BE DUE AS PAY AND ALLOWANCES. YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE BALANCE WAS RESERVED FOR THE FATHER. LATER, AFTER THE RECEIPT OF A FURTHER REPORT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY THAT THE ADDITIONAL SUM OF $405 WAS DUE THE ESTATE OF YOUR LATE SON FOR COMBAT PAY, YOU WERE ALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT DATED MARCH 26, 1953, OF THE CLAIMS DIVISION, THE SUM OF $202.50 REPRESENTING YOUR SHARE OF THE COMBAT PAY AND YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE BALANCE OF THE COMBAT PAY, LIKEWISE, WAS BEING RESERVED FOR THE FATHER. SUBSEQUENTLY, BY LETTER DATED MAY 12, 1953, THE CLAIMS DIVISION EXPLAINED TO YOU THAT THE ACTION TAKEN IN THE SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 26, 1953, WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 25, 1946, 60 STAT. 30, WHICH GOVERNS THE SETTLEMENT OF ACCOUNTS OF DECEASED PERSONNEL OF THE ARMY.

IN THE LETTER OF JUNE 7, 1957, YOU SAY THAT YOU HAVE NOT HEARD FROM THE FATHER SINCE MARCH 1931 WHEN HE LEFT YOU AND THE DECEDENT, THE LATTER THEN HAVING BEEN SIX MONTHS OLD. YOU HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO LOCATE THE FATHER AND YOU DO NOT KNOW HIS PRESENT WHEREABOUTS OR WHETHER IS IS STILL LIVING. YOU URGE, THEREFORE, THAT THE AMOUNT OF $202.50 RESERVED FOR THE FATHER BE PAID TO YOU.

WHILE YOUR FEELINGS IN THE MATTER ARE APPRECIATED, WE MUST COMPLY WITH THE APPLICABLE FEDERAL STATUTE IN SETTLING ACCOUNTS OF DECEASED PERSONNEL OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AND WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO ALLOW CLAIMS FOR AMOUNTS DUE THE ESTATES OF SUCH DECEASED PERSONNEL, EXCEPT AS AUTHORIZED BY THAT STATUTE. THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 25, 1946, EXPRESSLY PROVIDES THAT WHERE NO DEMAND IS PRESENTED BY A DULY APPOINTED LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE AND THE DECEDENT IS NOT SURVIVED BY A WIDOW OR DESCENDANT, THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS MAY ALLOW THE AMOUNT FOUND DUE "TO THE FATHER AND MOTHER IN EQUAL PARTS," OR "IF EITHER THE FATHER OR MOTHER BE DEAD, THEN TO THE ONE SURVIVING.' THE DISTRIBUTION TO THE FATHER AND MOTHER IN EQUAL PARTS, AS EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZED, IS BASED ON THEIR LEGAL RELATIONSHIP TO THE DECEDENT AND IS NOT AFFECTED BY QUESTIONS OF SUPPORT, DIVORCE, OR CUSTODY OF CHILDREN BY EITHER OF THEM. THE CONGRESS HAVING EXPRESSLY SO PROVIDED, WE HAVE NO DISCRETION IN THE MATTER AND MAY NOT ALLOW ONE PARENT MORE THAN ONE-HALF OF THE AMOUNT DUE WHILE THE OTHER IS ALIVE.

THE ACTION TAKEN IN THE SETTLEMENTS OF MARCH 17, 1952, AND MARCH 26, 1953, IN RESERVING FOR THE FATHER THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $456.51, WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 25, 1946, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING THAT THE FATHER HAS BEEN DECLARED DEAD BY A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION, OR OTHER SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE THAT HE NO LONGER IS ALIVE, WE CAN TAKE NO FURTHER ACTION IN THIS MATTER. THE AMOUNT RESERVED FOR THE FATHER COULD, OF COURSE, BE PAID TO A DULY APPOINTED LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE DECEDENTS ESTATE, THAT IS, AN EXECUTOR OR AN ADMINISTRATOR, PROVIDED THAT A CLAIM FROM THE FATHER HAS NOT BEEN RECEIVED AND SETTLED IN THE MEANTIME. ANY CLAIM BY SUCH LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE, ACCOMPANIED BY A DULY AUTHENTICATED COPY OF HIS APPOINTMENT, SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE CLAIMS DIVISION, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, WASHINGTON 25, D.C.

YOUR COPY OF THE SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE OF MARCH 26, 1953, ENCLOSED WITH YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 7, 1957, IS RETURNED.