B-132704, SEP. 18, 1957

B-132704: Sep 18, 1957

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HATTIE MOSS FIELDS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JULY 2. IT APPEARS THAT AFTER PAYMENT OF THE GRATUITY TO YOU THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY DETERMINED THAT THE PROPER PERSON TO RECEIVE SUCH GRATUITY WAS BETTY JANETT JUST. WAS COVERED BY A SERVICEMEN'S INDEMNITY AS AUTHORIZED BY THE SERVICEMEN'S INDEMNITY ACT OF 1951. WERE EACH ENTITLED TO ONE-FOURTH OF SUCH AMOUNT. REQUEST WAS MADE FOR REVIEW OF THE MATTER WITH A VIEW OF AUTHORIZING THE ASSIGNMENT TO THE GOVERNMENT OF YOUR BENEFITS FROM THE INDEMNITY IN SETTLEMENT OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS. SINCE THE UNITED STATES IS NOT WITHIN THE PERMITTED CLASS OF BENEFICIARIES. THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF YOUR OFFER TO ASSIGN YOUR INTEREST IN THE INDEMNITY IN SETTLEMENT OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS.

B-132704, SEP. 18, 1957

TO MRS. HATTIE MOSS FIELDS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JULY 2, 1957, WRITTEN IN YOUR BEHALF BY MR. SIDNEY E. GOAD OF MESSRS. GOAD AND GOAD, ATTORNEYS, CONCERNING YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE SUM OF $1,330.08.

THE INDEBTEDNESS REPRESENTS THE ERRONEOUS PAYMENT TO YOU OF THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY IN THE CASE OF YOUR LATE BROTHER, JOHN F. MOSS, WHO DIED MARCH 2, 1954, WHILE SERVING AS SERGEANT FIRST CLASS, UNITED STATES ARMY. IT APPEARS THAT AFTER PAYMENT OF THE GRATUITY TO YOU THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY DETERMINED THAT THE PROPER PERSON TO RECEIVE SUCH GRATUITY WAS BETTY JANETT JUST, THE ACKNOWLEDGED ILLEGITIMATE DAUGHTER OF THE DECEDENT.

ON MAY 8, 1957, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION RECEIVED FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY LETTERS DATED JUNE 27, 1956, AND JANUARY 3, 1957, FROM YOUR ATTORNEYS, MESSRS. GOAD AND GOAD, OFFERING TO TRANSFER TO THE UNITED STATES YOUR EQUITY AS BENEFICIARY OF YOUR LATE BROTHER'S GOVERNMENT LIFE INSURANCE POLICY IN SETTLEMENT OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS. BY LETTER DATED JUNE 19, 1957, THE CLAIMS DIVISION FORWARDED TO MESSRS. GOAD AND GOAD, A COPY OF LETTER FROM THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION RECEIVED HERE ON JUNE 12, 1956. THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION REPORTED THAT THE DECEDENT, AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH, WAS COVERED BY A SERVICEMEN'S INDEMNITY AS AUTHORIZED BY THE SERVICEMEN'S INDEMNITY ACT OF 1951, 65 STAT. 33, IN THE AMOUNT OF $5,000; THAT YOU AND YOUR THREE BROTHERS, AS UNDESIGNATED BENEFICIARIES, WERE EACH ENTITLED TO ONE-FOURTH OF SUCH AMOUNT, OR $1,250, PAYABLE AT THE RATE OF $11.61 PER MONTH, COMMENCING MARCH 2, 1954, WITH FINAL INSTALLMENT DUE FEBRUARY 2, 1964, AND THAT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE SERVICEMEN'S INDEMNITY ACT OF 1951, ASSIGNMENTS OF THE INDEMNITY CAN BE MADE ONLY TO A SPOUSE, CHILD, PARENTS, BROTHERS OR SISTERS. IN VIEW OF THE NON- ASSIGNABILITY OF THE POLICY TO THE GOVERNMENT, THE CLAIMS DIVISION REQUESTED THAT THE MATTER BE RECONSIDERED AND AN OFFER MADE FOR SETTLEMENT OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS. IN THE LETTER OF JULY 2, 1957, REQUEST WAS MADE FOR REVIEW OF THE MATTER WITH A VIEW OF AUTHORIZING THE ASSIGNMENT TO THE GOVERNMENT OF YOUR BENEFITS FROM THE INDEMNITY IN SETTLEMENT OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS.

SECTION 3 OF THE SERVICEMEN'S INDEMNITY ACT OF 1951, 65 STAT. 34, IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF THE DEATH OF YOUR BROTHER, PROVIDED THAT THE INDEMNITY SHALL BE PAID BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ONLY TO CERTAIN PERMITTED BENEFICIARIES; NAMELY, SURVIVING SPOUSE, CHILD OR CHILDREN, PARENTS, AND BROTHERS OR SISTERS. SECTION 9 OF THE ACT PROVIDED THAT ASSIGNMENTS OF ALL OR ANY PART OF THE BENEFICIARY'S INTEREST MAY BE MADE BY A BENEFICIARY TO ANY OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS WITHIN THE PERMITTED CLASS OF BENEFICIARIES SPECIFIED IN SECTION 3. SINCE THE UNITED STATES IS NOT WITHIN THE PERMITTED CLASS OF BENEFICIARIES, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF YOUR OFFER TO ASSIGN YOUR INTEREST IN THE INDEMNITY IN SETTLEMENT OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS.

WHILE YOU MAY NOT ASSIGN TO THE GOVERNMENT YOUR INTEREST IN THE INDEMNITY, THERE IS NOTHING TO PREVENT YOU FROM ENDORSING THE INDEMNITY CHECKS EACH MONTH AS THEY ARE RECEIVED, MAKING THEM PAYABLE TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, AND FORWARDING THEM TO THIS OFFICE FOR APPLICATION TO YOUR INDEBTEDNESS.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE REQUESTED TO REMIT THE AMOUNT OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS, $1,330.08, WITHIN THIRTY DAYS FROM THIS DATE, OR WITHIN THAT TIME SUBMIT A PLAN FOR ITS LIQUIDATION BY MONTHLY PAYMENTS ACCOMPANIED BY A SUBSTANTIAL PAYMENT. SUCH SUM SHOULD BE REMITTED TO US BY CHECK, DRAFT OR MONEY ORDER, PAYABLE TO THE UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, BOX 2610, WASHINGTON 13, D.C. ..END :