B-133721, NOV. 8, 1957

B-133721: Nov 8, 1957

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YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE DECEDENT WAS SURVIVED BY A WIDOW. WHO IS ENTITLED TO THE UNPAID COMPENSATION PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 3. TO THE BENEFICIARY OR BENEFICIARIES DESIGNATED BY THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IN WRITING TO RECEIVE SUCH COMPENSATION FILED WITH THE GOVERNMENT AGENCY IN WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WAS EMPLOYED AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH. * * *" IT IS CLEARLY PROVIDED IN THE ABOVE-QUOTED STATUTE THAT ALL UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE AN EMPLOYEE AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH SHALL BE PAID TO THE PERSON OR PERSONS SURVIVING AT THE DATE OF HIS DEATH IN THE ORDER OF PRECEDENCE SET FORTH THEREIN AND THAT SUCH PAYMENT SHALL BE A BAR TO RECOVERY BY ANY OTHER PERSON OF AMOUNTS SO PAID.

B-133721, NOV. 8, 1957

TO MRS. LELA BRINSON DICKERSON:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 28, 1957, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 2, 1957, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM, AS MOTHER, FOR FINAL SALARY AND LUMP-SUM LEAVE PAYMENT DUE THE ESTATE OF QUILLER B. BRINSON, JR., A FORMER CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, ROSSFORD ORDNANCE DEPOT, TOLEDO, OHIO.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE DECEDENT WAS SURVIVED BY A WIDOW, MARY BRINSON, WHO IS ENTITLED TO THE UNPAID COMPENSATION PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 3, 1950, PUBLIC LAW 636, 64 STAT. 395, WHICH READS IN PERTINENT PART AS OLLOWS:

"THAT IN ORDER TO FACILITATE THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF DECEASED CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (INCLUDING WHOLLY OWNED AND MIXED- OWNERSHIP GOVERNMENT CORPORATIONS) ALL UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE SUCH AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH SHALL BE PAID TO THE PERSON OR PERSONS SURVIVING AT THE DATE OF DEATH, IN THE FOLLOWING ORDER OF PRECEDENCE, AND SUCH PAYMENT SHALL BE A BAR TO RECOVERY BY ANY OTHER PERSON OF AMOUNTS SO PAID:

"FIRST, TO THE BENEFICIARY OR BENEFICIARIES DESIGNATED BY THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IN WRITING TO RECEIVE SUCH COMPENSATION FILED WITH THE GOVERNMENT AGENCY IN WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WAS EMPLOYED AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH, AND RECEIVED BY SUCH AGENCY PRIOR TO THE OFFICER'S OR EMPLOYEE'S DEATH;

"SECOND, IF THERE BE NO SUCH BENEFICIARY, TO THE WIDOW OR WIDOWER OF SUCH OFFICER, OR EMPLOYEE;

"THIRD, IF THERE BE NO BENEFICIARY OR SURVIVING SPOUSE, TO THE CHILD OR CHILDREN OF SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE, AND DESCENDANTS OF DECEASED CHILDREN, BY REPRESENTATION; * * *"

IT IS CLEARLY PROVIDED IN THE ABOVE-QUOTED STATUTE THAT ALL UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE AN EMPLOYEE AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH SHALL BE PAID TO THE PERSON OR PERSONS SURVIVING AT THE DATE OF HIS DEATH IN THE ORDER OF PRECEDENCE SET FORTH THEREIN AND THAT SUCH PAYMENT SHALL BE A BAR TO RECOVERY BY ANY OTHER PERSON OF AMOUNTS SO PAID. AN EXAMINATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION IN THE DISPOSITION OF THE CLAIM REVEALS THAT THE DECEASED EMPLOYEE FAILED TO DESIGNATE A BENEFICIARY--- THE FIRST STEP IN THE ORDER OF PRECEDENCE. HOWEVER, THE RECORD DOES ESTABLISH THAT THE DECEASED IS SURVIVED BY A WIDOW, AND SAID PERSON, SECOND IN THE ORDER OF PRECEDENCE, IN THE ABSENCE OF A DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY, IS THE INDIVIDUAL LAWFULLY ENTITLED TO RECOVER ANY AND ALL FUNDS--- CLASSIFIED AS "UNPAID COMPENSATION" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE TERM AS EXPLAINED IN THE ACT--- DETERMINED TO BE DUE HER HUSBAND AND REMAINING UNPAID AT THE DATE OF HIS DEATH. THE PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE ARE MANDATORY INSOFAR AS CONCERNS THE FINAL DISPOSITION BY OUR OFFICE OF THE FUNDS HERE IN QUESTION AND YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THERE APPEARS NO RECOURSE OPEN TO YOU IN THE MATTER AS THE MOTHER OF THE DECEDENT OR AS THE PAYER OF THE FUNERAL EXPENSES. NEITHER WOULD THE DECEDENT'S DAUGHTER- - THE PERSON ENTITLED UNDER THE THIRD STEP IN THE ORDER OF PRECEDENCE- - BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE THE UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE HER FATHER AND REMAINING UNPAID AT HIS DEATH WHERE THERE ARE INDIVIDUALS UNDER THE FIRST TWO STEPS OF PRECEDENCE CAPABLE OF INHERITING AT THE DATE OF DEATH.

ACCORDINGLY, IN THE LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING, THE ACTION TAKEN BY OUR OFFICE IN THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 2, 1957, IS SUSTAINED.