B-133829, OCT. 14, 1957

B-133829: Oct 14, 1957

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ROSYANNER JOHNSON: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 7. WHILE SUCH APPLICATION WAS RECEIVED BY THE ARMY ON APRIL 9. YOU WERE NOT DESIGNATED TO RECEIVE SUCH AMOUNTS AND ON AUGUST 16. THE APPLICATION WAS FORWARDED TO US FOR APPROPRIATE ACTION. WAS FORWARDED TO US. KAYE EXPRESSES DISAPPOINTMENT THAT YOUR APPLICATION WAS NOT APPROVED. IS MENTALLY INCAPABLE OF MANAGING HIS OWN AFFAIRS. IS AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID. ANY PAYMENTS TO THE PERSON OR PERSONS SO APPOINTED AS PROVIDED HEREIN SHALL CONSTITUTE A COMPLETE DISCHARGE OF THE OBLIGATION OF THE UNITED STATES AS TO THE AMOUNTS SO PAID: * * *" THE PURPOSE OF THE ACT IS TO PROVIDE LEGAL AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF AMOUNTS DUE MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO.

B-133829, OCT. 14, 1957

TO MRS. ROSYANNER JOHNSON:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 7, 1957, WRITTEN IN YOUR BEHALF BY MR. KAYE, CONCERNING THE ARREARS OF PAY AND ALLOWANCES DUE IN THE CASE OF YOUR SON, JOHN H. JOHNSON, AS OF MAY 16, 1957, THE DATE OF HIS DISCHARGE AS A MENTALLY INCOMPETENT ENLISTED MAN OF THE ARMY.

ON APRIL 5, 1957, YOU EXECUTED AN APPLICATION UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 21, 1950, 64 STAT. 249, FOR YOUR DESIGNATION AS A PERSON TO RECEIVE THE AMOUNTS DUE YOUR MENTALLY INCOMPETENT SON. WHILE SUCH APPLICATION WAS RECEIVED BY THE ARMY ON APRIL 9, 1957, YOU WERE NOT DESIGNATED TO RECEIVE SUCH AMOUNTS AND ON AUGUST 16, 1957, THE APPLICATION WAS FORWARDED TO US FOR APPROPRIATE ACTION. ALSO, ON THE SAME DATE AN APPLICATION DATED AUGUST 5, 1957, BY THE MANAGER, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL, NORTH LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS, FOR PAY AND ALLOWANCES DUE YOUR SON, A PATIENT IN THAT HOSPITAL, WAS FORWARDED TO US. BY LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 3, 1957, THE CLAIMS DIVISION ADVISED YOU THAT PAYMENT COULD NOT BE MADE TO YOU ON THE BASIS OF YOUR APPLICATION SINCE THE ACT OF JUNE 21, 1950, ONLY AUTHORIZES PAYMENT TO A PERSON SO DESIGNATED ON OR BEFORE DISCHARGE. THE CLAIMS DIVISION ALSO ADVISED YOU THAT SINCE A LEGAL GUARDIAN HAD NOT BEEN APPOINTED FOR YOUR SON PAYMENT WOULD BE MADE TO THE MANAGER OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL, NORTH LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS, IN TRUST FOR THE USE AND BENEFIT OF YOUR SON.

IN THE LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 7, 1957, MR. KAYE EXPRESSES DISAPPOINTMENT THAT YOUR APPLICATION WAS NOT APPROVED. HE URGES THAT YOU SHOULD BE RECOGNIZED AS YOUR SON'S GUARDIAN, YOU BEING THE ONLY PERSON CAPABLE OF LOOKING AFTER HIS AFFAIRS, AND ASKS WHETHER YOU SHOULD OBTAIN A COURT ORDER.

SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 21, 1950, PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"SEC. 2. ANY ACTIVE-DUTY PAY AND ALLOWANCES, OR ANY AMOUNTS DUE FOR ACCUMULATED OR ACCRUED LEAVE, OR ANY RETIRED OR RETAINER PAY, OTHERWISE PAYABLE TO ANY MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO, IN THE OPINION OF COMPETENT MEDICAL AUTHORITY, IS MENTALLY INCAPABLE OF MANAGING HIS OWN AFFAIRS, IS AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID, FOR THE USE AND BENEFIT OF SUCH INCOMPETENT MEMBER, TO SUCH PERSON OR PERSONS WHO MAY BE DESIGNATED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, THE FEDERAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATOR, OR SUCH OTHER OFFICER OR OFFICERS AS THE RESPECTIVE SECRETARIES OR ADMINISTRATOR MAY DESIGNATE FOR SUCH PURPOSES, WITHOUT THE NECESSITY FOR APPOINTMENT IN JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS OF A COMMITTEE, GUARDIAN, OR OTHER LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE, AND ANY PAYMENTS TO THE PERSON OR PERSONS SO APPOINTED AS PROVIDED HEREIN SHALL CONSTITUTE A COMPLETE DISCHARGE OF THE OBLIGATION OF THE UNITED STATES AS TO THE AMOUNTS SO PAID: * * *"

THE PURPOSE OF THE ACT IS TO PROVIDE LEGAL AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF AMOUNTS DUE MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO, IN THE OPINION OF A PROPERLY CONSTITUTED MEDICAL BOARD, AS PROVIDED FOR THEREIN, ARE MENTALLY INCOMPETENT TO MANAGE THEIR OWN AFFAIRS, FOR THE USE AND BENEFIT OF SUCH INCOMPETENTS, TO PERSONS DESIGNATED BY THE APPROPRIATE SECRETARY OF HIS DESIGNEE TO RECEIVE SUCH AMOUNTS, WITHOUT THE NECESSITY FOR APPOINTMENT IN JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS OF A COMMITTEE, GUARDIAN, OR OTHER LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE. WHERE, HOWEVER, PAYMENT IS NOT MADE ON OR BEFORE DISCHARGE OR SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE, SUCH PAYMENT CANNOT SUBSEQUENTLY BE MADE TO A PERSON DESIGNATED UNDER THE ACT, THE PERSON PRIMARILY ENTITLED TO THE PAY AND ALLOWANCES NO LONGER BEING A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES. WE DO NOT KNOW WHY YOUR APPLICATION WAS NOT APPROVED BUT WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO APPROVE THE APPLICATION AND WE COULD NOT MAKE PAYMENT TO YOU UNDER THE ABOVE QUOTED PROVISONS AFTER YOUR SON HAD BEEN DISCHARGED.

UNDER APPLICABLE LAW AND REGULATIONS, THE MANAGERS OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL ACT IN A FIDUCIARY CAPACITY WITH RESPECT TO PATIENTS' FUNDS IN THEIR HANDS. THEREFORE, IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF THE VETERANS AND THE GOVERNMENT IN CASES OF THIS NATURE AND TO RELIEVE THE VETERAN'S ESTATE OF THE COST OF HAVINGA LEGAL GUARDIAN APPOINTED, WE HAVE FOLLOWED A PRACTICE OF ALLOWING RELATIVELY SMALL AMOUNTS DUE A VETERAN TO THE MANAGER IN TRUST FOR THE USE AND BENEFIT OF THE VETERAN. IN LINE WITH THAT PRACTICE THE AMOUNT OF $458.88 DUE YOUR SON WAS ALLOWED TO THE MANAGER OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL, NORTH LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS, IN TRUST FOR YOUR SON'S USE AND BENEFIT AND ANY FURTHER DISPOSITION OF SUCH SUM NOW IS GOVERNED BY THE VETERANS' LAWS AND REGULATIONS. WE SUGGEST THAT YOU MAKE INQUIRY TO THE MANAGER OF THE NORTH LITTLE ROCK FACILITY REGARDING THE MATTER OF THE DISPOSITION OF THE AMOUNT WHICH WAS PAID TO HIM ON BEHALF OF YOUR SON.