B-134053, NOV. 16, 1957

B-134053: Nov 16, 1957

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REQUESTS A DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON A VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF MAJOR BORIS J. THE VOUCHER SHOWS THE CHILD WAS BORN SEPTEMBER 5. THAT HER GROSS INCOME IS $108 A MONTH AND THAT HER LIVING EXPENSES AVERAGE $125 A MONTH. WHO IS THE LAWFUL CHILD OF EARL R. THERE IS NO OTHER OUTSIDE INCOME. "3. ALL MONIES RECEIVED FROM THE INSURANCE CLAIM ARE SET ASIDE IN A TRUST FUND TO BE USED BY SUBJECT DEPENDENT WHEN SHE REACHES LEGAL AGE. THE AMOUNT RECEIVED FROM SOCIAL SECURITY CLAIM IS USED FOR HER SCHOOLING REQUIREMENTS. THE OUTSIDE INCOME IS NOT CONSIDERED SUFFICIENT FOR HER NEEDS.'. - "THE FACT THAT GOVERNMENT INSURANCE AND SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS WHICH ARE PAID TO AN ARMY OFFICER'S MINOR STEPSON ON ACCOUNT OF HIS NATURAL FATHER'S DEATH IN THE MILITARY SERVICE ARE NOT USED FOR THE CHILD'S SUPPORT DOES NOT CREATE A DUPLICATE LIABILITY ON THE GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE SUPPORT BY PAYMENT OF QUARTERS OR TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES.

B-134053, NOV. 16, 1957

TO MAJOR RAY WOODS, USMC, DISBURSING OFFICER, THROUGH COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS:

YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 12, 1957, REQUESTS A DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON A VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF MAJOR BORIS J. FRANKOVIC, 027117, USMC, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF A DEPENDENT (ADOPTED STEPDAUGHTER, HEATHER L. SCOTT FRANKOVIC) FROM SPRINGFIELD, VIRGINIA, TO COSTA MESA, CALIFORNIA, BETWEEN JULY 17 AND SEPTEMBER 3, 1957, PURSUANT TO ORDERS DATED APRIL 17, 1957.

THE VOUCHER SHOWS THE CHILD WAS BORN SEPTEMBER 5, 1943. IN LETTERS DATED SEPTEMBER 10, 1957, THE OFFICER SAYS THAT HE CONTRIBUTES $87 A MONTH FOR THE SUPPORT OF HIS ADOPTED STEPDAUGHTER, THAT HER GROSS INCOME IS $108 A MONTH AND THAT HER LIVING EXPENSES AVERAGE $125 A MONTH. THE OFFICER EXPLAINS THE GROSS INCOME OF $108 A MONTH AS FOLLOWS:

"2. MY MARRIAGE ON 26 FEBRUARY 1947 TO HELEN M. SCOTT, ESTABLISHES MY STATUS AS STEP-FATHER TO HEATHER LEE AND ON AUGUST 19, 1947, I LEGALLY ADOPTED HEATHER LEE, WHO IS THE LAWFUL CHILD OF EARL R. SCOTT, DECEASED. HEATHER LEE RECEIVES $38.00 PER MONTH FROM SOCIAL SECURITY * * * AND $70.00 FROM VETERANS INSURANCE * * *. THERE IS NO OTHER OUTSIDE INCOME.

"3. ALL MONIES RECEIVED FROM THE INSURANCE CLAIM ARE SET ASIDE IN A TRUST FUND TO BE USED BY SUBJECT DEPENDENT WHEN SHE REACHES LEGAL AGE. THE AMOUNT RECEIVED FROM SOCIAL SECURITY CLAIM IS USED FOR HER SCHOOLING REQUIREMENTS. CONSIDERING THE EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS AND LIVING COSTS, THE OUTSIDE INCOME IS NOT CONSIDERED SUFFICIENT FOR HER NEEDS.'

IN ORDER FOR A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES TO BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF AN ADOPTED CHILD OR STEPCHILD, THE ADOPTED CHILD OR STEPCHILD MUST BE IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON THE MEMBER. OUR DECISION OF APRIL 3, 1956, B-126916, 35 COMP. GEN. 536, COPY ENCLOSED, WE HELD (QUOTING THE SYLLABUS/---

"THE FACT THAT GOVERNMENT INSURANCE AND SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS WHICH ARE PAID TO AN ARMY OFFICER'S MINOR STEPSON ON ACCOUNT OF HIS NATURAL FATHER'S DEATH IN THE MILITARY SERVICE ARE NOT USED FOR THE CHILD'S SUPPORT DOES NOT CREATE A DUPLICATE LIABILITY ON THE GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE SUPPORT BY PAYMENT OF QUARTERS OR TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES, AND THE STEPCHILD WHO RECEIVES SUCH GOVERNMENT BENEFITS IN AN AMOUNT WHICH IS NOT SHOWN TO BE INADEQUATE FOR HIS SUPPORT, IS NOT IN FACT DEPENDENT ON THE OFFICER WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 102 (G) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949 TO ENTITLE THE OFFICER TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF THE STEPSON'S TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF STATION.'

SINCE THE CIRCUMSTANCES HERE INVOLVED ARE SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR TO THOSE IN THE DECISION OF APRIL 3, 1956, IT IS NOT CONSIDERED THAT THE CHILD WAS IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON THE OFFICER WHEN THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED. ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETAINED HERE, IS NOT AUTHORIZED.