B-135747, SEP. 3, 1959

B-135747: Sep 3, 1959

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TEARS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JULY 14. WITH THE STIPULATION THAT THE PAYMENTS UNDER THE AUTHORIZATION WERE TO CONTINUE THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30. WERE TO BE DEDUCTED FROM THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS TO BE MADE THEREAFTER TO YOUR WIFE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE SERVICEMEN'S DEPENDENTS ALLOWANCE ACT OF 1942. THIS STIPULATION WAS IN CONFORMANCE WITH THE ESTABLISHED POLICY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AT THE TIME. WHICH WAS ADOPTED IN ORDER TO ALLEVIATE HARDSHIP ON THE PART OF ENLISTED MEN'S DEPENDENTS PENDING INITIATION OF FAMILY ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS. WERE NOT DEDUCTED FROM THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE CHECKS BEGINNING JULY 1942. WITHOUT A CORRESPONDING DEDUCTION FROM HIS PAY WAS SET FORTH IN REGULATIONS PROMULGATED IN PARAGRAPH 11.

B-135747, SEP. 3, 1959

TO MR. EUGENE A. TEARS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JULY 14, 1959, WRITTEN ON YOUR BEHALF BY DAVID KLICKSTEIN, ATTORNEY AT LAW, RELATIVE TO THE BALANCE DUE ON THE CLAIM OF THE UNITED STATES AGAINST YOU, IN THE AMOUNT OF $185, REPRESENTING PAYMENTS OF CLASS E VOLUNTARY ALLOTMENT MADE FROM JULY THROUGH SEPTEMBER 1942, INCIDENT TO YOUR SERVICE AS AN ENLISTED MAN IN THE ARMY, SERVICE NO. 6 143 847.

IT APPEARS THAT YOU AUTHORIZED A CLASS E VOLUNTARY ALLOTMENT OF $50 A MONTH IN FAVOR OF YOUR WIFE EFFECTIVE MARCH 1, 1942. ON MAY 16, 1942, YOU AUTHORIZED THE ALLOTMENT TO BE INCREASED TO $65 A MONTH EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1942. ON JULY 21, 1942, YOU REQUESTED DISCONTINUANCE OF THIS ALLOTMENT EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1942, WITH THE STIPULATION THAT THE PAYMENTS UNDER THE AUTHORIZATION WERE TO CONTINUE THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 1942, AND THAT THE AMOUNTS SO PAID FROM JULY 1, 1942, WERE TO BE DEDUCTED FROM THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS TO BE MADE THEREAFTER TO YOUR WIFE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE SERVICEMEN'S DEPENDENTS ALLOWANCE ACT OF 1942, 56 STAT. 381. THIS STIPULATION WAS IN CONFORMANCE WITH THE ESTABLISHED POLICY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AT THE TIME, WHICH WAS ADOPTED IN ORDER TO ALLEVIATE HARDSHIP ON THE PART OF ENLISTED MEN'S DEPENDENTS PENDING INITIATION OF FAMILY ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS. THE CLASS E ALLOTMENT PAYMENTS MADE TO YOUR WIFE FOR THE MONTHS OF JULY THROUGH SEPTEMBER 1942, IN THE AMOUNT OF $65 EACH, WERE NOT DEDUCTED FROM THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE CHECKS BEGINNING JULY 1942, RESULTING IN EXCESS PAYMENTS IN THE SUM OF $195 BASED ON YOUR MILITARY SERVICE.

THE POLICY WHICH PERMITTED AN ENLISTED MAN TO AUTHORIZE A CLASS E ALLOTMENT TO HIS DEPENDENT FOR THE PERIOD JUNE 1 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 1942, WITHOUT A CORRESPONDING DEDUCTION FROM HIS PAY WAS SET FORTH IN REGULATIONS PROMULGATED IN PARAGRAPH 11, WAR DEPARTMENT CIRCULAR 225, DATED JULY 11, 1942, WHICH PROVIDED, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"/C) IN CASES WHERE IT IS NECESSARY TO DISCONTINUE OR ADJUST VOLUNTARY ALLOTMENTS OF ENLISTED MEN WHO HAVE CLASS E ALLOTMENTS RUNNING IN ORDER TO PERMIT THE PAY ROLL ACCOUNT OF THE ENLISTED MEN TO PROVIDE THE AMOUNTS REQUIRED (TO PAY THE ENLISTED MEMBER'S CONTRIBUTION TO THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE AND TO INSURE THAT THE MEMBER WOULD HAVE A MINIMUM OF $10 A MONTH FOR HIS PERSONAL LOCAL NEEDS) * * * AND WHERE HARDSHIP WOULD RESULT IF THE PAYMENT TO DEPENDENTS OF THE AMOUNT FORMERLY PAID AS A CLASS E ALLOTMENT WERE DISCONTINUED DURING THE PERIOD THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 1942, THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURE WAS AUTHORIZED:

"/1) THE CLASS E ALLOTMENT MAY BE DISCONTINUED ON W.D., A.G.O. FORM NO. 30 (NOTIFICATION OF DISCONTINUANCE OF ALLOTMENT), AND THE FOLLOWING NOTATION PLACED ON THE REVERSE SIDE OF THE FORM:

"PAYMENT TO CONTINUE THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 1942, UNDER THIS ALLOTMENT AND THE TOTAL SO PAID FROM DATE OF CANCELLATION THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 1942, IS TO BE DEDUCTED FROM THE FIRST PAYMENT UNDER THE SERVICEMEN'S DEPENDENTS ALLOWANCE ACT.

"/2) THIS PROCEDURE WILL PERMIT PAYMENT TO BE MADE OF THE SAME AMOUNT AS PREVIOUSLY ALLOTTED TO DEPENDENTS FOR THE PERIOD JUNE THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 1942, AND AT THE SAME TIME CLEAR THE PAY ROLL OF THE DEDUCTION FOR THE CLASS E ALLOTMENT AFTER THE DISCONTINUANCE FORM HAS BEEN SUBMITTED.'

IT APPEARS THAT SUCH REGULATIONS WERE ISSUED PURSUANT TO AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 108 OF THE SERVICEMEN'S DEPENDENTS ALLOWANCE ACT OF 1942, 56 STAT. 383. HOWEVER, WHILE THAT SECTION PROVIDED THAT AN ALLOTMENT IN EFFECT AT THE TIME A FAMILY ALLOWANCE BECAME PAYABLE COULD BE CONTINUED, MODIFIED, OR DISCONTINUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED, NOTHING CONTAINED IN THAT SECTION INDICATED THAT AUTHORITY WAS GRANTED TO THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT TO CONTINUE AN ALLOTMENT OF AN ENLISTED MAN'S PAY WITHOUT A CONTINUANCE, ALSO, OF THE PRIMARY LIABILITY OF THE ENLISTED MAN WITH RESPECT TO SUCH ALLOTMENT. THE AMOUNT IN QUESTION RECEIVED BY YOUR WIFE REPRESENTS SUCH A CONTINUATION OF THE ALLOTMENT PAYMENTS AUTHORIZED EFFECTIVE MARCH 1, 1942, RATHER THAN FAMILY ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS, AND THE AMOUNT THEREOF WAS PROPERLY FOR CHARGING AGAINST YOUR PAY. WHILE UNDER THE ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATIONS IN EFFECT AT THAT TIME, RECOVERY SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE BY MAKING A DEDUCTION FROM THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS, THE FACTS THAT THE DEDUCTION WAS NOT MADE TO COMPENSATE FOR SUCH ALLOTMENT PAYMENTS AUTHORIZED AT YOUR REQUEST DOES NOT EXTINGUISH THE GOVERNMENT'S RIGHT TO RECOVER FROM YOU. THE SITUATION IS MERELY A CASE WHERE THE GOVERNMENT PAID CERTAIN MONEYS TO YOUR WIFE ON YOUR BEHALF AND AT YOUR REQUEST TO BE USED FOR HER SUPPORT IN ORDER TO ALLEVIATE A POSSIBLE HARDSHIP. THE FACT THAT THE GOVERNMENT FAILED TO COLLECT A MONEYS SO PAID IN THE MANNER INTENDED BY YOU AT THE TIME THE PAYMENTS WERE AUTHORIZED DOES NOT RELIEVE YOU OF LIABILITY IN THE MATTER.

THERE IS NO RULE UNDER WHICH AN ENLISTED MAN MAY BE RETAINED IN THE ARMED FORCES FOR DEBT AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF HIS TERM OF ENLISTMENT, AND THERE IS NO STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS WHICH BARS THE UNITED STATES FROM RECOVERY OF THE AMOUNT DUE IN THIS CASE.

HOWEVER, THIS OFFICE HAS NO DESIRE TO PLACE ANY UNDUE HARDSHIP UPON YOU IN THIS MATTER AND, ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT ANY REASONABLE ARRANGEMENT FOR REPAYMENT OF THE INDEBTEDNESS WOULD BE ACCEPTABLE HERE, PROVIDED THE PAYMENTS ARE STARTED WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME AND ARE MADE AT REGULAR INTERVALS THEREAFTER. YOUR REPLY, INDICATING YOUR INTENTIONS, SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE CHIEF, DEBT SECTION, CLAIMS DIVISION, UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, 441 G. STREET, N.W., WASHINGTON 25, D.C., WITHIN 30 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS LETTER, REFERENCE BEING MADE TO CLAIM NO. Z 440667.