B-138536, APR 27, 1959

B-138536: Apr 27, 1959

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JANUARY 22. THE QUESTION IS AS FOLLOWS: "IN DETERMINING WHETHER DEPENDENCY EXISTS FOR PURPOSES OF INCREASED QUARTERS ALLOWANCE DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHAT EXTENT. BE EXCLUDED FROM CONSIDERATION AS INCOME IN APPLYING THE 'FAMILY UNIT RULE.'" IT WAS HELD IN DECISION OF JANUARY 11. HAVE THE EFFECT OF VESTING IN THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED. THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE DETERMINATIONS OF QUESTIONS OF DEPENDENCY AND RELATIONSHIP WHICH MAY ARISE IN CONNECTION WITH PAYMENTS OF BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS TO OFFICERS AS WELL AS OTHER MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IN THOSE CASES WHERE THE PAYMENT IS BASED ON THE DEPENDENCY OF A PARENT.

B-138536, APR 27, 1959

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JANUARY 22, 1959, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE (COMPTROLLER), REQUESTING A DECISION ON THE QUESTION DISCUSSED IN COMMITTEE ACTION NO. 234 OF THE MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE. THE QUESTION IS AS FOLLOWS:

"IN DETERMINING WHETHER DEPENDENCY EXISTS FOR PURPOSES OF INCREASED QUARTERS ALLOWANCE DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHAT EXTENT, IF ANY, MAY PAYMENTS RECEIVED UNDER (1) A COURT ORDER PROVIDING SUPPORT FOR MINOR CHILDREN OR (2) PAYMENTS RECEIVED FROM THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION OR SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION BY THE PARENT FOR THE USE AND BENEFIT OF MINOR CHILDREN, BE EXCLUDED FROM CONSIDERATION AS INCOME IN APPLYING THE 'FAMILY UNIT RULE.'"

IT WAS HELD IN DECISION OF JANUARY 11, 1951, B-90615, 30 COMP. GEN. 282, THAT FOR THE DURATION OF THE DEPENDENTS ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1950, 64 STAT. 794, THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 1 OF SUCH STATUTE, CONSIDERED IN CONJUNCTION WITH SECTIONS 10 AND 11 THEREOF, HAVE THE EFFECT OF VESTING IN THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED, OR SUCH PERSON OR PERSONS AS HE MAY DESIGNATE, THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE DETERMINATIONS OF QUESTIONS OF DEPENDENCY AND RELATIONSHIP WHICH MAY ARISE IN CONNECTION WITH PAYMENTS OF BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS TO OFFICERS AS WELL AS OTHER MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IN THOSE CASES WHERE THE PAYMENT IS BASED ON THE DEPENDENCY OF A PARENT. AND UNDER THE LAW THE SECRETARY CONCERNED IS AUTHORIZED TO DECIDE WHAT EVIDENCE IS REQUIRED FOR MAKING DETERMINATIONS OF DEPENDENCY IN SUCH CASES AND TO PRESCRIBE REGULATIONS IN THAT REGARD. HENCE, THE VIEWS STATED HEREIN SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS ADVISORY IN NATURE.

IN THE APPLICATION OF THE "FAMILY UNIT RULE" IN SITUATIONS WHERE THERE ARE FULLY EMPLOYED CHILDREN WHO ARE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSEHOLD, WE HAVE HELD, IN CASES UNDER OUR JURISDICTION, THAT THE CONTRIBUTIONS BY THE CHILDREN AS ROOM AND BOARD PAYMENTS COULD NOT BE CONSIDERED INCOME BY THE MOTHER IN VIEW OF WHAT THE MOTHER FURNISHED IN RETURN. B 122907, MARCH 29, 1955; B-111550, MARCH 25, 1955.

IT APPEARS TO US THAT THE APPLICATION OF THE SAME GENERAL THEORY TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES OUTLINED IN YOUR LETTER WOULD ESTABLISH A BASIS THAT WOULD BE EQUITABLE IN ALL BUT A FEW EXCEPTIONAL OR UNUSUAL CASES, WHICH, OF COURSE, COULD BE DISPOSED OF ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS WITH THE SUBMISSION OF FURTHER EVIDENCE. THE PAYMENTS RECEIVED BY THE PARENT FOR THE SUPPORT, OR USE AND BENEFIT OF MINOR CHILDREN WOULD BE ASSUMED TO HAVE BEEN USED FOR THE PURPOSE INTENDED, AND WOULD BE EXCLUDED FROM THE PARENT'S INCOME. A NECESSARY COROLLARY, THE MONTHLY EXPENSES OF THE HOUSEHOLD WOULD HAVE TO BE REDUCED BY THE AMOUNT OF THE PAYMENT.

IN THIS VIEW OF THE MATTER THE SOURCE OF THE PAYMENTS FOR THE SUPPORT OF MINOR CHILDREN WOULD NOT BE MATERIAL, WHETHER BY REASON OF A COURT ORDER, OR OTHERWISE, WHICH VIEW SEEMS TO BE IN CONSONANCE WITH THE PRINCIPLES AND OBJECTIVES STATED IN COMMITTEE ACTION 122, MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE, QUOTED IN COMMITTEE ACTION NO. 234.