B-147103, JAN. 2, 1964

B-147103: Jan 2, 1964

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ELEANOR GRAY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 16. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION UNDER DATE OF JULY 21. BASED ON YOUR STATEMENT THAT THE DECEDENT WAS NOT YOUR NATURAL SON BUT WAS A FOSTER SON ONLY. MADE INQUIRY ON YOUR BEHALF AND WE EXPLAINED TO HIM THAT PAYMENT TO YOU COULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE THAT YOU WERE RELATED TO THE DECEDENT BY BLOOD. PAYMENT OF THE 6-MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY TO DECEASED ARMY PERSONNEL WAS THEN GOVERNED BY THE ACT OF DECEMBER 17. THE CATEGORY OF FOSTER PARENT IS NOT INCLUDED. IT APPEARS YOUR CLAIM IS BASED PARTLY ON THE STATEMENT IN YOUR LETTER OF MAY 11. THAT YOU ARE THE BENEFICIARY OF THE DECEDENT'S INSURANCE AND COMPENSATION.

B-147103, JAN. 2, 1964

TO MRS. ELEANOR GRAY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 16, 1963, RELATIVE TO YOUR CLAIM FOR 6-MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY IN THE CASE OF DONALD W. GRAY, STAFF SERGEANT, ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES, DECEASED. YOUR RECENT LETTER ADDRESSED TO PRESIDENT JOHNSON CONCERNING THIS MATTER ALSO HAS BEEN REFERRED TO OUR OFFICE FOR REPLY.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION UNDER DATE OF JULY 21, 1961, BASED ON YOUR STATEMENT THAT THE DECEDENT WAS NOT YOUR NATURAL SON BUT WAS A FOSTER SON ONLY. SUBSEQUENTLY THE HONORABLE GLENARD P. LIPSCOMB, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, MADE INQUIRY ON YOUR BEHALF AND WE EXPLAINED TO HIM THAT PAYMENT TO YOU COULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE THAT YOU WERE RELATED TO THE DECEDENT BY BLOOD, MARRIAGE OR LEGAL ADOPTION.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT DONALD W. GRAY DIED ON JANUARY 29, 1944. PAYMENT OF THE 6-MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY TO DECEASED ARMY PERSONNEL WAS THEN GOVERNED BY THE ACT OF DECEMBER 17, 1919, CH. 6, 41 STAT. 367, AS AMENDED, 10 U.S.C. 903 (1946 ED.), WHICH AUTHORIZED SUCH PAYMENT ONLY TO A PERSON RELATED TO THE DECEDENT IN ONE OF CERTAIN SPECIFIED CATEGORIES. THE CATEGORY OF FOSTER PARENT IS NOT INCLUDED.

IT APPEARS YOUR CLAIM IS BASED PARTLY ON THE STATEMENT IN YOUR LETTER OF MAY 11, 1961, THAT YOU ARE THE BENEFICIARY OF THE DECEDENT'S INSURANCE AND COMPENSATION. IT IS ASSUMED THAT YOU REFER TO BENEFITS PAID BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, ON ACCOUNT OF THE SERVICE OF DONALD W. GRAY, INCLUDING NATIONAL SERVICE LIFE INSURANCE WHICH WAS GOVERNED BY TITLE VI, PART I OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 8, 1940, CH. 757, 54 STAT. 1006, AS AMENDED, 38 U.S.C. 801, ET SEQ. (1946 ED.). THAT LAW SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZES RECOGNITION AS A "PARENT" IN CERTAIN CASES OF A PERSON WHO STOOD IN LOCO PARENTIS TO THE DECEASED SERVICEMAN. HOWEVER, THE LAW CITED ABOVE GOVERNING PAYMENT OF 6-MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY AT THE TIME DONALD W. GRAY DIED INCLUDED NO SUCH PROVISION.