B-147330, NOV. 1, 1961

B-147330: Nov 1, 1961

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SHAMBERG: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 14. WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR SETTLEMENT DATED AUGUST 22. IS GOVERNED BY 10 U.S.C. 2771. THAT SECTION PROVIDES (SO FAR AS APPLICABLE HERE) THAT AN AMOUNT DUE FROM THE ARMED FORCE OF WHICH THE DECEDENT WAS A MEMBER SHALL BE PAID TO THE PERSON HIGHEST IN THE ORDER OF PRECEDENCE. SHAMBERG TO RECEIVE PAY DUE AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH AND WE DO NOT HAVE ANY INFORMATION THAT THE DESIGNATION DID NOT REFLECT HIS INTENT AT THE TIME OR THAT HE EVER CHANGED THIS DESIGNATION. THE FACT THAT HE WAS THEN DIVORCED FROM HER AND HER MAIDEN NAME HAD BEEN RESTORED. THE PROVISIONS OF 10 U.S.C. 2771 ARE MANDATORY AND BINDING UPON THIS OFFICE. PAY THAT WAS DUE UPON THE DEATH OF YOUR HUSBAND IS REQUIRED TO BE DISTRIBUTED IN THE ORDER OF PRECEDENCE SET FORTH IN THE LAW.

B-147330, NOV. 1, 1961

TO MRS. LEONOR R. SHAMBERG:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 14, 1961, FROM THE COUNTY OF SAN BERNARDINO, DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, SAN BERNARDINO, CALIFORNIA, ENCLOSING COPY OF A CERTIFICATE OF MARRIAGE BETWEEN YOU AND GEORGE J. SHAMBERG, A COPY OF A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE OF HELEN L. SHAMBERG FROM GEORGE J. SHAMBERG, AND, IN EFFECT, REQUESTING ON YOUR BEHALF RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR PAY DUE YOUR HUSBAND AT DATE OF DEATH, AUGUST 19, 1960, INCIDENT TO HIS SERVICE IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY, WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR SETTLEMENT DATED AUGUST 22, 1961.

THE PAYMENT OF PAY AND ALLOWANCES DUE IN THE CASES OF DECEASED MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES WHO DIE AFTER DECEMBER 31, 1955, IS GOVERNED BY 10 U.S.C. 2771. THAT SECTION PROVIDES (SO FAR AS APPLICABLE HERE) THAT AN AMOUNT DUE FROM THE ARMED FORCE OF WHICH THE DECEDENT WAS A MEMBER SHALL BE PAID TO THE PERSON HIGHEST IN THE ORDER OF PRECEDENCE, LIVING ON THE DATE OF SUCH DECEDENT'S DEATH, AS FOLLOWS: (1) BENEFICIARY DESIGNATED BY THE DECEDENT IN WRITING, IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED; (2) SURVIVING SPOUSE; (3) CHILDREN AND THEIR DESCENDANTS, BY REPRESENTATION; AND (4) FATHER AND MOTHER IN EQUAL PARTS OR, IF EITHER BE DEAD, THE SURVIVOR.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ON MARCH 5, 1956, YOUR HUSBAND DESIGNATED LUCILLE H. SHAMBERG TO RECEIVE PAY DUE AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH AND WE DO NOT HAVE ANY INFORMATION THAT THE DESIGNATION DID NOT REFLECT HIS INTENT AT THE TIME OR THAT HE EVER CHANGED THIS DESIGNATION. YOUR MARRIAGE TO HIM, OVER ONE YEAR AFTER THE DATE OF SUCH DESIGNATION, MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED AS ESTABLISHING AN INTENT TO DESIGNATE YOU AS THE BENEFICIARY; AND, SINCE HE HAD BEEN MARRIED TO LUCILLE H. SHAMBERG AND KNEW HER AS SUCH, THE FACT THAT HE WAS THEN DIVORCED FROM HER AND HER MAIDEN NAME HAD BEEN RESTORED, AFFORDS NO SOUND BASIS UPON WHICH WE MAY CONCLUDE THAT HE DID NOT INTEND TO DESIGNATE THE PERSON KNOWN TO HIM AS LUCILLE H. SHAMBERG AS HIS BENEFICIARY. THE PROVISIONS OF 10 U.S.C. 2771 ARE MANDATORY AND BINDING UPON THIS OFFICE, AND PAY THAT WAS DUE UPON THE DEATH OF YOUR HUSBAND IS REQUIRED TO BE DISTRIBUTED IN THE ORDER OF PRECEDENCE SET FORTH IN THE LAW. ACCORDINGLY, WE TRUST YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THAT WE HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE ON THE BASIS OF THE AVAILABLE RECORD BUT TO SUSTAIN THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM.

SINCE IT HAS BEEN INDICATED THAT LUCILLE H. SHAMBERG DOES NOT WANT ANYTHING FROM HER EX-HUSBAND, WE KNOW OF NO REASON WHY SHE COULD NOT, IF SHE WISHED, CLAIM THE AMOUNT ($111.38) DUE AS DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY AND IF AND WHEN SHE RECEIVES THE CHECK, ENDORSE IT IN YOUR FAVOR AND TRANSMIT IT TO YOU.