B-151352, JUL. 26, 1963

B-151352: Jul 26, 1963

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EMERENCIANA PATUBO: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 12. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION UNDER DATE OF MARCH 18. FOR THE REASON THAT THE AMOUNT OF THE GRATUITY DUE REBECCA PATUBO IS IN EXCESS OF $1. IT IS YOUR BELIEF THAT. SINCE YOU ARE THE NATURAL MOTHER AND HAVE BEEN RECOGNIZED BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION AS CUSTODIAN OF THE CHILD. THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT A NATURAL GUARDIAN HAS CUSTODY OVER THE PERSON OF THE WARD. FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF MONEY OR PROPERTY BELONGING TO A MINOR CHILD ORDINARILY A LEGAL GUARDIAN APPOINTED BY A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION IS NECESSARY. AUTHORIZE PAYMENT TO THE NATURAL GUARDIAN OR A MINOR ONLY IN CASES WHERE THE AMOUNT DUE THE MINOR IS $1.

B-151352, JUL. 26, 1963

TO MRS. EMERENCIANA PATUBO:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 12, 1963, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM AS NATURAL GUARDIAN FOR THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY DUE YOUR MINOR DAUGHTER, REBECCA PATUBO, INCIDENT TO THE DEATH OF HER FATHER, THEODORE MATA BAYAN, WHO SERVED AS STOREKEEPER FIRST- CLASS, UNITED STATES NAVY. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION UNDER DATE OF MARCH 18, 1963, FOR THE REASON THAT THE AMOUNT OF THE GRATUITY DUE REBECCA PATUBO IS IN EXCESS OF $1,000 AND, THEREFORE, MAY BE PAID ONLY TO A DULY APPOINTED LEGAL GUARDIAN OF HER ESTATE.

IT IS YOUR BELIEF THAT, SINCE YOU ARE THE NATURAL MOTHER AND HAVE BEEN RECOGNIZED BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION AS CUSTODIAN OF THE CHILD, YOU SHOULD BE PAID THE AMOUNT DUE YOUR DAUGHTER AS THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY WITHOUT FORMAL GUARDIANSHIP PROCEEDINGS.

THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT A NATURAL GUARDIAN HAS CUSTODY OVER THE PERSON OF THE WARD, BUT NOT OVER SUBSTANTIAL PROPERTY INTERESTS OF THE WARD. FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF MONEY OR PROPERTY BELONGING TO A MINOR CHILD ORDINARILY A LEGAL GUARDIAN APPOINTED BY A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION IS NECESSARY. MANY STATES, INCLUDING CALIFORNIA, AUTHORIZE PAYMENT TO THE NATURAL GUARDIAN OR A MINOR ONLY IN CASES WHERE THE AMOUNT DUE THE MINOR IS $1,000 OR LESS. THE SAME MAXIMUM LIMITATION, $1,000, IS USED IN DETERMINING WHETHER OR NOT PAYMENT OF THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY MAY BE AUTHORIZED IN FAVOR OF A NATURAL GUARDIAN OF A MINOR CHILD.

SINCE THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY IS PAID UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE PROVISIONS OF 10 U.S.C. 1475-1480, WHICH ARE SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM THE PROVISIONS OF LAW GOVERNING PAYMENT OF BENEFITS ADMINISTERED BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE BEEN RECOGNIZED BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION AS CUSTODIAN OF THE CHILD FOR THE PAYMENT OF DEPENDENCY AND INDEMNITY COMPENSATION IS NOT CONTROLLING.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE AMOUNT DUE YOUR DAUGHTER IS OVER $1,000, PAYMENT TO YOU AS NATURAL GUARDIAN IS NOT AUTHORIZED. HOWEVER, UPON THE RECEIPT BY US OF A CERTIFIED COPY OF AN ORDER BY A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION APPOINTING A LEGAL GUARDIAN FOR YOUR MINOR DAUGHTER, AND A CLAIM BY SUCH GUARDIAN FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE DEATH GRATUITY, FURTHER CONSIDERATION WILL BE GIVEN THE MATTER.