B-157353, AUG. 12, 1965

B-157353: Aug 12, 1965

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THE CONTROLLING FACTS GOVERNING THIS MATTER ARE AS FOLLOWS. THERE WAS OF RECORD IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE A DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY. WAS NOT RECEIVED BY YOUR HUSBAND'S EMPLOYING AGENCY UNTIL MARCH 22. COULD NOT HAVE BEEN RECEIVED BY THE EMPLOYING OFFICE UNTIL MARCH 22. 1965 FELL ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY WHICH WERE DAYS THAT THE APPROPRIATE OFFICE WAS CLOSED. THAT CHERYL LYNN AND DOROTHY CUPPY ARE NOT YOUR HUSBAND'S LEGAL GRANDDAUGHTERS INASMUCH AS THEIR MOTHER LOLA M. - WAS NEVER ADOPTED BY YOUR HUSBAND AND THAT A WILL EXECUTED BY YOUR HUSBAND ON MARCH 11. TO THE BENEFICIARY OR BENEFICIARIES DESIGNATED BY THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IN WRITING TO RECEIVE SUCH COMPENSATION FILED WITH THE GOVERNMENT AGENCY IN WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WAS EMPLOYED AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH.

B-157353, AUG. 12, 1965

TO MRS. KATHARINA WALTERS:

BY LETTER DATED JULY 12, 1965, YOU REQUESTED RECONSIDERATION OF OUR CLAIM SETTLEMENT, Z-2291527, JULY 6, 1965, BY WHICH WE DENIED YOUR CLAIM AS WIDOW AND AS DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY TO UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE ROBERT L. WALTERS AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH.

THE CONTROLLING FACTS GOVERNING THIS MATTER ARE AS FOLLOWS. AT THE TIME OF YOUR HUSBAND'S DEATH ON MARCH 20, 1965, THERE WAS OF RECORD IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE A DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY, EXECUTED ON JULY 28, 1960, BY WHICH YOUR HUSBAND NAMED CHERYL LYNN CUPPY AND DOROTHY CUPPY AS BENEFICIARIES TO RECEIVE ANY UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE AFTER HIS DEATH. MARCH 19, 1965, THE DAY BEFORE HIS DEATH, MR. WALTERS EXECUTED ANOTHER DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY NAMING YOU AS SOLE BENEFICIARY TO SUCH UNPAID COMPENSATION AND CANCELLING ALL PREVIOUS DESIGNATIONS. HOWEVER, THE DESIGNATION EXECUTED ON MARCH 19, 1965, WAS NOT RECEIVED BY YOUR HUSBAND'S EMPLOYING AGENCY UNTIL MARCH 22, 1965.

IN YOUR REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION YOU ASK THAT WE CONSIDER THAT THE DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY OF MARCH 19, 1965, COULD NOT HAVE BEEN RECEIVED BY THE EMPLOYING OFFICE UNTIL MARCH 22, 1965, BECAUSE MARCH 20 21, 1965 FELL ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY WHICH WERE DAYS THAT THE APPROPRIATE OFFICE WAS CLOSED; THAT CHERYL LYNN AND DOROTHY CUPPY ARE NOT YOUR HUSBAND'S LEGAL GRANDDAUGHTERS INASMUCH AS THEIR MOTHER LOLA M. DRODDY--- STEPDAUGHTER OF YOUR HUSBAND--- WAS NEVER ADOPTED BY YOUR HUSBAND AND THAT A WILL EXECUTED BY YOUR HUSBAND ON MARCH 11, 1965 NAMES YOU AS BENEFICIARY.

WHILE THE ARGUMENTS PRESENTED BY YOU MIGHT BE OF LEGAL SIGNIFICANCE IN OTHER SETTLEMENTS INVOLVING DECEDENTS' ESTATES, THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES HAS ENACTED LEGISLATION THAT GOVERNS THE DISTRIBUTION OF UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE DECEASED EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT AND MUST CONTROL IN THIS SITUATION.

SPECIFICALLY SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 3, 1950, CH. 518, 64 STAT. 395, 5 U.S.C. 61F PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"IN ORDER TO FACILITATE THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF DECEASED CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT * * * ALL UNPAID COMPENSATION DUE SUCH AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH SHALL BE PAID TO THE PERSON OR PERSONS SURVIVING AT THE DATE OF DEATH, IN THE FOLLOWING ORDER OF PRECEDENCE, AND SUCH PAYMENT SHALL BE A BAR TO RECOVERY BY ANY OTHER PERSON OF AMOUNTS SO PAID:

"FIRST, TO THE BENEFICIARY OR BENEFICIARIES DESIGNATED BY THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IN WRITING TO RECEIVE SUCH COMPENSATION FILED WITH THE GOVERNMENT AGENCY IN WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WAS EMPLOYED AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH, AND RECEIVED BY SUCH AGENCY PRIOR TO THE OFFICER'S OR EMPLOYEE'S DEATH;

"SECOND, IF THERE BE NO SUCH BENEFICIARY, TO THE WIDOW * * * OF SUCH OFFICER, OR EMPLOYEE; "

WHILE THE APPLICATION OF THIS STATUTE WORKS TO YOUR DISADVANTAGE, ITS LANGUAGE IS CLEAR AND MUST BE APPLIED. WE ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO WAIVE ANY OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS STATUTE. ACCORDINGLY, INASMUCH AS THE DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY EXECUTED ON MARCH 19, 1965, WAS NOT RECEIVED BY THE EMPLOYING AGENCY PRIOR TO YOUR HUSBAND'S DEATH, WE MUST HONOR ACLAIM ON BEHALF OF CHERYL LYNN AND DOROTHY CUPPY WHICH IS BASED ON A DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY THAT WAS OF RECORD IN THE EMPLOYING AGENCY AT THE TIME OF YOUR HUSBAND'S DEATH. SUCH PAYMENT WILL BE A BAR TO RECOVER BY ANY OTHER PERSON AND THEREFORE PRECLUDES FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM.