B-159137, JUN. 27, 1966

B-159137: Jun 27, 1966

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

MAILHOT: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 28. - WAS AUTHORIZED BY LAW AND IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD COVERED BY YOUR CLAIM. IT WAS NOT UNTIL NOVEMBER 1. IT APPEARS THAT YOU ARE CLAIMING THE PROCEEDS OF FAMILY ALLOWANCE CHECKS FOR THE PERIOD INVOLVED (NOVEMBER 1948 THROUGH FEBRUARY 1950). YOU FURTHER SAY THAT SINCE DEDUCTIONS WERE MADE FROM YOUR HUSBAND'S PAY YOU CANNOT UNDERSTAND WHY YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED THE CHECKS AND YOU ASK THAT WE EXAMINE THE CANCELLED CHECKS. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT SUCH CHECKS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE. PROVIDED THAT FOR ANY PERIOD DURING WHICH AN ENLISTED MAN WAS IN THE ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES. UNDER THE LAW IT WAS THE DEPENDENT OR DEPENDENTS OF THE ENLISTED MAN.

B-159137, JUN. 27, 1966

TO MRS. OLA E. MAILHOT:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 28, 1966, CONCERNING THE ACTION TAKEN BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IN LETTER OF APRIL 26, 1966, WHICH DENIED YOUR CLAIM FOR FAMILY ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS BELIEVED TO BE DUE YOU FOR THE PERIOD NOVEMBER 1, 1948, TO MARCH 1, 1950, INCIDENT TO THE SERVICE OF YOUR HUSBAND SERGEANT LEO J. MAILHOT, UNITED STATES ARMY, RETIRED. THERE HAS ALSO BEEN RECEIVED HERE YOUR LETTER OF MAY 13, 1966, CONCERNING THE SAME MATTER.

AS POINTED OUT IN OUR CLAIMS DIVISION LETTER OF APRIL 26, 1966, AND AS SHOWN BY YOUR HUSBAND'S MILITARY PAY RECORDS, FAMILY ALLOWANCE--- NOT CLASS Q ALLOTMENT--- WAS AUTHORIZED BY LAW AND IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD COVERED BY YOUR CLAIM. IT WAS NOT UNTIL NOVEMBER 1, 1950, THAT YOUR HUSBAND ESTABLISHED A CLASS Q ALLOTMENT OF $125 PER MONTH ($40 PLUS BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS OF $85 PER MONTH) AS REQUIRED BY THE DEPENDENTS ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1950, APPROVED SEPTEMBER 8, 1950, CH. 922, 64 STAT. 794. HENCE, IT APPEARS THAT YOU ARE CLAIMING THE PROCEEDS OF FAMILY ALLOWANCE CHECKS FOR THE PERIOD INVOLVED (NOVEMBER 1948 THROUGH FEBRUARY 1950), WHICH YOU SAY YOU NEVER RECEIVED. YOU FURTHER SAY THAT SINCE DEDUCTIONS WERE MADE FROM YOUR HUSBAND'S PAY YOU CANNOT UNDERSTAND WHY YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED THE CHECKS AND YOU ASK THAT WE EXAMINE THE CANCELLED CHECKS. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT SUCH CHECKS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE, DESTRUCTION OF PAID GOVERNMENT CHECKS BEING AUTHORIZED UNDER PROVISIONS OF LAW, CITED BELOW, RELATING TO THE "DISPOSITION OF RECORDS.'

THE SERVICEMEN'S DEPENDENTS ALLOWANCE ACT OF 1942, CH. 443, 56 STAT. 381, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 26, 1943, CH. 281, 57 STAT. 577, AND IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED, PROVIDED THAT FOR ANY PERIOD DURING WHICH AN ENLISTED MAN WAS IN THE ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES, HIS DEPENDENT OR DEPENDENTS SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE A MONTHLY FAMILY ALLOWANCE CONSISTING OF THE GOVERNMENT'S CONTRIBUTION AND A REDUCTION IN, OR CHARGE AGAINST, THE PAY OF THE ENLISTED MAN IN THE AMOUNT OF $22 A MONTH. UNDER THE LAW IT WAS THE DEPENDENT OR DEPENDENTS OF THE ENLISTED MAN, AND NOT THE ENLISTED MAN HIMSELF, WHO WERE ENTITLED TO THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS. THE AMOUNT PAYABLE FOR A WIFE AND TWO CHILDREN WAS $100 PER MONTH.

AN EXAMINATION OF YOUR HUSBAND'S MILITARY PAY RECORDS SHOWS THAT FAMILY ALLOWANCE DEDUCTIONS OF $22 A MONTH WERE MADE FROM HIS PAY DURING THE PERIOD DECEMBER 1948 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 1949. COMMENCING OCTOBER 1, 1949, YOUR HUSBAND CONTINUED TO BE ENTITLED TO FAMILY ALLOWANCE BENEFITS UNDER THE SAVINGS PROVISIONS IN SECTION 515 (B) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, CH. 681, 63 STAT. 831, AND HIS PAY ACCOUNT SHOWS THAT AFTER MAKING THE NECESSARY ACCOUNTING ADJUSTMENTS TO REFLECT HIS SAVED PAY, AN APPROPRIATE FAMILY ALLOWANCE DEDUCTION WAS MADE DURING THE REMAINING PERIOD OF YOUR CLAIM.

THE ARMY FINANCE CENTER, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, HAS REPORTED THAT THERE IS NO RECORD OF ANY FAMILY ALLOWANCE CHECKS HAVING BEEN RETURNED AS UNDELIVERABLE (SEE LETTER FROM THAT OFFICE DATED OCTOBER 27, 1965, ADDRESSED TO MR. MAILHOT). PURSUANT TO OUR RECENT INQUIRY, THE ARMY FINANCE CENTER HAS INFORMALLY ADVISED US THAT THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE FOLDER- -- WHICH GENERALLY CONTAINS A RECORD OF THE PAYMENTS MADE--- IN YOUR HUSBAND'S CASE IS NOT AVAILABLE. SINCE FAMILY ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS IN YOUR CASE WERE DISCONTINUED OVER 15 YEARS AGO, PRESUMABLY THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE FOLDER AND RECORDS HAVE BEEN DESTROYED PURSUANT TO LAW (SEE CHAPTER 10, TITLE 44 U.S. CODE, RELATING TO ,DISPOSITION OF RECORDS"). IN THIS CONNECTION, IT IS NOTED THAT MR. MAILHOT IN HIS LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 23, 1964, TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY INQUIRING ABOUT THIS MATTER, INDICATED THAT FOR THE PERIOD PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF CLASS Q ALLOTMENT CHECKS--- WHICH ALLOTMENT (CLASS Q) WAS NOT ESTABLISHED UNTIL NOVEMBER 1, 1950--- YOU RECEIVED TWO CHECKS, ONE IN THE AMOUNT OF $600 AND THE OTHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $700. THIS WOULD SEEM TO INDICATE THAT FAMILY ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS WERE MADE TO YOU IN TWO LUMP-SUM PAYMENTS WHICH APPEAR TO COVER A SUBSTANTIAL PERIOD OF YOUR CLAIM. SUCH CHECKS HAVING BEEN ISSUED TO YOU, THERE IS NO REASON TO SUPPOSE THAT SUBSEQUENT CHECKS WERE NOT ISSUED FOR THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS CURRENTLY DUE AT THAT TIME.

EVEN IF THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE RECORDS WERE NOW AVAILABLE AND THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS COULD BE VERIFIED BY IDENTIFYING THE CHECK NUMBERS, ETC., AND IT COULD NOW BE ESTABLISHED THAT ONE OR MORE OF THE CHECKS WERE NOT CASHED BY YOU, CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR SUCH CHECKS WOULD BE BARRED BECAUSE YOUR CLAIM WAS NOT PRESENTED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE OR THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN SIX YEARS AFTER ISSUANCE OF THE CHECK OR CHECKS AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 22, 1926, CH. 650, 44 STAT. 761, AS AMENDED 31 U.S.C. 122, WHICH PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"HEREAFTER ALL CLAIMS ON ACCOUNT OF ANY CHECK, CHECKS, WARRANT, OR WARRANTS APPEARING FROM THE RECORDS OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE OR THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT TO HAVE BEEN PAID, SHALL BE BARRED IF NOT PRESENTED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE OR THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN SIX YEARS AFTER THE DATE OF ISSUANCE OF THE CHECK, CHECKS, WARRANT, OR WARRANTS INVOLVED. * * *"

YOUR ATTENTION IS ALSO INVITED TO THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, CH. 788, 54 STAT. 1061, 31 U.S.C. 71A, 237, WHICH PROVIDES THAT EVERY CLAIM OR DEMAND- -- WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS NOT APPLICABLE TO YOUR--- AGAINST THE UNITED STATES COGNIZABLE BY OUR OFFICE IS "FOREVER BARRED UNLESS SUCH CLAIM * * * SHALL BE RECEIVED IN SAID OFFICE (THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE) WITHIN TEN FULL YEARS AFTER THE DATE SUCH CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED.' YOUR CLAIM WAS NOT RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE UNTIL 1964.

ACCORDINGLY, THE ACTION TAKEN BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IN LETTER OF APRIL 26, 1966, IS SUSTAINED.