B-159442, JUL. 11, 1966

B-159442: Jul 11, 1966

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JOHN HENRY BURNS: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 7. IN EFFECT REQUESTING FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR BACK PAY AND OTHER BENEFITS WHICH YOU BELIEVE ARE DUE YOU INCIDENT TO YOUR SERVICE AS AN ENLISTED MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY AT THE TIME OF YOUR DISCHARGE ON JANUARY 17. WE ALSO HAVE BEFORE US YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 18. WAS DIVORCED FROM YOU ON JUNE 18. WHILE YOU WERE STILL IN THE ARMY. INDICATED THAT AS A RESULT OF SUCH DIVORCE THERE MAY HAVE BEEN SOME "BACK TIME PAY" DUE YOU. YOUR LETTER WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE (GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE) BY THE FINANCE CENTER. ALL ACCOUNTS WHATEVER IN WHICH THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS CONCERNED. IS RESTRICTED.

B-159442, JUL. 11, 1966

TO MR. JOHN HENRY BURNS:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 7, 1966, IN EFFECT REQUESTING FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR BACK PAY AND OTHER BENEFITS WHICH YOU BELIEVE ARE DUE YOU INCIDENT TO YOUR SERVICE AS AN ENLISTED MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY AT THE TIME OF YOUR DISCHARGE ON JANUARY 17, 1946. WE ALSO HAVE BEFORE US YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 18, 1966.

OUR RECORD SHOWS THAT ON JANUARY 27, 1966, YOU ADDRESSED A LETTER TO THE UNITED STATES ARMY, WASHINGTON, D.C., IN WHICH YOU STATED, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT YOUR FIRST WIFE, ELLEN KING BURNS, WAS DIVORCED FROM YOU ON JUNE 18, 1943, WHILE YOU WERE STILL IN THE ARMY, AND INDICATED THAT AS A RESULT OF SUCH DIVORCE THERE MAY HAVE BEEN SOME "BACK TIME PAY" DUE YOU. YOUR LETTER WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE (GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE) BY THE FINANCE CENTER, U.S. ARMY, BECAUSE SECTION 305 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1921, CH. 18, 42 STAT. 24, 31 U.S.C. 71, PROVIDES, GENERALLY, THAT ALL CLAIMS AND DEMANDS WHATEVER BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OR AGAINST IT, AND ALL ACCOUNTS WHATEVER IN WHICH THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS CONCERNED, EITHER AS DEBTOR OR CREDITOR, SHALL BE SETTLED AND ADJUSTED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1921, IS RESTRICTED, HOWEVER, BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, CH. 788, 54 STAT. 1061, 31 U.S.C. 71A, WHICH PROVIDES, WITH EXCEPTIONS NOT HERE MATERIAL, THAT EVERY CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AS THERE SPECIFIED, SHALL BE FOREVER BARRED UNLESS SUCH CLAIM SHALL BE RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WITHIN 10 FULL YEARS AFTER THE DATE THE CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED.

YOUR CLAIM WAS RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE ON FEBRUARY 23, 1966, A DATE MORE THAN 10 YEARS AFTER THE DATE OF ITS FIRST ACCRUAL, JANUARY 17, 1946 (DATE OF YOUR DISCHARGE FROM THE ARMY). SINCE THE CLAIM WAS BARRED FROM CONSIDERATION BY SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROCEDURE PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 2 OF THAT ACT, RETURNED THE CLAIM TO YOU WITH A COPY OF THE ACT. SUBSEQUENTLY, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IN A LETTER DATED APRIL 26, 1966, FULLY EXPLAINED TO YOU WHY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE 1940 ACT YOUR CLAIM COULD NOT BE CONSIDERED. ALSO, YOU WERE ADVISED IN THAT LETTER THAT THIS OFFICE HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER MATTERS PERTAINING TO A FORMER MILITARY MEMBER'S ENTITLEMENT TO A PENSION OR BENEFITS UNDER LAWS ADMINISTERED BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FOR BENEFITS UNDER LAWS ADMINISTERED BY THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION.

THIS OFFICE IS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO REVIEW OR OTHERWISE CONSIDER THE AWARDS MADE IN YOUR FAVOR BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION AND SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION SINCE UNDER APPLICABLE LAWS SUCH AGENCIES ARE VESTED WITH FULL JURISDICTION TO DETERMINE YOUR ENTITLEMENTS TO THE BENEFITS PAYABLE UNDER THOSE LAWS. THEREFORE, ANY FURTHER INQUIRIES YOU MAY HAVE REGARDING YOUR AWARDS SHOULD BE DIRECTED EITHER TO THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION OR THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION AS THE CASE MAY BE. AS YOU WERE PREVIOUSLY ADVISED, CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR BACK PAY IS GOVERNED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940. CONSIDERATION OF THAT CLAIM ON ITS MERITS WOULD BE AUTHORIZED ONLY IF YOUR CLAIM HAD BEEN FILED IN THIS OFFICE PRIOR TO JANUARY 17, 1956, THAT IS, WITHIN 10 YEARS AFTER THE DATE OF YOUR DISCHARGE FROM THE ARMY. SINCE YOUR CLAIM WAS NOT RECEIVED HERE UNTIL FEBRUARY 23, 1966, THIS OFFICE IS PRECLUDED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, FROM CONSIDERING IT. FURTHERMORE, NO MATTER HOW MERITORIOUS A CLAIM MAY BE, NEITHER THIS OFFICE NOR ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT OFFICE MAY MAKE EXCEPTIONS TO THE ACT, NOR DOES IT CONFER JURISDICTION UPON THIS OFFICE TO WAIVE ITS PROVISIONS IN ANY PARTICULAR CASE BECAUSE OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE DELAY IN THE FILING OF THE CLAIM. ACCORDINGLY, THERE IS NO ACTION WHICH WE MAY TAKE ON YOUR CLAIM.

FURTHER CORRESPONDENCE FROM YOU CONTAINING NOTHING TO SERVE AS A BASIS FOR RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM, THAT IS, INFORMATION OR EVIDENCE CLEARLY ESTABLISHING THAT YOU FILED A CLAIM IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE PRIOR TO JANUARY 17, 1956, WOULD SERVE NO USEFUL PURPOSE AND WILL BE FILED WITHOUT REPLY.