B-162287, AUG. 25, 1967

B-162287: Aug 25, 1967

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WHEN CHECK WHICH WAS ADDRESSED TO WIFE OF DECEASED EMPLOYEE WHO WAS ALSO HIS DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY WAS RETURNED BECAUSE OF HER DEATH NEARLY A MONTH AFTER THE DEATH OF THE EMPLOYEE AND CLAIM IS MADE BY ADMINISTRATRICES OF WIDOW'S ESTATE PAYMENT MAY BE MADE TO THE ADMINISTRATRICES UNDER RULE THAT IF PERSON ENTITLED TO PAYMENT UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5582 (B) SURVIVES THE DECEASED EMPLOYEE. THE RIGHT TO PAYMENT VESTS IN THAT PERSON AND IF SHE SHOULD THEREAFTER DIE BEFORE PAYMENT IS ACCOMPLISHED THE RIGHT PASSES TO HER ESTATE. REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO WHO IS LEGALLY ENTITLED TO PAYMENT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES RECITED IN YOUR LETTER AND DISCLOSED IN THE ATTACHED FILE. WHO ALSO WAS HIS DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5582.

B-162287, AUG. 25, 1967

DECEDENT'S ESTATE - COMPENSATION - BENEFICIARY'S DEATH DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER OF BUREAU OF MINES CONCERNING PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION DUE DECEASED EMPLOYEE. WHEN CHECK WHICH WAS ADDRESSED TO WIFE OF DECEASED EMPLOYEE WHO WAS ALSO HIS DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY WAS RETURNED BECAUSE OF HER DEATH NEARLY A MONTH AFTER THE DEATH OF THE EMPLOYEE AND CLAIM IS MADE BY ADMINISTRATRICES OF WIDOW'S ESTATE PAYMENT MAY BE MADE TO THE ADMINISTRATRICES UNDER RULE THAT IF PERSON ENTITLED TO PAYMENT UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5582 (B) SURVIVES THE DECEASED EMPLOYEE, THE RIGHT TO PAYMENT VESTS IN THAT PERSON AND IF SHE SHOULD THEREAFTER DIE BEFORE PAYMENT IS ACCOMPLISHED THE RIGHT PASSES TO HER ESTATE. CF. 41 COMP. GEN. 431.

TO MISS MYLDRED N. JONES:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 11, 1967, ENCLOSING A VOUCHER FOR $510.70, REPRESENTING MONEY DUE JAMES W. WEST, A DECEASED FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO WHO IS LEGALLY ENTITLED TO PAYMENT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES RECITED IN YOUR LETTER AND DISCLOSED IN THE ATTACHED FILE.

YOU SAY THAT MR. WEST DIED ON AUGUST 8, 1966, AND THAT A CHECK DRAWN PAYABLE TO AND ADDRESSED TO HIS WIDOW, WHO ALSO WAS HIS DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5582, WAS RETURNED TO THE REGIONAL DISBURSING OFFICER BECAUSE OF HER DEATH. THE FILE REVEALS THAT CLAIM IS NOW MADE FOR THE MONEY IN QUESTION BY THE ADMINISTRATRICES OF DECEASED BENEFICIARY'S ESTATE. ALSO, THE FILE DISCLOSES THAT MRS. WEST SURVIVED THE DECEASED EMPLOYEE, SHE HAVING DIED ON SEPTEMBER 4, 1966.

5 U.S.C. 5582 (B) PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"IN ORDER TO FACILITATE THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF DECEASED EMPLOYEES, MONEY DUE AN EMPLOYEE AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH SHALL BE PAID TO THE PERSON OR PERSONS SURVIVING AT THE DATE OF DEATH * * *:

"FIRST, TO THE BENEFICIARY OR BENEFICIARIES DESIGNATED BY THE EMPLOYEE IN A WRITING RECEIVED IN THE EMPLOYING AGENCY BEFORE HIS DEATH.'

WE HAVE HELD THAT IF A PERSON ENTITLED TO PAYMENT UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5582 (B) SURVIVES THE DECEASED EMPLOYEE THE RIGHT TO PAYMENT VESTS IN THAT PERSON AND IF SHE SHOULD THEREAFTER DIE BEFORE PAYMENT IS ACCOMPLISHED, THE RIGHT PASSES TO HER ESTATE OR TO HER HEIRS-AT-LAW AS THE CASE MAY BE. CF. 41 COMP. GEN. 431.

SINCE IN THIS CASE THE DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY SURVIVED THE DECEASED EMPLOYEE PAYMENT MAY BE AUTHORIZED TO THE ADMINISTRATRICES OF HER ESTATE.

THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE SO CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.