B-162589, AUG. 14, 1968

B-162589: Aug 14, 1968

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TO MISS CARRIE LEE AVERY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER POSTMARKED JUNE 3. THIS MATTER WAS THE SUBJECT OF A LETTER FROM OUR CLAIMS DIVISION DATED NOVEMBER 29. IN WHICH YOU WERE ADVISED THAT WHILE CERTAIN LETTERS WRITTEN BY THE DECEDENT SUBMITTED BY YOU IN AN EFFORT TO SUPPORT YOUR CLAIM APPEAR TO ESTABLISH THAT THE DECEDENT IS THE FATHER OF YOUR CHILD. NO EVIDENCE HAS BEEN SUBMITTED TO ESTABLISH THAT THE DECEDENT IS THE FATHER OF YOUR SECOND CHILD. IT WAS CONCLUDED IN THAT LETTER THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE SECOND CHILD. YOU NOW STATE THAT YOU SEE NO REASON WHY RONALD SHOULD BE DEPRIVED OF THE MONEY TO WHICH HE IS ENTITLED. IS NOT FURNISHED THIS OFFICE.

B-162589, AUG. 14, 1968

TO MISS CARRIE LEE AVERY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER POSTMARKED JUNE 3, 1968, CONCERNING THE CLAIM MADE BY YOU ON BEHALF OF YOUR SON, RONALD, FOR THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY PAY BELIEVED DUE IN THE CASE OF THE LATE WARREN LEE PUGH, USN, 698 1735.

THIS MATTER WAS THE SUBJECT OF A LETTER FROM OUR CLAIMS DIVISION DATED NOVEMBER 29, 1967, IN WHICH YOU WERE ADVISED THAT WHILE CERTAIN LETTERS WRITTEN BY THE DECEDENT SUBMITTED BY YOU IN AN EFFORT TO SUPPORT YOUR CLAIM APPEAR TO ESTABLISH THAT THE DECEDENT IS THE FATHER OF YOUR CHILD, RONALD WILLIE AVERY, NO EVIDENCE HAS BEEN SUBMITTED TO ESTABLISH THAT THE DECEDENT IS THE FATHER OF YOUR SECOND CHILD. IT WAS CONCLUDED IN THAT LETTER THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE SECOND CHILD, THE RIGHTS OF RONALD COULD NOT BE DETERMINED AND HENCE PAYMENT OF THE DEATH GRATUITY COULD NOT BE MADE.

YOU NOW STATE THAT YOU SEE NO REASON WHY RONALD SHOULD BE DEPRIVED OF THE MONEY TO WHICH HE IS ENTITLED, EVEN IF SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE OF THE PATERNITY OF YOUR SECOND CHILD, DAVID, IS NOT FURNISHED THIS OFFICE. THUS APPEARS THAT YOU ARE UNABLE TO PROVIDE ANY SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE OF THE PATERNITY OF YOUR SECOND CHILD AND THAT YOU ARE SEEKING FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF RONALD'S CLAIM FOR THE FULL AMOUNT INVOLVED BASED ON THE EVIDENCE PRESENTLY BEFORE THIS OFFICE.

LETTERS NOW OF RECORD SHOW THAT MR. PUGH APPARENTLY RECOGNIZED YOUR SON, RONALD, AS HIS CHILD AND IT WOULD SEEN THAT SUCH CORRESPONDENCE MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS OF 10 U.S.C. 1477 (B) (5) (A). THAT SECTION PROVIDES THAT THE DEATH GRATUITY MAY BE PAID TO OR ON BEHALF OF THE ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN OF A MALE DECEDENT WHO HAVE BEEN ACKNOWLEDGED IN WRITING SIGNED BY THE DECEDENT. IN THE CASE OF YOUR CHILDREN, IT APPEARS THAT, ON THE BASIS OF THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED, ONLY RONALD QUALIFIES AS AN ACKNOWLEDGED CHILD OF MR. PUGH.

SINCE RONALD IS A MINOR AND THUS IS NOT LEGALLY QUALIFIED TO RECEIVE PAYMENT OF THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY DIRECTLY, THE RULE ESTABLISHED IN 38 COMP. GEN. 436 IS FOR APPLICATION IN THIS CASE. WE THERE HELD THAT WHERE THE FUNDS INVOLVED DO NOT EXCEED $1000, PAYMENT DUE MINORS MAY BE MADE TO THE FATHER OR THE MOTHER AS THE NATURAL GUARDIAN. HOWEVER, IF THE FUNDS INVOLVED ARE IN EXCESS OF $1000, PAYMENT MAY BE MADE ONLY TO THE LEGALLY APPOINTED GUARDIAN OF THE MINOR.

SINCE THE FUNDS HERE INVOLVED TOTAL APPROXIMATELY $1,400, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT IF YOU OR SOME OTHER PROPER PERSON SHOULD BE APPOINTED THE LEGAL GUARDIAN OF RONALD AND SHOULD FILE A CLAIM FOR GRATUITY PAY IN THIS OFFICE IN THAT REPRESENTATIVE CAPACITY, ALONG WITH COPIES OF THE COURT DOCUMENTATION OF THAT GUARDIANSHIP, CONSIDERATION WILL BE GIVEN SUCH CLAIM.