B-165902, JAN. 23, 1969

B-165902: Jan 23, 1969

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KALINA'S TRANSFER TO KANSAS CITY WAS EFFECTIVE ON MARCH 24. KALINA CLAIMED AND WAS REIMBURSED HIS COSTS FOR SUBSISTENCE WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS BEGINNING ON MARCH 24 AND ENDING ON APRIL 2. ON THAT DATE HE WAS HOSPITALIZED FOR THE PERIOD ENDING ON APRIL 11. THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED WHICH CONSTITUTES HIS CLAIM FOR SUBSISTENCE FOR THE PERIOD OF HOSPITALIZATION IS BASED ON THE HOSPITAL ROOM CHARGES WHICH EXCEED THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE REIMBURSEMENT AS PROVIDED BY SECTION 2.5D OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED AS TO THE HOSPITAL ROOM CHARGES IS IN THE FORM OF A BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT. THAT STATEMENT SHOWS THAT THE FULL ROOM CHARGES WERE PAID BY BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD.

B-165902, JAN. 23, 1969

TO MISS LOUISE G. BURKE:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 5, 1968, RECEIVED HERE JANUARY 3, 1969, BY WHICH YOU REQUEST AN ADVANCE DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY PROPERLY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE ENCLOSED TRAVEL VOUCHER OF MR. JOHN J. KALINA TO REIMBURSE HIM SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES HE INCURRED WHILE HOSPITALIZED AFTER HIS TRANSFER FROM CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TO KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, IN MARCH 1968, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE AGRICULTURAL STABILIZATION AND CONSERVATION SERVICE.

MR. KALINA'S TRANSFER TO KANSAS CITY WAS EFFECTIVE ON MARCH 24, 1968, AND ON THAT DAY HE BEGAN TO OCCUPY TEMPORARY QUARTERS. HIS FAMILY -- CONSISTING OF HIS WIFE ONLY -- REMAINED AT THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION AND DID NOT OCCUPY TEMPORARY QUARTERS DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION. MR. KALINA CLAIMED AND WAS REIMBURSED HIS COSTS FOR SUBSISTENCE WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS BEGINNING ON MARCH 24 AND ENDING ON APRIL 2. ON THAT DATE HE WAS HOSPITALIZED FOR THE PERIOD ENDING ON APRIL 11. THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED WHICH CONSTITUTES HIS CLAIM FOR SUBSISTENCE FOR THE PERIOD OF HOSPITALIZATION IS BASED ON THE HOSPITAL ROOM CHARGES WHICH EXCEED THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE REIMBURSEMENT AS PROVIDED BY SECTION 2.5D OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56. THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED AS TO THE HOSPITAL ROOM CHARGES IS IN THE FORM OF A BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT. THAT STATEMENT SHOWS THAT THE FULL ROOM CHARGES WERE PAID BY BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD. IN ANY EVENT, SINCE MR. KALINA WAS NOT REQUIRED TO PAY THE HOSPITAL ROOM CHARGES, HE WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THOSE CHARGES UNDER SECTION 2.5 OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56, WHICH AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT ONLY ON THE BASIS OF ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED. FURTHER, IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT AN EMPLOYEE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS WHILE HOSPITALIZED SINCE THE OBTAINING OF HOSPITAL QUARTERS WOULD NOT BE RELATED DIRECTLY TO THE TRANSFER OF STATION.

REGARDING THE EXPIRATION OF THE 30-DAY PERIOD DURING WHICH MR. KALINA IS ELIGIBLE FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS, WE HAVE HELD THAT SUCH PERIOD MAY BE EXTENDED IF THE OCCUPANCY OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS IS INTERRUPTED BY OFFICIAL NECESSITY SUCH AS THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY AWAY FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL DUTY STATION. 47 COMP. GEN. 322, COPY ENCLOSED. WE BELIEVE THAT THE 30- DAY PERIOD MAY ALSO BE EXTENDED WHEN OCCUPANCY OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS IS INTERRUPTED BY A PERIOD OF HOSPITALIZATION.

FOR THE REASONS STATED, THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH TOGETHER WITH SUPPORTING PAPERS MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. HOWEVER, MR. KALINA MAY BE REIMBURSED COSTS OF SUBSISTENCE FOR THAT PART OF THE AUTHORIZED 30-DAY PERIOD WHICH HAD NOT BEEN USED PRIOR TO HIS HOSPITALIZATION IF HE OCCUPIED TEMPORARY QUARTERS AFTER BEING RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL AND PRESENTS EVIDENCE OF EXPENDITURES AS REQUIRED BY THE CONTROLLING REGULATION.