B-166838, MAY 26, 1969

B-166838: May 26, 1969

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EDUARDO BIZALDI ECHEVARRIA: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 13. WITH YOUR CONSENT YOU WERE ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING FOR APPROXIMATELY 304 DAYS. YOU WERE DIRECTED TO REPORT NOT LATER THAN JANUARY 4. TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WERE NOT AUTHORIZED. YOU WERE RELEASED TO INACTIVE DUTY ON OCTOBER 25. DENIED PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM AND FORWARDED IT TO THIS OFFICE FOR SETTLEMENT AS A DOUBTFUL CLAIM FOR THE REASON THAT THE TOUR OF DUTY WAS IN EXCESS OF FOUR MONTHS. THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 13. PROVIDED HE OR SHE IS IN FACT DEPENDENT ON SUCH MEMBER FOR OVER HALF OF HIS OR HER SUPPORT AND ACTUALLY RESIDES IN THE HOUSEHOLD OF SAID MEMBER.

B-166838, MAY 26, 1969

TO MR. EDUARDO BIZALDI ECHEVARRIA:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 13, 1969, WITH ENCLOSURES, FORWARDED HERE BY THE ARMY FINANCE CENTER, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF SETTLEMENT DATED MARCH 13, 1957, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS BECAUSE OF A DEPENDENT STEPMOTHER.

BY ORDERS DATED DECEMBER 15, 1953, AS AMENDED, WITH YOUR CONSENT YOU WERE ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING FOR APPROXIMATELY 304 DAYS, EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 26, 1953, AND PLACED ON TEMPORARY DUTY WITH THE ARTILLERY SCHOOL, FORT BLISS, TEXAS, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ATTENDING THE ARTILLERY FIRE CONTROL SYSTEM COURSE (44-E-6 (B) ). YOU WERE DIRECTED TO REPORT NOT LATER THAN JANUARY 4, 1954. TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WERE NOT AUTHORIZED. AFTER PERFORMING THE DUTY OUTLINED ABOVE, YOU WERE RELEASED TO INACTIVE DUTY ON OCTOBER 25, 1954.

THE ARMY FINANCE CENTER, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, DENIED PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM AND FORWARDED IT TO THIS OFFICE FOR SETTLEMENT AS A DOUBTFUL CLAIM FOR THE REASON THAT THE TOUR OF DUTY WAS IN EXCESS OF FOUR MONTHS. THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 13, 1957, FOR THE REASONS STATED THEREIN.

SECTION 102 (G) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 804, IN EFFECT AT THE TIME, PROVIDES THAT THE TERM "DEPENDENT" SHALL INCLUDE THE FATHER OR MOTHER OR STEPPARENTS OF A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES, PROVIDED HE OR SHE IS IN FACT DEPENDENT ON SUCH MEMBER FOR OVER HALF OF HIS OR HER SUPPORT AND ACTUALLY RESIDES IN THE HOUSEHOLD OF SAID MEMBER. EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 1950, THE DEPENDENTS ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1950, 64 STAT. 794, SUSPENDED THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE PARENT OR STEPPARENT ACTUALLY RESIDE IN THE HOUSEHOLD OF THE MEMBER, BUT SECTION 7 OF THE 1950 ACT PROVIDES THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THAT ACT SHALL NOT APPLY TO ENLISTED MEMBERS ON TRAINING DUTY AND THAT SUCH PERSONNEL SHALL CONTINUE TO BE ENTITLED TO THE APPROPRIATE ALLOWANCES PRESCRIBED BY THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 802, ON THE DATE PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE 1950 ACT.

IN DECISION OF DECEMBER 19, 1949, 29 COMP. GEN. 280, COPY HEREWITH, IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT THE OBJECT OF THE RESIDENCE REQUIREMENTS IN SECTION 102 (G) IS TO PROVIDE A MEMBER WITH A QUARTERS ALLOWANCE ONLY WHERE IT IS NECESSARY TO OBTAIN QUARTERS FOR HIMSELF AND HIS DEPENDENT PARENT AT, OR CONVENIENT TO, HIS PERMANENT STATION IN CASES WHERE THE GOVERNMENT IS UNABLE TO FURNISH HIM WITH FAMILY QUARTERS AT SUCH STATION.

IN DECISION OF JANUARY 3, 1951, 30 COMP. GEN. 260, COPY HEREWITH, IT WAS POINTED OUT THAT THE DECISION OF DECEMBER 19, 1949, WAS RENDERED WITH RESPECT TO PERSONNEL ON THE ACTIVE LISTS OR ON EXTENDED ACTIVE DUTY AND THAT, WITH REGARD TO RESERVISTS ORDERED TO TRAINING DUTY, THERE IS SOME DOUBT AS TO THE INTENT OF THE CONGRESS IN ENACTING THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE PARENT RESIDE IN THE MEMBER'S HOUSEHOLD. ALSO, WE RECOGNIZED THAT A RESERVIST ORDERED TO A SHORT PERIOD OF ACTIVE DUTY TRAINING REASONABLY COULD NOT BE EXPECTED TO MAINTAIN A HOUSEHOLD FOR HIMSELF AND HIS DEPENDENT PARENTS AT ANY PLACE OTHER THAN THE PLACE WHERE HE MAKES HIS PERMANENT RESIDENCE.

THEREFORE, WE CONCLUDED THAT IN CASES INVOLVING SHORT PERIODS OF ACTIVE DUTY TRAINING, NOT IN EXCESS OF FOUR MONTHS, AT SERVICE SCHOOLS WHERE PUBLIC QUARTERS WERE NOT AVAILABLE FOR DEPENDENTS, NO OBJECTION WOULD BE MADE TO CREDIT OF INCREASED BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS ON ACCOUNT OF A DEPENDENT PARENT IF THE PARENT IS SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN IN FACT DEPENDENT ON THE MEMBER FOR CHIEF SUPPORT AND TO HAVE RESIDED IN THE MEMBER'S HOME OR APARTMENT WHERE HE MAINTAINED HIS PERMANENT RESIDENCE, THAT IS, HIS HOUSEHOLD. SEE, ALSO, 31 COMP. GEN. 141.

WHERE, HOWEVER, THE PERIOD OF TRAINING DUTY AT A SERVICE SCHOOL DOES EXCEED FOUR MONTHS, THE EXCEPTION SET FORTH IN 30 COMP. GEN. 260, DOES NOT APPLY. IN SUCH CASE, THE DEPENDENT PARENT MUST RESIDE WITH THE MEMBER AT HIS DUTY STATION IN ORDER FOR THE MEMBER TO RECEIVE THE QUARTERS ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED FOR A DEPENDENT. 41 COMP. GEN. 87, COPY HEREWITH.

CONCERNING THE STATEMENT IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER THAT YOUR STEPMOTHER HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED AS A DEPENDENT BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, AS INDICATED ABOVE, YOUR CLAIM WAS DENIED BECAUSE YOUR TRAINING DUTY ASSIGNMENT AT FORT BLISS WAS IN EXCESS OF FOUR MONTHS AND YOUR STEPMOTHER DID NOT RESIDE THERE WITH YOU. HER STATUS AS YOUR DEPENDENT WAS NOT QUESTIONED. FURTHERMORE THE BENEFITS ADMINISTERED BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION ARE GOVERNED BY LAWS SEPARATE FROM THE STATUTORY PROVISIONS GOVERNING THE PAYMENT OF QUARTERS ALLOWANCE FOR DEPENDENTS OF ENLISTED MEMBERS.

SINCE YOU WERE ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING FOR A PERIOD IN EXCESS OF FOUR MONTHS AND SINCE YOUR DEPENDENT STEPMOTHER DID NOT RESIDE WITH YOU DURING THE PERIOD YOU WERE ON TRAINING DUTY AT FORT BLISS, TEXAS, YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO QUARTERS ALLOWANCE ON ACCOUNT OF A DEPENDENT PARENT.