B-168219, NOV. 18, 1969

B-168219: Nov 18, 1969

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STATUTE OF LIMITATION WHILE CONCRETE EVIDENCE IS UNOBTAINABLE AS TO FATHER'S RECEIPT OF HIS SHARE OF 6 MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY ACCRUING ON PRESUMPTIVE DATE OF MEMBER'S DEATH. IS BARRED SINCE SO LONG AS FATHER WAS ALIVE SHE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO HIS SHARE AND UNDER 31 U.S.C. 71A. LINDSEY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF OCTOBER 14. WHILE IT WAS OFFICIALLY REPORTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE THAT IT WAS UNABLE TO OBTAIN EVIDENCE TO SHOW THAT THE FATHER OF YOUR SON DID OR DID NOT RECEIVE HIS SHARE OF THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY. YOUR CLAIM FOR THE FATHER'S SHARE WAS DISALLOWED ON THE BASIS THAT THE DEATH GRATUITY ACCRUED ON THE DATE YOUR SON WAS OFFICIALLY DECLARED DEAD. IT WAS BARRED FROM CONSIDERATION BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9.

B-168219, NOV. 18, 1969

GRATUITIES--SIX MONTHS' DEATH--STATUTE OF LIMITATION WHILE CONCRETE EVIDENCE IS UNOBTAINABLE AS TO FATHER'S RECEIPT OF HIS SHARE OF 6 MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY ACCRUING ON PRESUMPTIVE DATE OF MEMBER'S DEATH, DEC. 31, 1953, AND AUTHORIZED BY 10 U.S.C. 903 (1952 ED.), CLAIM OF MOTHER, WHO HAS RECEIVED HER SHARE, FOR FATHER'S SHARE AFTER HIS DEMISE, AUG. 10, 1967, IS BARRED SINCE SO LONG AS FATHER WAS ALIVE SHE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO HIS SHARE AND UNDER 31 U.S.C. 71A, 237, EVERY CLAIM MUST BE RECEIVED IN GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WITHIN 10 YEARS FROM DATE IT FIRST ACCRUES.

TO MRS. WILLIE N. LINDSEY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF OCTOBER 14, 1969, FROM YOUR ATTORNEY, MR. JAMES N. LEE, CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR THE FATHER'S SHARE OF THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY DUE IN THE CASE OF YOUR LATE SON, STAFF SERGEANT RAY E. LINDSEY, AT PRESUMPTIVE DATE OF DEATH, DECEMBER 31, 1953, WHILE SERVING IN THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE.

WHILE IT WAS OFFICIALLY REPORTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE THAT IT WAS UNABLE TO OBTAIN EVIDENCE TO SHOW THAT THE FATHER OF YOUR SON DID OR DID NOT RECEIVE HIS SHARE OF THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY, HEADQUARTERS 834TH COMBAT SUPPORT GROUP (TAC), ENGLAND AIR FORCE BASE, LOUISIANA 71301, ADVISED OUR OFFICE THAT YOU RECEIVED $732.51 AS PAYMENT OF YOUR SHARE OF THE DEATH GRATUITY BUT THAT NO PAYMENT HAS BEEN MADE OF THE OTHER HALF OF THE DEATH GRATUITY. BY SETTLEMENT DATED NOVEMBER 13, 1967, YOUR CLAIM FOR THE FATHER'S SHARE WAS DISALLOWED ON THE BASIS THAT THE DEATH GRATUITY ACCRUED ON THE DATE YOUR SON WAS OFFICIALLY DECLARED DEAD, DECEMBER 31, 1953, AND UNLESS A CLAIM HAD BEEN RECEIVED FROM HIS FATHER BY DECEMBER 31, 1963, IT WAS BARRED FROM CONSIDERATION BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, 54 STAT. 1061, 31 U.S.C. 71A, 237.

PAYMENT OF THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY WAS AUTHORIZED ON THE DATE OF PRESUMPTIVE DEATH OF YOUR SON BY SECTION 903 OF TITLE 10, U.S.C. (1952 ED.), AND IT IS NOW AUTHORIZED IN SECTIONS 1475 TO 1480 OF THE SAME TITLE. WE HAVE HELD THAT CLAIMS FOR PAYMENT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE DEATH GRATUITY LAWS ARE SUBJECT TO THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, WHICH PROVIDES IN PART:

"/1) EVERY CLAIM OR DEMAND * * * AGAINST THE UNITED STATES COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE * * * SHALL BE FOREVER BARRED UNLESS SUCH CLAIM, BEARING THE SIGNATURE AND ADDRESS OF THE CLAIMANT OR AN AUTHORIZED AGENT OR ATTORNEY, SHALL BE RECEIVED IN SAID OFFICE WITHIN TEN FULL YEARS AFTER THE DATE SUCH CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED * * *.' THIS ACT REQUIRES THAT EVERY CLAIM MUST BE RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE WITHIN 10 YEARS FROM THE DATE SUCH CLAIM FIRST ACCRUES IN ORDER FOR IT TO BE RECOGNIZED BY US AND ITS MERITS CONSIDERED.

IN YOUR CASE, YOU AND THE FATHER OF YOUR DECEASED SON EACH BECAME ENTITLED TO HALF OF THE SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY ON THE DATE YOUR SON WAS OFFICIALLY DECLARED DEAD, DECEMBER 31, 1953. SO LONG AS THE FATHER WAS ALIVE YOU WERE NOT ENTITLED TO HIS SHARE. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE FATHER'S DEATH OCCURRED ON AUGUST 10, 1967, MORE THAN 10 YEARS AFTER DECEMBER 31, 1953, WHEN HIS CLAIM ACCRUED. THEREFORE, THE CLAIM ASSERTED BY YOU FOR HIS SHARE IS BARRED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, COPY ENCLOSED. SEE ALSO THE ENCLOSED COPIES OF DECISIONS B-145563, JULY 19, 1961, AND B-136723, SEPTEMBER 11, 1958.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 13, 1967, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM IS SUSTAINED.