B-169453, APR. 20, 1970

B-169453: Apr 20, 1970

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IS AGAIN DENIED. AS ENLISTED MAN'S VOLUNTARY ALLOTMENT OF PAY FOR FAMILY SUPPORT REMAINS HIS PROPERTY UNTIL CHECK ISSUED THEREFOR IS NEGOTIATED BY ALLOTTEE. DORA LANGE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED MARCH 9. A REVIEW OF OUR FILE SHOWS THAT THIS MATTER WAS THE SUBJECT OF A LETTER TO YOU DATED JUNE 24. IN WHICH YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE PROCEEDS OF THE CHECK IN QUESTION REPRESENTED A DEPENDENCY (CLASS Q) ALLOTMENT FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST 1954 MADE UP OF $77.10 (BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS) AND THE CONTRIBUTION OF $80 BY RUBIN L. WHO WAS SERVING IN THE MILITARY SERVICE. THE ALLOTMENT WAS IN EFFECT FOR THE SUPPORT OF YOUR DAUGHTER. YOU WERE FURTHER ADVISED THAT SINCE YOUR DAUGHTER DIED ON AUGUST 21.

B-169453, APR. 20, 1970

CHECKS--PAYEES--DECEASED--FAMILY ALLOWANCE ALLOTTEE CLAIM OF MOTHER OF MEMBER'S DECEASED WIFE (AS DAUGHTER'S HEIR) FOR PROCEEDS OF UNNEGOTIATED $157.10 CHECK PAYABLE TO DECEDENT, REPRESENTING CLASS Q ALLOTMENT FOR SUPPORT OF MEMBER'S DEPENDENT WIFE, IS AGAIN DENIED, AS ENLISTED MAN'S VOLUNTARY ALLOTMENT OF PAY FOR FAMILY SUPPORT REMAINS HIS PROPERTY UNTIL CHECK ISSUED THEREFOR IS NEGOTIATED BY ALLOTTEE, AND SHOULD ENLISTED MEMBER OR ALLOTTEE DIE PRIOR TO PAYMENT OR ISSUANCE OF CHECK FOR ALLOTMENT, ALLOTTED AMOUNT REVERTS TO MEMBER OR HIS ESTATE AND DOES NOT BECOME ALLOTTEE'S PROPERTY OR PART OF ALLOTTEE'S ESTATE. SEE COMP. GEN. DECS. CITED.

TO MRS. DORA LANGE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED MARCH 9, 1970, FROM THE AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY M.B.H; WRITTEN ON YOUR BEHALF, CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR THE PROCEEDS OF AN UNNEGOTIATED DEPOSITORY CHECK, NO. 862, DATED SEPTEMBER 3, 1954, IN THE AMOUNT OF $157.10, PAYABLE TO YOUR LATE DAUGHTER, CHRISTA HARVISON.

A REVIEW OF OUR FILE SHOWS THAT THIS MATTER WAS THE SUBJECT OF A LETTER TO YOU DATED JUNE 24, 1968, IN WHICH YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE PROCEEDS OF THE CHECK IN QUESTION REPRESENTED A DEPENDENCY (CLASS Q) ALLOTMENT FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST 1954 MADE UP OF $77.10 (BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS) AND THE CONTRIBUTION OF $80 BY RUBIN L. HARVISON, WHO WAS SERVING IN THE MILITARY SERVICE. THE ALLOTMENT WAS IN EFFECT FOR THE SUPPORT OF YOUR DAUGHTER, CHRISTA HARVISON, AS HIS DEPENDENT WIFE. YOU WERE FURTHER ADVISED THAT SINCE YOUR DAUGHTER DIED ON AUGUST 21, 1954, BEFORE THE CHECK IN QUESTION WAS RECEIVED AND NEGOTIATED, THE PROCEEDS OF THAT CHECK DID NOT BECOME A PART OF HER ESTATE.

IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER OF MARCH 9, 1970, THAT YOU FEEL THAT SINCE THAT CHECK COVERS A PERIOD DURING WHICH YOUR DAUGHTER WAS ALIVE, YOU ARE "DEFINITELY ENTITLED TO THE (PROCEEDS OF THAT) CHECK."

DEPENDENCY ALLOTMENTS WERE ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE DEPENDENTS ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1950, 64 STAT. 794, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF MAY 19, 1952, 66 STAT. 79. THAT ACT, AS AMENDED, AUTHORIZED THE PAYMENT TO ENLISTED MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES OF A BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS FOR DEPENDENTS (IN THIS CASE $77.10) PROVIDED THAT THE SERVICE MEMBER HAD IN EFFECT, FOR THE SUPPORT OF HIS DEPENDENTS AN ALLOTMENT OF PAY IN AN AMOUNT NOT LESS THAN THE BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS AUTHORIZED FOR HIS GRADE, PLUS AN ADDITIONAL SUM (IN THIS CASE $80) VARYING WITH THE GRADE OF THE ENLISTED MEMBER. THE STATUTE PROVIDED THAT THE QUARTERS ALLOWANCE WAS TO BE CREDITED TO THE ENLISTED MEMBER'S ACCOUNT, LEAVING THE PAYMENT OF THE ALLOTMENT FROM THE ENLISTED MEMBER'S PAY ACCOUNT TO BE ACCOMPLISHED IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXISTING LAWS AND REGULATIONS RELATIVE TO ALLOTMENTS GENERALLY.

IT IS A LONG STANDING RULE THAT VOLUNTARY ALLOTMENTS OF PAY MADE BY AN ENLISTED MAN FOR THE SUPPORT OF HIS FAMILY REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE ENLISTED MAN UNTIL THE CHECK ISSUED IN PAYMENT IS NEGOTIATED BY THE ALLOTTEE. SHOULD THE ENLISTED MEMBER OR THE ALLOTTEE DIE PRIOR TO PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT ALLOTTED, OR PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF THE CHECK THEREFOR, THE AMOUNT ALLOTTED REVERTS TO THE ENLISTED MAN OR HIS ESTATE AND DOES NOT BECOME THE PROPERTY OF THE ALLOTTEE OR A PART OF THE ALLOTTEE'S ESTATE. 10 COMP. DEC. 208 (1903), 26 COMP. DEC. 855 (1920), 24 COMP. GEN. 117 (1944). SEE ALSO 31 COMP. GEN. 422 (1952) AND 33 COMP. GEN. 99 (1953). HENCE, THE ISSUANCE OF A CHECK FOR AN ALLOTMENT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE PAYMENT UNTIL IT IS NEGOTIATED AND THE AMOUNT IS COLLECTED BY THE PAYEE.

SINCE YOUR DAUGHTER, AS ALLOTTEE, DIED BEFORE THE ALLOTMENT CHECK IN QUESTION WAS ISSUED, THE ALLOTMENT IN HER BEHALF FOR AUGUST 1954 REMAINED THE PROPERTY OF HER HUSBAND, RUBIN HARVISON, AS A PROPER ITEM OF HIS PAY AND ALLOWANCES AND THE AMOUNT INVOLVED WAS CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT TO HIM UNDER SETTLEMENT DATED JUNE 24, 1968. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THERE IS NO BASIS UPON WHICH THIS OFFICE MAY FAVORABLY CONSIDER YOUR CLAIM FOR THE PROCEEDS OF THE CHECK AS AN HEIR OF YOUR DAUGHTER'S ESTATE.

ACCORDINGLY, THE ACTION HERETOFORE TAKEN IN THIS MATTER BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IS SUSTAINED.